When Do Brake Pads Need Replacing?


Quick Answer

The eyes and ears are the best indicators for new brake pads. A high-pitched screech that occurs during braking indicates the need for replacement. When looking through the wheel spokes, at least one-quarter inch of brake pad should be visible.

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When Do Brake Pads Need Replacing?
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Full Answer

Another sign is reduced responsiveness during braking. If the brake pedal sinks down after the driver pushes it without immediately activating the brake system, a leak might be present in the system, either of brake fluid or air from the brake hose. Fluids on the garage floor that aren't as shiny as oil can be brake fluid. Grinding while braking, or even while driving, indicates the pads have completely worn down, as the disc and caliper are now rubbing together with no protection.

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