Honing My Driving Skills

Two Ways to Identify Worn Brake Pads

Having access to a personal vehicle can make it easier to travel between your family, work, and personal obligations. Proper maintenance is essential when it comes to keeping your car safe, and few things are as important to maintain as your brakes. Worn brake pads can compromise your ability to bring your vehicle safely to a stop, so recognizing the signs of worn brake pads is important.

Here are two things to watch for when trying to identify whether or not your brake pads are worn and need to be replaced.

1. Your car makes a grinding noise when you apply pressure to the brake pedal.

Your vehicle's brake pads clamp down on a component known as the rotor in order to stop the forward motion of your car's tires.

When the brake pads begin to wear down, the cushion that prevents the metal of the pad from coming into contact with the metal of the rotor is no longer effective. When metal meets metal, a grinding noise can be heard as you apply pressure to the brake pedal.

If you notice a grinding noise coming from your vehicle when you attempt to stop, be sure to have an experienced mechanic look at your brake pads as quickly as possible.

2. Your car pulls to one side when you press the brake pedal.

It's possible for your vehicle's brake pads to wear unevenly. If one brake pad is in good condition, but the other is beginning to show signs of wear, you may notice that your vehicle begins to act strangely when you press the brake pedal.

The worn brake pad will not have the strength to bring your wheels to a stop as quickly as the brake pad that is still functional. This difference in power causes your vehicle to pull to one side when you attempt to stop.

If you notice a distinct shift in the direction of your vehicle when you press the brake pedal, be sure to have an knowledgeable mechanic inspect your brake pads for signs of uneven wear immediately.

Being able to recognize the signs that your vehicle's brake pads are becoming worn can help you ensure that you get faulty pads replaced before they contribute to your involvement in a car accident. Take your car to a professional such as Eagle Automotive & Wrecker Service as soon as you notice a grinding noise or a pulling to one side when you press your brake pedal.