When to replace brakes

How do you know when your brakes need replacing?

On average, in performance cars, brake pads should be replaced every 15,000 but that number can differ depending on driving conditions and styles. The good news is, you'll likely experience minor symptoms when your brake pads are getting towards their end of life, making diagnosis and repairs easy.

Despite their critical nature, you may be surprised to hear that almost 20% of MOT failures are caused by faulty brakes. However, with it difficult to visibly see the wear of your brakes, we explain how you can assess whether it’s worth getting your car checked over.

First of all, it’s difficult to assess how often your brakes should be checked. The type of driving and the amount of miles you do has a huge affect, but it’s not unusual to have to replace brake pads every 15,000 miles. Brake discs however last for longer – sometimes up to 100,000 miles. Meanwhile, brake fluid should be changed at the same time as every major service.

The good news is you'll likely experience minor symptoms when your brake pads are getting towards their end of life, making diagnosis and repairs fairly straightforward.

Here are 5 common signs it’s time to bring your car down to our Service Centre in Orpington for an assessment:

1. Grinding Sound When Braking

Brake pads have a wear indicator made of metal intended to make a squealing noise when it contacts the brake disc, letting you know they need replacing. The metal on metal will cause damage to the brake disc, so leaving it can get expensive as you’ll need to replace both pads and discs.

2. Vibration When Braking

Vibration when you apply the brakes is another sign that your vehicle's braking system is in need of professional help. Normally a vibration is down to warped brake discs, or brake pad deposits stuck on the disc, causing an uneven contact surface.

3. Taking Longer To Stop

Another major sign that your brakes need to be checked out is loss of performance when applying the brakes. This could be a leak somewhere, so it’s vital your car is checked out.

4. Pulling to the left or right

Your car should track straight and true when you brake. If not, it could be very dangerous id you need to brake hard in an emergency situation. This is likely down to either a sticking brake caliper, or brakes worn on one side more than the other.

5. Brake Pad Indicator Light Comes On

Most modern vehicles come with brake warning lights that appear on your dash. One is your Antilock Braking System (ABS) light and the other is your brake system warning light.

Think your car may need some attention? For a competitive quote for brake repairs and replacements, or to just get booked for a Vehicle Health Check (which covers the whole car), be sure to get in touch with our Service Department. Call us on 01689 664 769.