Making sure the brakes on your car stay in good working condition is a very important part of your overall vehicle maintenance. After all, your brakes play an important role in keeping you safe while driving. Consequently, it is very important that you know how to tell when it is time to take your vehicle in to visit a brake service. Taking the time to review the three warning signs outlined below can help you to accomplish this task.
Warning Sign #1: Reduced Stopping Power
One of the first things that you are likely to notice when the time has come to replace your brake pads is that your vehicle will have reduced stopping power. This means that you will need to allow extra time for the vehicle to stop. While this may not seem like a big deal when stopping at a light or stop sign where you are able to gauge exactly when you need to start braking, this can be a very big deal if you are forced to stop quickly in order to avoid a hazard. Consequently, you should never wait until this reduced stopping power becomes significant before taking your vehicle in to have your brakes serviced.
Warning Sign #2: Noisy Brakes
Because of the great importance of having working brakes, brake pad manufacturers have come up with a warning system that can help you to easily identify when it is time to take your vehicle in for service. This warning system is made up of a special layer of material on your brake pads that creates a high pitched squealing noise each time you apply your brakes. This is why your brakes will become noticeably louder even when it seems as though your vehicle is still stopping okay. If the brake pads are allowed to wear through this layer of material, you will often notice that the noise you hear turns from a squeal to a metallic grinding sound. This means that your vehicle is now relying on the friction cause by metal grinding on metal to stop your car. This can be very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Consequently, you will need to make sure you take your vehicle in to have the brakes serviced as soon as you notice them becoming louder.
Warning Sign #3: Visible Brake Dust On Wheels
If you fail to have your brake pads replaced before the metal parts of your braking system start rubbing up against each other, you will begin to notice a large amount of brake dust accumulating on your wheels. This dust is a good indication that your brakes are not far away from failing altogether. Consequently, if you ever notice this particular warning sign, you should stop driving your vehicle immediately until you are able to have the brakes serviced.