4 Signs That a Car Needs New Brake Pads to Know For Mechanic School
Brake pads are an essential component of a vehicle’s braking system. They apply pressure to a car’s rotors, effectively slowing and stopping the wheels. With repeated use, they are quite vulnerable to wear and tear. The lifespan of a vehicle’s brake pads depends on several factors including the material they’re made of, the type of vehicle, and the driving style.
As an aspiring auto mechanic, getting familiar with the tell-tale signs of faulty brake pads is a great start, as brake repair is one of the most common services you’ll have to complete in your career. Stay tuned for some common signs that your client’s vehicle needs its brake pads replaced!
1. The Brake Warning Light Is on
The easiest, most evident way to tell brake pads need replacing is by checking if the brake warning light is on. While the brake warning light is not always an indication that the brake pads need replacing, if it’s illuminated there’s usually something going on with the braking system. This could indicate a variety of problems, like the vehicle being low on brake fluid, a faulty ABS (anti-lock braking system), the emergency brake system is on, or trouble with the brake sensors.
2. Noisy Brakes Need to Be Examined
When you start work after mechanic school, you’ll come across lots of noisy brakes, and they’re often an indication that the brake pads need to be replaced. In many cases, noisy brakes are by design. Many modern brake pads have a mechanism called ‘wear indicators’ built into them. Wear indicators are metal tabs located near the top of a brake pad that scrapes against a vehicle’s rotor when brake pads get worn down to a dangerous point. This produces an unpleasant, screeching sound to notify drivers that it’s time for a replacement.
3. Slower Brakes Indicate Issues and Can Be a Safety Concern
Brake pads that are extremely worn will no longer be able to apply friction to a vehicle’s rotor. As a result, drivers will notice slower reaction times, which can become a safety concern in situations where split-second reactions are required to avoid accidents. Driving style is a common culprit of slow brakes. For example, when someone regularly drives downhill because of where they live, they repeatedly press their brake pads in contact with their rotors for long periods of time, leading to wear and tear.
4. Notice Vibrating Brakes After Mechanic Training? There Might Be a Rotor Problem
After mechanic training, you may come across vibrating brakes that cause a vehicle to shake violently. Usually, this happens because the brake pad makes contact with the rotor. Glazing is another culprit. It’s a process where resin gets exposed to heat as the brake pads wear down and get smeared unevenly across the rotor. Vibrating brakes should be examined immediately as they are unreliable and could become a safety concern. With the right training under your belt, when these issues come up for your clients, you’ll be able to spot a worn brake pad from a mile away.
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