Proper brake pad maintenance and inspection can not only be critical for the long life of your car, but also for your safety as a driver or passenger. Simply put: your vehicle’s brakes are what enable you to slow down and stop. Unfortunately, brakes can be overlooked when it comes to regular auto maintenance. So, what needs to be done?
There’s no specific schedule for when it’s time to replace your brake pads, according to Cars.com. That means you may want to consider checking your brake pads regularly to help determine the amount of wear and tear. Typical brake pad wear depends how and where you drive. For example, if you drive in urban areas, your brake pads could wear out faster than someone who drives on rural roads due to the stopping and starting of city traffic.
Have your brake pads professionally checked each time you have your tires rotated — about every six months, says Cars.com. It can also be a good idea to check your car owner’s manual or talk to a professional technician so you understand what’s right for your particular vehicle.
Cars.com says that some common signs that it may be time to replace your brake pads include:
Fortunately, brake pads are designed to provide clear signals that they need to be replaced. Here are some ways to check them:
If you do not feel comfortable checking your brake pads, take your vehicle to a local dealership or repair shop where a professional can do it for you. Not only will replacing worn brake pads help make your car safer, it may help save money in the long run by preventing avoidable accidents.
Originally published January, 2017.