Like creaky joints or a squeaky door hinge, life has a way of letting you know when things need to be replaced.
This is precisely why you should never ignore sounds coming from your car--- especially your brakes. If you hear these things, there’s a good chance that your brake pads need to be replaced.
- Screeching or Squealing: If your car makes a screeching or squealing sound when you step on the brakes that does NOT go away even after the brake is released, you probably need to replace your brake pads.
- Grumbling or Grinding: If you hear a grumbling, grinding, clunking sound while the brake is applied, you guessed it, you need to get your brake pads checked.
These sounds are a clear indicator that something is wrong with your brakes. Most likely, the pads have been worn down to less than 3mm, which causes the caliper to rub against the rotor. That delightful squealing, grumbling sound you hear is metal grinding on metal.
A good rule of thumb is to have your brake pads checked at every oil change, and replace them every 30,000 – 35,000 miles. The rate at which brake pads deteriorate depends on a couple things, including the weight of your vehicle and where and how you drive. A person with a lead foot, zipping from stoplight to stoplight will wear down their pads much faster than a person who spends most of their driving time on the freeway.
Your car’s brake system is the single most important safety feature on your vehicle. For more information on keeping your brakes in tip-top shape, check out our video Braking Better. You can also learn about brake fluid and the difference between ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads. As always, be sure to schedule an appointment for a brake check at your local Sears Auto Center.