car brakes

When To Change Your Brakes?

When driving your car, it is of utmost importance to make sure your brakes are in working order. Although every car is different, a general rule of thumb suggests brake pads should be replaced about every 50,000 miles. Aside from this rule, there are several warning signs that can suggest it may be time to replace your brake pads. Paying attention to the warning signs and acting accordingly can help keep you safe while on the road, and also save you the costly price of repairing additional damages that may manifest, if ignored. Below are several examples of signs you should not overlook when it comes to your brakes. 

Indicator Light Illuminates

If an indicator light on the dashboard of your car turns on it may mean you are in need of changing your brakes. Some cars have a sensor located on the brake pad that will light up an indicator light if the pads become worn down. If the brake light on your dashboard lights up, it is best to have a mechanic conduct an evaluation of your brake pads, and replace them if necessary. 

Squeaking Noises

The most common sign that it is time to replace your brake pads is the sound of squealing or squeaking when engaging the brakes on your car. Some squeaking noises can be normal and present as a result of certain weather conditions (i.e. rain, extreme cold…etc.). If, however, you notice your brakes squeaking regularly, you should probably bring your car to a professional and have your brakes checked out. 

Grinding Sound Of Metal

If you notice a deep grinding metal sound coming when engaging your brakes, your car may be ready for replacement brake pads. Some brake pad manufacturers add small metal ridges to the bottom of the brake pads for the purpose of warning the driver that it is time to change the brake pads. If this sound is ignored it can result in significant damage that will likely require expensive repairs and/ or replacements (far more costly than simply replacing the brake pads). 

Very Thin Brake Pads

Brake pads should never become less than a quarter of an inch thick. The brake pads are located between the spokes on your wheels. You can see the brake pads on the rotor of the tire. If you notice that your brake pads are less than a quarter of an inch thick, it is time to replace them.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

A vibrating brake pedal can be dangerous. When pressing down on your brake if you experience vibrations and/ or difficulty when attempting to stop your car, your brake pads have likely worn out. If you notice your brake pedal vibrating, it could be a sign that you need to replace your brake pads immediately. Take your car to a mechanic to get checked as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your car and avoid the risk of getting into a potential accident. 

While brake pads do not last forever, there are certain things you can do to prolong the life of your brakes. You can have your tires rotated every six months. Rotating your tires can help prevent wearing down one particular area of your tires. Making sure you ensure your brake pads are working properly, and changing them when needed can also help to prevent any substantial brake damage. Choosing to act as soon as possible, should any of the above warning signs present, can help you keep your vehicle running safely and will enable you to be proactive regarding the need for potential repairs, which will in turn save you money in the long run. 

Further Information

As an automotive parts and supply shop with decades of experience we have access to extensive inventory. Northstar Automotive is staffed with incredibly knowledgeable professionals, dedicated to provide topnotch service to all its customers. Let us help you make sure you are equipped with everything you need to ensure all of your vehicles are in excellent shape. Please feel free to contact one of our sales associates for more information. We can be reached through our website’s ‘contact us’ page at:

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