How to Know When Car Brakes Need Replacing

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When inspecting car brakes to see if they need to be replaced, a shiny outside is an indication of metal-to-metal contact. Find out how to read a warning tab on brake pads with help from an ASE-certified master automobile technician in this free video on car brakes.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Periodic brake inspection is something that should be done to prevent surprises from occurring. Before me I have some examples of some disc brakes products here. We have rotors, and these are the actual friction material of brake pads. This is a brand new rotor, and this is a rotor that is worn, and it also in case of something that has gone way too far. We can see here the shiny outside as an indication that things have gotten as they say metal to metal. This is a new brake pad, this is a brake pad that is about seventy-five percent worn, and this one all of the friction material is completely gone, and we are actually down to the steel backer. So what has happened here is that this steel backer has been actually pressing right up against the steel off the rotor itself. So how do you know where things are going? How do you tell if things are getting close? There's many different ways that you can tell. Some brake pads such as these here contain a warning tab. This warning tab here is designed to scrape against the rotor when things start getting close, and it actually will make a squealing noise not unlike fingernails on a chalk board. Many brake pads are not equipped with these, and the only way to tell if your brakes are getting close to going is through an actual inspection.

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