- Type of driving: stop-and-go driving in the city wears brakes out quicker than highway driving
- Driving style: applying brakes heavily or using them with unnecessary frequency in traffic wears them down more rapidly
- The type of vehicle: Heavier vehicles often require more frequent brake pad replacement.
Vehicles typically signal that brake pads need to be replaced through the exposure of a small metal tab. When this tab is exposed, one of two things can happen:
- The tab produces a loud squealing or screeching noise
- The tab induces an alert light to appear on the dashboard
Either of these occurrences during braking is a sign that you should take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to have your brake pads examined.
Other signs can include:
- Brakes or vehicle pulling to one side
- The brake pedal trembling when pressed
- The steering wheel vibrating
Finally, to manually check your brake pads you can jack up a front wheel on your vehicle and remove it. This will give you access to the brake mechanism. If the brake pad is less than 3mm thick, it is time to have it replaced.