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How to know when you should Replace your Brake Pads

We all know that the key to a long car life is regular check-ups and maintenance. However, many of us don’t recognise or simply ignore the tell tale signs that let us know when there is a problem. Maintaining your brakes pads is extremely important if you want to keep your car safe and the key to a healthy brake system. We’ve come up with a guide to help you recognise when your car is telling you that it’s time to change your brake pads.


First of all, you should be looking out for any changes to the drive of your car. The first indication that your brake pads are worn away will be when you’re trying to brake. Sometimes your brake pedal will vibrate when you press down, also known as a ‘pulsating brake’, and is caused by worn out or warped brake pads. This is a sure sign that your brakes need replacing. If you find your car pulling to one side when you brake then this can indicate that your brake pads are wearing unevenly and will need to be replaced.


There are plenty of visual cues to tell you the state of your brake pads if you know what to look for. The amount of brake dust on your wheels will decrease as the brake pad is worn away, so if your wheels are looking cleaner than usual, it might be time for a closer look. The most obvious sign will be if your brake pads appear too thin. You should be able to see your brake pads through the wheel, so you should be checking the thickness of your brake pads regularly. If it looks to be less than 1/4 inch it is more than likely in need of replacement. Some brake pads will have a slot in the centre to help you tell if it’s too thin, if this slot can barely be seen then it’s time for a change.


The final signs you should be looking out for, or listening out, are any strange noises while driving. Brake pads will warn you they’re ready to be changed with different sounds. This is part of their design and acts as an early warning that your brake pads are reaching the end. If your brakes are making a clicking, screeching or grinding sound then you should be paying attention. This will get worse as your brake pads continue to wear away so don’t ignore it! Remember, ignoring problems with your car will only lead to bigger bills down the line. 

If you’re not the most confident with car maintenance, it may make you feel better to have a professional take a look as well. At SERE, our company ethos is entirely customer-focused. We pride ourselves on offering top quality car repair and maintenance so you can be assured some peace of mind. Book a service with us today online or call us on 028 9020 5100.

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