Practically every major piece of equipment and machinery has a system designed for it to stop and vehicles are no different. With carefully designed braking systems, you’re able to navigate the roads that much more confidently.
However, your brakes can and do wear out due to friction between the brake pads and brake disks and although this friction can lead your car to come to a complete stop, it also results in the production of a lot of heat, which can warp and wear the brake discs.
To avoid putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation where your brakes don’t work as well as they should, there are some signs that your brake pads and discs need replacing. In this article, we will explore what these signs and symptoms are to help you stay safe on the roads.
How do I know if my brake pads and discs need replacing?
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that your brake pads and discs need replacing:
- Loud screeching sounds – the sound of squealing brakes is caused when the indicator comes into contact with the rotor surface and it’s a clear indication that you need your parts changed. You should take your car to a professional as soon as you hear such sounds.
- Scraping sounds – also sounding like a grinding noise, this is generally a sign that the friction material on your brake pads has completely worn away. In such instances, it is the metal of the pad that is touching the metal of the disc. This can cause damage to the disc that’s quite expensive, so it’s worth taking it to a professional.
- Vibrations – when you feel your car, steering wheel or brake pedal vibration while using the brakes, this is another sign of a faulty braking system. It is considered that there is excessive wear or damage on the pads or discs or even a warped disc.
- Pulling motions – if you feel like your car is pulling either left or right when you are slowing down or stopping, this can be a sign that you have a sticking brake caliper or a collapsed brake hose. Alternatively, this could be an issue related to an uneven tyre wear or wheel alignment.
- Brake pedal problems – perhaps the quickest way to identify if your brake pads and discs need replacement is when you notice that you need to brake harder than usual to slow down and come to a stop. In addition, you may feel that your brake pedal feels “spongy”. Alternatively, you may observe some leaks in brake fluid or your car can tell you that there is a problem through its warning light on the dashboard.
How do I know if my brake discs are worn out?
The symptoms of brake discs and brake pads being worn out are quite similar. For example, if your brake discs are wearing out or worn out already, you will again experience some of the following symptoms:
- A warning light appears on your dashboard to indicate the problem
- A loud screeching/squealing noise when you apply the brakes due to rust build-up
- Lots of vibrations are felt in your vehicle and when applying your foot to the brake pedal
- Longer breaking times and the feeling of a softer or “squishier” brake pedal
- Grinding sounds, which indicate that there is metal-to-metal touching
What happens if you don’t replace brake pads and discs?
Driving with worn-out brake pads and discs puts you and others in danger. In fact, a Department of Transport report indicated that defective brakes were a leading cause of road accidents between 2013 and 2018.
In addition to this, faulty brakes result in around 10% of MOT failures. To save yourself time, money and hassles, it’s certainly worth having your brakes checked on a regular basis.
Here are a few other reasons why:
- By not having your brake pads and discs checked regularly, you risk damaging the brake rotors and calipers, which can end up being quite a costly affair to fix.
- In addition, your brakes may have a slow response time and this can affect your calculation of stopping distances, which will become longer. You may also experience brake slipping or your car pulling to the side when you brake. This can be dangerous for both you, your passengers and other road users.
- A further reason to have your brakes checked is that they can wear down your tyres significantly. Hard braking, in particular, causes tyres to wear out quicker, which can also be costly for you in the long run.
Why you should get your brakes checked regularly?
As a rule of thumb, you should have your brake pads replaced every 25,000 to 65,000 miles. However, this will greatly depend on the conditions you find yourself driving in. This will not only help ensure that your vehicle is safe to be on the road, but it will help you pass your MOT.
Remember that vehicle braking systems are thoroughly checked during your MOT test, including brake pads, discs and calipers. When you take your car to have its brakes repaired, you should know that the minimum brake disc thickness for an MOT or the brake disc wear limit is a thickness of 3 mm.
All this put together means that you can avoid more serious problems with your car at a later stage, which can end up being quite a costly exercise. Prevention is better than cure is possibly the best way to look at your car’s braking system. As such, some of the major benefits of having your car’s brakes repaired include:
- Keeping your repair costs down
- Improving your stopping distance
- Catching the warning signs early on, and
- Improving your fuel economy and even the longevity of your tyres.
Your professional brake specialists in Leicester
Having your car’s braking system checked and thoroughly repaired is a serious obligation you have to ensure that your car is safe on the roads for you, your passengers and other road users.
This is why when you need brake replacement in Leicester, you need a highly reliable and professional brake specialist that will ensure you get the most out of your service.
With our brakes repair and replacement service, you are guaranteed greater peace of mind and more value for money while ensuring the safety of you and those around you.