Brakes are one of the most important components in a car. Your family’s safety depends on the brakes’ performance.
For this reason, it is critical to keep up with brake maintenance. Brake pads, for example, tend to last between 30,000 to 70,000 miles.
However, brake pads can fail earlier depending on driving conditions. Driving in a city environment with stop-and-go traffic tends to wear out brake pads faster.
Squeaky brakes are one sign that the pads are wearing down. Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of your brakes needing maintenance.
What Are the Warning Signs?
The nice thing about brakes is that they have a built-in warning system. When brake pads require replacement, a built-in indicator lets out a high-pitched squeal. Another thing you might notice is that your brakes are not as responsive as they used to be.
Some drivers like to press their luck with brake pads. If you fail to get your brake pads replaced soon after the squealing starts, that sound will turn to a loud grinding noise.
This occurs when the brake pads are entirely worn out and the rotors are exposed. This grinding will increase the maintenance cost as the rotors will now require service.
What to Look for In an Inspection?
A repair technician will perform a visual inspection of your braking system. A look through the wheel spokes can reveal the condition of the brake pads.
If the view is obstructed, the repair technician will put your car on a lift and remove the tires. This will also allow the technician to perform a thorough visual inspection and check for loose or damaged parts.
The repair tech will evaluate the brake pads to see if they have less than 0.1 inch of padding left. In addition, they will look for sand, dust, or other foreign debris.
What Are the Possible Solutions?
In order to properly diagnose the issue and repair it, you should take your vehicle to a professional. They will remove the tire and perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle’s braking system.
The best-case scenario is that the brake components just require lubrication or adjustment. It is also possible that a subcomponent is loose.
Sometimes, the shims are corroded or the brake pad mounting requires tightening. These are cheap and relatively minor repairs to make.
Replacing the brake pads is another relatively minor repair. Some drivers opt to make this repair themselves.
However, it is highly recommended to have a professional replace brake pads. It is common for do-it-yourself replacements to end with loose calipers making noise. In addition, there is a serious safety risk if you do not perform the replacement correctly.
A Recap of Squeaky Brakes
Brakes are so important to safety that any warning signs need to be checked out. The good news is that a squeal may not be concerning. Sometimes, brakes make this noise on a cold or damp morning.
More likely than not, a high-pitched squeal indicates that the brake pads need to be replaced. If you are concerned about squeaky brakes on your vehicle, contact us today to schedule an appointment.