It is too important that you can check your brake pads occasionally for wear and tear. When the pads wear out, they become very unsafe and prevent your vehicle from coming to a sudden stop. People who live in the city have to replace their brake pads more often than those who live in the country. If you see signs of wear on the pads, you can make a cursory diagnosis with a straw. If you want more precision, you must remove the wheel. If you notice that the brake pads are worn, you have to replace them as soon as possible.
Method 1 of 3: Recognize the symptoms of spent pills
Step 1. Listen to the brakes as you apply them
Many brakes have a system of wear indicators that sound when the pads start to wear out. These gauges emit a high pitched noise when the pickups get very thin.
You can see if your brakes have these indicators by removing the wheel. You will find a small metal tab next to the pickups
Step 2. Feel the brakes when you press them
If you hit the brakes but the car doesn't stop immediately, the pads must be worn.
Step 3. See if the pedal pulses or vibrates
A pulsating or vibrating brake pedal can mean that the discs are warped. A mechanic will be able to more accurately assess the problem.
Step 4. Pay attention to whether your car is going to one side when you stop
Going to one side when braking is a sign that one side of the brakes is more worn than the other. If you notice that your car is going to one side when you press the brake, check the wheel on that side and make sure the pad is not worn.
Step 5. Hire a professional to inspect your rear brakes
Some older cars and rear brake systems may have brakes with shoes instead of pads. These are cylindrical metal rings that fit around the wheel disc. If you suspect that the shoes are damaged, you should take your car to the mechanic so that they can be inspected.
- The outer “braking material” (usually made of metal) should be the same thickness on both sides. You can take the measurements with a ruler.
- Rear shoe brakes last about 50,000 to 65,000 km (30,000 to 40,000 miles), twice as long as the front ones.
Method 2 of 3: Calculate the thickness of the lozenge with a straw
Step 1. Look between the spokes of the wheel and find the disc on the front brakes
If you look between the holes in the wheel, you can see the disc, which is the metal circle on which your tires rest. Many vehicles have drum brakes on their rear wheels, which have shoes instead of pads.
Step 2. Find the caliper next to the disk
Find the piece of metal that presses on the puck. This large piece of metal attached to the side of the disc is called a caliper. If you look inside the caliper, you will see a rubber plate. This rubber plate is the brake pad.
- This method is less accurate than removing the wheel and measuring the brake pad.
- Make sure the vehicle is off for a while; otherwise it might still be hot.
Step 3. Insert a straw between the caliper and the record
Push the straw between the caliper and the puck until it hits the bottom and stops.
Step 4. Use a vernier caliper to get a more accurate reading
A vernier caliper is a measuring tool capable of measuring small spaces where a ruler cannot enter. Put the end of the caliper through the hole and read the top of the tool to get the brake pad measurement.
You can buy a vernier caliper at a hardware store or online
Step 5. Draw a line on the straw with a marker and measure it
Use a marker to make a line where the straw and the brake meet. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the space between the end of the straw and the line you have drawn. This will give you an approximation of how thick your pickups are.
Step 6. Subtract 1/5 inch (5 mm) from the measurement you obtained
The pad holder is about 1/5 inch (5 mm) thick, so you should subtract them from the total measurement for a more accurate number. The pads should be at least 1/3 inch (8 mm) thick after subtracting 1/5 inch (5 mm).
Step 7. Change your brake pads if they are under 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
New pads are about 1/2 inch (13 mm) thick. When half is worn out, you should replace them soon. Pads that are 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick should be replaced immediately as they are not safe to drive.
Method 3 of 3: Measure the pads by removing the wheel
Step 1. Raise your car
Find the fulcrum at the front of the vehicle and place the jack underneath. The fulcrum is generally just behind the front wheel. Operate the jack to lift the wheel of your car. Use the cat on the same side that you want to examine.
If you've never used a cat, get help from someone who knows how to do it instead of doing it yourself
Step 2. Remove the wheel
Loosen and remove the bolts by turning them counterclockwise with a wrench or torque wrench. Once the wheel is loosened, separate it from the disc. Now you can see the brake disc and caliper. The caliper is the piece of metal that fits into the disc.
You can remove most bolts with a wrench or torque wrench
Step 3. Locate the brake pads
Look in the caliper hole to see your pills. They will look like two sheets of rubber pressed against each other. When you take the wheel out, you can appreciate both the outer and inner pad. Measure both pills.
Step 4. Use a compass to measure the pills
Since it is a small space, it can be difficult to measure the pads because they are at the bottom of the caliper. In this case, use a compass to measure the thickness of each side of the pads. Place one of the points of the compass on the left side of the pickup and the other point on the right side. Measure the gap between the tips of the compass to get the brake pad measurement.
Step 5. Replace the pad when its thickness is less than 1/4 inch (6 mm)
If the pads are below 1/4 inch (6mm), it means you need to change them soon; but if they are below 1/8 inch (3 mm), you must replace them immediately or they will damage the discs irretrievably.