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How to Check Your Brake Pads

Posted on 29th February 2016 by French Car Specialists

Checking the condition of your brake pads is an important part of car maintenance that is often forgotten about. Your car breaks play an integral role in the safe handling of your vehicle, and improper care can result in accidents or collisions. The team here at Citroen-Peugeot Specialists have put together this guide on brake pads so you can ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.

How to Check Your Brake Pads

What are brake pads?

Brake pads are the component of the brake system that applies pressure to the vehicle’s brake rotors to slow and eventually stop the wheels. This friction damages the material of the brake pads with every use, and eventually the brake pads will wear down too much to apply enough pressure to the brake rotors, increasing stopping distances and making braking much more difficult. Because of this, your brake pads should never be allowed to wear down too far.

When to check your brake pads

It is recommended that you have your brake pads professionally checked every six months, however there is no set rule as to when your brake pads will wear out. Cars in urban areas will wear down the brake pads quicker than cars in rural areas, and, of course, your driving style will bear an impact on the longevity of your brake pads. There are some warning signs that you should pay attention to that can indicate your brake pads need changed:

  • The brake pedal is pulsating when you press your foot on it
  • The brakes are clicking
  • The brakes are making a high-pitched screeching noise
  • The brakes are grinding
  • The car is pulling to one side

How to check your brake pads

If you’ve noticed any of the warning signs or you haven’t had your brake pads checked in a while, now is the time to do so. You can check your brake pads yourself by following our step-by-step guide:

1) Listen to your brakes: As described above, your brakes can make irregular noises when the brake pads are worn out. This noise will get louder as the brakes are used, so to check this, slowly test your brakes with the windows of your car wound up and the radio turned off.

2) Look at the wheels: When brake pads rub against the brake rotor, dust is created. The more your brake pads are worn down, the less friction will be made and therefore the less dust will be given off. If your wheels are clean after braking or driving, it could be a sign that your brake pads need replacing.

3) Observe the brake pad: On most cars, you can see the brake pad through the wheel. A lot of brake pads have a slot in the center that serves as an indication of wear – if the slot isn’t very deep then the pad has worn down a lot and will probably need to be replaced.

Citroen-Peugeot Specialists have over 33 years of experience in the repairs and servicing of all cars, and our specialised focus on French manufactured cars make us a firm favourite among motorists across London. Our dedicated team of experts provide an efficient and professional service, ensuring a quick turnaround and fantastic results every time. For more information, contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.

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