Unless they are wet, you should never have squealing brake pads. Even when they are wet, the squealing shouldn’t remain constant. If it does, your brakes, particularly the pads, are probably trying to tell you something. Brake inspections are the subject of debate: You should have your brakes inspected every 15,000 miles. No! You can wait until 30,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the best answer, and then have the brakes inspected by Full Circle Tire & Auto if it’s time or you notice any of the following things.
If you keep changing your brake pads once they’ve worn down past their useful point, you will save a ton of money on other brake system parts. More on that later, though. One way to tell whether you have enough material left on the brake pads is to listen. Pay attention to the sound of your vehicle when you pick up speed, such as when you enter a highway. If you hear squealing from the wheels that gets louder the faster you go, your brake pads have an “alarm” build in them and it’s time to change them.
You’ll hear this sound when you slow down and stop. You’ll also hear this sound once your brake pads have worn down past their useful point. Brake pads are constructed by layering the pad material on top of a steel backing. When you step on the brakes, a series of things happen that eventually push the pads against the rotors. If you hear grinding or rubbing, the steel backs of the brake pads are pressing against the rotors. Remember when we said above that changing the pads saves you money on other brake parts? This is one quick and easy way to damage your rotors by warping them.
Brake pad “alarm” systems are not limited to squeals. Your brake light might also come on when you step on the brakes if the pads are worn down to the sensors. These sensors are installed to alert drivers that their brake pads are at the end of their lifespan and they need to be removed and replaced with new ones. If your brake light comes on at any time other than when you’ve set the parking brake, have your brakes inspected as soon as possible.