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How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace My Brake Pads?

Having the correct brake pads on your vehicle and ensuring that they’re still in good shape is important when it comes to towing or off-road driving. Since heavy braking is involved, worn out brake pads can easily damage the rotors and drastically reduce your truck’s braking power.

That’s why it’s important to check your brake pads for signs of wear and tear on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to check your brake pads every 15,000 miles or so. Under normal driving conditions, brake pads last about 30K-70K miles. However, brake pads will wear out faster when they’re used for heavy towing or off-road driving.

Telltale Signs That Your Brake Pads are Bad

New pads

Symptoms don’t crop up until the brake pads are really bad. If you notice any of the symptoms listed below, chances are good your brake pads need to be replaced right away.

  • Metallic squealing noise when the vehicle is in motion
  • Grinding noise when the brakes are applied
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Low brake fluid

If you want to avoid replacing your rotors as well, check the brake pads as soon as possible and replace them if necessary. Doing so will prevent the worn brake pads from damaging the rotors.

Checking the Life of the Brake Pad: What to Look For

Worn pads

When you inspect the brake pads, you have to know how to determine how much life the pads have left in them. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell a worn brake pad from one that’s still good. All you have to do is to measure the thickness of the brake pad lining. Here’s a good guide on measuring your brake pad lining: How to Thoroughly Inspect Your Brake Pads

What if There’s Uneven Wear?

If you find uneven wear on the brake pads, chances are good there are other issues, like a seized guide pin or a sticking caliper piston. You should inspect the rest of the brake system for any issues that may affect your truck’s braking performance. Our Disc Brake Inspection Guide is a good source for thoroughly inspecting the brake rotors, calipers, pistons, and more.

Have any questions about determining whether your brake pads need to be replaced yet? You’re more than welcome to contact us!