How Can I Tell If My Brake Pads Are Too Worn?

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If you really think about it, stopping your Mazda is probably the most important part of driving. Your brake system has a factory-scheduled maintenance plan that is easy to stick to if you bring your car or crossover into Mazcare. We specialize in Mazdas, which means we can keep your brake system reliable. The first step in maintaining your vehicle’s brake system is replacing the brake pads when they wear down too low. Here are signs your brake pads are worn and you need to replace them ASAP.

Let’s Talk a Little Bit About Brake Pads First

When you were a kid and you slid your feet to stop your bike you were generating kinetic energy. The brake pads and rotors do the same thing. The pads rub against the rotors to create friction just as your feet did on the ground. This friction is what generates kinetic energy, and this energy is what stops motion. Brake pads are made with a friction-inducing surface that helps stop your Mazda.

The Friction-Inducing Surface Wears Down Over Time

Naturally, with each press against the rotors, the brake pads lose a little bit of their surface. This is why part of a Mazda brake inspection service is to measure each brake pad’s remaining surface level. Once the level reaches 1/4-of-an-inch, it’s time to replace the brake pads. If you keep braking with the old pads, you will wear them down to their backing plates, which are made of steel.

Signs Your Brake Pads Are Worn Down Too Low

There are several signs that will tell you that the pads need to be replaced. It’s important to replace the pads at the first sign of too much wear. If you allow the pads to wear down to their steel plates, the plates will rub against the rotors when you apply the brakes and warp them. Warped rotors are an unnecessary repair expense. Replacing the pads when they need it avoids this.

Your brake pads need to be replaced when

  • They reach 1/4-of-an-inch surface level
  • You hear squealing while your Mazda is in motion
  • You hear grinding or scraping when you apply the brakes
  • Your car shudders when you apply the brakes
  • Your brake wear indicator light turns on
  • Your brake light turns on

Stop by Mazcare in Marietta, GA, if you notice any of the above. We’ll measure your pads and replace them if they need it. We’ll also make sure your brake rotors aren’t warped.