When Should I Get New Brakes?

Brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle, which is why they need to be maintained well to perform at their best and keep you safe. This can be done at a local service center like the one at Friendly Ford! The brake pads, brake rotor, and brake caliper make up your brake system, and any or all of these components can experience wear over time.

Drivers in Geneva, Canandaigua, and Rochester can learn more about car brake systems and answer the question: When should I get new brakes?

When Should I Get New Brakes?

Many factors impact the longevity of your car’s brake system, including:

  • Driving behavior: How hard you push your brakes affects how long the brake pads last. Riding the brakes and stopping abruptly on a regular basis cause your brakes to wear faster, whereas coasting with your brakes can add miles to your brake pads.
  • Driving environment: An area with a lot of stop-and-go traffic and lights can wear out brakes faster, compared to living in an area with long roads that don’t require a lot of braking. Areas with steep elevation changes can also cause brakes to wear faster, since controlling downhill speed requires a lot of braking.
  • Brake pad hardness: Brake pads come in different styles suited to different needs, which changes their lifespan. Hard compound brake pads are longer-lasting, but they should be properly warmed up and are best suited to performance vehicles. Soft compound brake pads are better for low speeds, like city environments, but too much heat can melt the pad onto the brake rotor and impact performance.
  • Brake pad materials: The materials the brake pad is made of can impact the durability as well. Carbon-ceramic brakes last longer than metal brakes, but they also require warming up in advance and are more expensive. Metal brake pads are more popular and well suited to different driving conditions.

Signs Your Brakes Should Be Replaced

On average, brake pads should be replaced every 50,000 miles, though some can last longer or need to be replaced sooner. It all depends on a variety of factors, but there are indicators to look out for.

Brake pads have a built-in wear indicator that lets you know the pad is thin, which will cause a squeaking sound from the metal piece rubbing against the metal rotor. You can also have your technician check your brake pad wear whenever you have an oil change or tire rotation and get an estimate of how much longer they will last.

Vibrations in the wheel when braking can also indicate that your brakes are wearing down, though this can also be a symptom of other problems. If the rotor is warped, this can also cause a vibration or shaking in the wheel, in which case it’s best to replace the rotor itself.

Aside from these obvious symptoms, you may notice your brakes becoming less effective or taking longer to bring you to a stop, which means they should be replaced immediately.

Schedule Your Brake Repair Appointment

If you’re wondering when you should get new brakes, visit Friendly Ford to speak to a technician. We’re always happy to help drivers in Geneva, Canandaigua, and Rochester, so schedule an appointment online or stop by today for your brake repair or replacement.