How Often Should Car Brakes be Replaced?
Your car's brakes should be replaced periodically. As a general rule of thumb, your brakes should be replaced every 30,000 miles. However, the mileage may vary depending on the wear and tear on the brakes. If you do a lot of heavy breaking on narrow roads or driving through towns, you will wear down the brake pads more quickly and require more frequent maintenance. Your car's owner manual or dealership technician should give you a more detailed number of mileages for brake repair.
Most of the time, when you take your car to the mechanic or dealership for regular maintenance, they will check the condition of both the brake pads and the discs and will be able to tell you if you need to have them replaced. However, there are a few signs in which you will be able to tell that your brakes need replacing. When your car fails to stop sharply when you put your foot on the brake pedal, it is a sign that you should have them replaced immediately. One way to ensure that your brakes are in good shape is to visually inspect them. Sometimes, the car's wheel will have to be removed. There should be at least a quarter of an inch of tread on the brake pad. If there is any less tread than that, you will need to have your car serviced immediately, or you will risk damaging the brake discs themselves, which are much more costly to replace than just the brake pads.
Another sign that you need to replace the brake pads is a screeching noise when you put your foot on the brake pedal. This can mean that you've worn away the brake pad's tread entirely and there is serious damage occurring to the brake disc. You should get your car in for service immediately. You would probably hear the screeching with the windows up, but not necessarily with the radio blaring or the a/c running, so it's best to do a sound check with the window down and the radio and a/c off. Any time you notice anything unusual in your brakes, you should have them inspected. Grinding or squealing sounds when you brake are concern for getting them inspected, as well as if your brakes aren't responding as readily as usual.
Brakes are critical to the functioning of a car, so you will want a professional to replace them, rather than attempt to replace them yourself. Many modern cars have disc brakes on the front and rear wheels, so it is important that both or all four brake pads should be replaced at the same time. Once brakes have been replaced, the new pads will take awhile to adjust, so you should be careful to avoid heavy breaking for around 100 miles of driving after having them replaced.