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Do I Need to Change my Brake Pads?

4 Ways to Know it is Time to Change your Brake Pads

Brake health is essential to an overall safe driving experience. While there is a lot that goes into maintaining a healthy brake system, consistent maintenance is almost entirely isolated to the vehicle’s brake pads, so how do you know when it is time to change your car’s brake pads?

Time of the Year

Depending on the vehicle you drive and the climate you live in, your brake pads may be under more stress during certain times of the year. The summer season can bring intense heat, which can strain your braking system as a whole. Your brake pads work by engaging friction, which naturally creates heat. Hot weather can enhance this heat friction, which leads to increased stress on your brake pads and your braking system as a whole. The summer season also means higher volumes of traffic, which may cause you to brake more regularly and intensely. It is important that you ensure your braking system is prepared for the strain of summer, so at the first signs of intense heat in your area might be a good indicator that it is time to have your brake pads inspected.

Likewise, intense wintery weather can also affect your vehicle’s brake function. Cold weather, snow, and ice on roads can interrupt the process of braking by increasing the friction necessary for a safe and responsive stop. This lag is heightened if your brake pads are worn down or ineffective. If there is wintery weather in your area or storm season approaching, you might consider getting your brake pads checked by a professional. It is better to be safe than to run into an issue where you, your family, and your safety is compromised. The change of season to those with intense weather patterns, like summer and winter, are the most important times to get your brake pads inspected.

Pay Attention to Your Vehicle

Nobody knows your vehicle better than you do, which means that you will likely notice if your vehicle is not braking as it should. When the material on your brake pads wears away, your vehicle can take longer to slow down and to stop, which can make it difficult to prevent accidents in hazardous driving situations. Additionally, if your vehicle is making loud metallic or grinding noises when you brake, this means that your brake pads are not acting alone; it is likely that your rotor is coming in contact with the caliper because your brake pads are worn down too far. It is important to get this issue repaired before it develops into something more serious or causes you to get into an accident. If you notice that your vehicle’s braking system is showing signs of deterioration, this is a key indicator that it is time to get your brake pads replaced.

Self Checking Your Brake Pads

Brake pads are layered with friction materials that apply pressure to your vehicle’s spinning rotor to help you slow and stop your vehicle. Over time, this friction material wears away, affecting their overall braking effectivity. When you brake pads reach low levels of friction material, you know that it is time for a change in brake pads. If you are comfortable with examining these materials on your own, you can check your brake pad composition at home to determine when it is time for a brake pad change. Look to the rotor of your tires, which is where the brake pads live in your car. Check to see how much friction material remains on your existing brake pads. If it is close to or beneath ¼ of an inch, you know that it is time for a brake pad change. If you do not feel comfortable locating or checking these brake pads on your own, it is best to leave the inspection and the brake pad change to the professionals.

Listen to the Experts

The best way to tell when you need new brake pads is to listen to what your professional automotive service experts say. With routine vehicle checkups, you will always know that your brake pads are in prime condition for keeping you safe while on the road. This can also help you prevent more costly damages that may result from faulty brakes. With expert input and care, you can get your brakes repaired quickly and affordably to keep you safe while on the road.

Brake Pad Service in Chapel Hill

If you are seeking brake pad service in the North Carolina Triangle, Chapel Hill Tire has 7 locations between Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro with experts ready to help!  Let our service professionals inspect and replace your brake pads today!

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