7 Signs Your Car Needs New Brake Pads

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7 Signs Your Car Needs New Brake Pads

For vehicle owners, maintaining the brakes is both an important safety feature and a key to a vehicle's upkeep for long-term ownership. Strangely however, brake maintenance is often overlooked or ignored by drivers. Taking regular care of a car's brake system helps to prevent costly repairs in the long run, and keeps a car in the best form to avoid a collision. In order to adequately maintain a vehicle's brake system, a driver must pay close attention to the condition of the car's brake pads. As a general rule, the more a consumer drives, the more wear on the brake pads, and thus the shorter the lifespan of the brake pads.

There are a couple of signs that let a driver know that the current brake pads need to be replaced with new brake pads. Brake pads are available for purchase at automotive parts shops, auto mechanic stops, and online at websites like eBay. The following signs help a driver identify when they need to replace their current brake pads with new brake pads. There are also several brake manufacturers to choose from who produce new, quality brake pads.

Sign 1: The Brake Pedal Is Pulsating

If the brake pedal is pulsating when the driver presses on it with their foot, this is often a sign that new brake pads are needed. The phrase "pulsating brakes" refers to the brake vibration, or constant grabbing when a driver attempts to apply their brakes. Pulsating brakes are typically caused by worn out brake pads, or brake pads that warped due to heat. In the case of pulsating brakes, sometimes the brake pads are re-machined to remedy the problem. However, if the current brake pads cannot be re-machined than the current brake pads likely need to be replaced with new brake pads.

Sign 2: The Brakes Make a Clicking Noise

Another sign that lets a driver know that they need new brake pads is when the brakes start making a clicking noise upon application. All car manufacturers install a device that prevents brake pads from rattling upon depression of the brakes. When the brakes produce a rattling noise, or a clicking noise upon depression of the brakes, this is an indicator that the current brake pads need to be replaced with new brake pads.

Sign 3: The Brake Pads Appear Too Thin

There are also visual cues that drivers should pay close attention to that alerts them when they need to get new brake pads. A consumer can check to see if they need new brake pads by looking at the current brake pads through the spokes of the car wheel. The outside brake pad is visible as the material pressed against the metal rotor. If a driver sees less than a 1/4 inch of pad visible, then the brake pads are too thin and should be replaced with new brake pads.

Sign 4: The Brakes Make a Screeching Sound

In addition to a clicking noise, drivers should also listen for a high-pitched, screeching sound when the brakes are depressed fully. This unpleasant sound is caused by a small metal shim, which acts as an indicator to alert drivers that they need to replace the brake pads. The pitch of this sound varies, but the sound is usually heard when the windows are closed, but possibly not when the radio is playing at a loud volume.

If a consumer's car makes a similar sound once, or on very rare occasions, the brake pads might not necessarily need to be replaced. Often, when a car is sitting idle after being exposed to water, moisture causes a thin layer of rust to lay over the brake rotor. When this occurs, a driver may potentially hear a screeching or squealing sound, as the brake pads press on the rust-covered rotors. Once the rust wears off, however, this unpleasant sound stops. It is when this sound regularly occurs that drivers need to seriously consider replacing their current brake pads with new brake pads.

Sign 5: The Brakes Make a Grinding Sound

When drivers hear a grinding or growling sound upon application of the brakes, the brakes pads are often beyond replacement. The grinding or growling sound is usually caused by the metal disc and the metal calipre rubbing together because the brake pad is completely worn down. This means that in addition to replacing the brake pads, a driver often needs to replace the rotors, or at least get them tuned by a qualified mechanic. Consumers should aim to replace their brake pads before the brakes get to a point where they are creating a grinding or growling sound.

Sign 6: There are Deep Grooves in the Rotor

For drivers that are adept at making vehicle repairs themselves, there are other visual signs that indicate that the current brake pads need to be replaced. Brake pads that are severely worn down often leave deep, circular grooves in the rotor. These grooves are also known as "scores", and look similar to the marks on a record. If these grooves are visible on the rotors, the brake pads need replaced. Moreover, if the grooves are particularly deep, the rotor may also need to be turned or replaced.

Sign 7: The Car is Pulling

Although a car pulling to one side of the road can indicate a few different things, it often indicates that a driver needs new brake pads. If the car pulls to one side or another, without turning the steering wheel when a driver applies the brakes, this often indicates that the current brake pads are wearing unevenly and need replaced with new brake pads. If a car is simply pulling while a driver is accelerating, or driving at a steady speed, without applying the brakes, this pulling usually indicates a different repair issue.

Comparison of Brake Pad Manufacturers

If a driver finds that any of the above seven signs apply to them, then it is time to replace their current brake pads with newer, and thus safer brake pads. There are several different manufacturers who produce brake pads for a range of different vehicle makes and models. The following chart compares several manufacturers by examining the manufacturer's notable features and affordability.

Manufacturer

Features

Affordability

Brembo

Designed for performance street-use

First upgrade level for any braking system

Reduced disc and pad wear

Excellent brake pad precision

€€€€

Lucas

Wear-in fast

Demonstrate great responsiveness in wet conditions

Minimal brake disc wear

Ceramic underlayer to reduce heat from pad to cylinder

€€

Bosch

Available for all makes and models

Moulded Shim Technology available

Superior performance friction material

Pre-attached rubber core shims

Mintex

Uses race-bred friction materials

Minimal grooving and pad material build-up

Moderate wear rate

Thermal stability

€€€

This chart is a just a small survey of brake pads available for purchase, once a consumer has decided that it is time to purchase new brake pads. This chart should not replace a consumer's individual research into quality brake pad manufacturers.

How to Buy New Brake Pads on eBay

Maintaining good brake pads are an important part of the upkeep that all vehicles require. In addition to preventing long-term, costly repairs, working brake pads keep drivers safe from unnecessary collisions, usually caused by faulty brakes. eBay has a variety of different brands of brake pads to choose from for all makes and models of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Perhaps you are looking for new brake pads for your Honda. Simply navigate to the eBay website portal and type 'Honda brake pads' into the keyword search. A list of options that are available matching this description are then populated for you. You can find brake pads for other car makes and models, as well as by a specific manufacturer, by using the same method.

Because working brake pads are such an important part of a vehicle functioning properly, it is important that you are getting exactly what you are ordering through eBay. To ensure this, eBay provides a forum for buyers to leave feedback about individual sellers. By reviewing buyer feedback, you can ensure you are purchasing new brake pads from reliable and fair sellers. This is just one way eBay strives to make the brake pad buying process easy and worry-free.

Conclusion

Identifying when it is time to replace brakes pad is an important piece of knowledge for drivers to be aware of. Waiting too long to change brake pads is a dangerous situation. Brake pads gradually wear down over time, and reduce a car's ability to stop as a result. That being said, working brake pads are essential in keeping a driver safe by ensuring that a vehicle's brake system is functioning properly.

Luckily, there are a couple of signs that indicate to a driver that it is time to think about replacing their current brake pads. As the above signs describe, anytime a driver's brakes start to make noise upon application, a driver should at least make a further inquiry into the condition of the brake pads. This includes looking through the wheel's spokes to examine the thickness of the brake pad. Any of the above signs indicate to a driver that it is time to consider getting new brake pads.

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