Know your brakes better

Car brakes are the most crucial part of your vehicle when it comes to safety. Understanding the importance of brakes and how to keep them in the best shape directly impacts your safety on the road and the health of your tyres.

Let’s start with understanding your brakes.

The most common form of brakes used in modern cars are disk brakes. These types of brakes use pads that are specially designed pieces made of organic, metallic, or ceramic substances that use friction to slow the car down by pressing against the rotor, more commonly known as the disc. You will find disc brakes on the front axle of most modern vehicles and on the rear axle of the rear ones on several occasions.

Wear and tear with regular usage causes them to become weaker with time. Not monitoring their conditions can lead to costly repairs and even the risk of malfunctioning on the road.

When to change brake pads?

Knowing when to replace brake pads or shoes is crucial for ensuring the efficiency of your car and the safety of your family or others on the road.

Here are some signs to watch out for.

- Squealing or screeching sounds

If your brake pads have started to wear out, you will often hear squealing or screeching when you press the brakes. This is caused by a small metal plate attached to the brake pad that serves this exact purpose. Think of the screeching the alarm in your brakes to indicate that it’s time to have them replaced.

- Half a centimeter of brake pad

Another way of checking the health of your brakes is to visually inspect what is called the caliper. If you notice that the brake pad is only half a centimeter thick, it’s time to bring the car into the shop for an inspection.

- Metallic grinding or growling

You will hear such sounds on engaging the brakes when your brake pads have worn away to a point that there is contact between the brake’s backing place and disc or drum. This can cause further damage very quickly. So if you’re hearing these sounds, the brake pads need to be replaced immediately.

- Indicator lights

Many vehicles have indicators on the car’s dashboard that warn you of brake pad issues. Check your manual to know more about what each indicator means. If you see the indicator lighting up, don’t ignore it. Have the brakes thoroughly inspected.

The best way to keep your brakes in good shape is through frequent inspection. Staying ahead of the problem is the best way to prevent it.