Your brakes are a major part of your vehicle's safety system. Without them, you wouldn't be able to stop safely. That's why it's incredibly important to change your brakes at the first sign they might be worn out. While a dealership's service technician will keep you up-to-date on your brake life at each schedule service, knowing the signs that you need new brakes is always good.
How and where you drive plays a major role in how often you have to change your brakes. If you primarily drive in the city, you'll likely need to replace your brakes every 10,000 miles or so. If you live in the country and go miles and miles without touching your brakes, you won't need to change them nearly as often.
Unfortunately, there's no set schedule that will tell you when it's time to change your brakes. While the technician should keep you informed at each oil change and tire rotation, they could be wrong. In addition to the pads, it doesn't hurt to ask them to take a look at the entire braking system as well.
The minimum thickness of your brake pads should be about a quarter of an inch. Any thinner and it's time for new pads. If the car pulls or vibrates when braking, that's another sign you'll need new brakes in the near future.
One of the most noticeable signs that your brakes need replacing is a high pitch squeal. Audible through closed windows and over your average radio volume, it's sure to grab your attention. If you hear a grinding sound, it's time to head to the dealership. You've likely worn through your brake pads and metal is grinding on metal.
In order to keep your brakes in working order, it's important to change your brake fluid according to the service schedule found in your owner's manual. It is also important to schedule service on your vehicle to make sure the brakes - and everything else - are in tip-top shape! Let us service your car at Beaman Toyota!