It’s said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but when it comes to your car’s brakes, the time to pay attention is before you start hearing any noises.
“When your brakes start making noise, it's often a sign that they've been overworked or neglected. If left unchecked, this could lead to even more significant damage, such as warped rotors, which could ultimately require more costly repairs or replacement,” says master mechanic Sydney Bates, owner of Ocala Detailing Pros. So when is the time to check in on the status of your brakes? Read on to find out.
How Do Brakes Work?
Cars typically use two different kinds of brakes: disk in the front and drum in the back.
Both types of brakes stop your car by using friction. With disk brakes, pads compress on a spinning rotor on the wheel, while brake shoes create similar friction stopping with drum brakes.
Friction inevitably leads to wear, which is why brake pads periodically need to be replaced.
Depending upon how you drive, your brake pads can last anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 miles, while brake rotors are intended to last at least 30,000 miles.
How Often Should I Check My Brakes?
Automotive experts say that brakes should be inspected by a mechanic at least every six months. If you tend to be a more aggressive driver, more frequent routine checkups are recommended, such as when you bring your car in for an oil change.
“Regular brake maintenance can help you save money in the long run,” says Bates. “By catching potential issues early, you can avoid more significant problems down the road, saving you money on expensive repairs. Additionally, by keeping your brakes in good condition, you can extend their lifespan, meaning you won't have to replace them as frequently.”