As you hurtle down the freeway with hundreds of other drivers, the potential for an accident always exists. All it takes is an unexpected lane change or piece of debris in the road to cause a multi-vehicle pileup or worse.
You can avoid a crash by using your brakes, but will they work when you press the pedal? If your brake pads wear out, it’s a good idea to change them with replacements at a quality auto parts store that offers other services such as free VIN lookup. Here’s a look at these important components and how often you should have them changed.
How Brakes Work
Standard disc brakes use friction to slow your forward momentum until your truck stops. This system is made up of three basic components:
When you press down on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid multiplies your foot pressure and squeezes the caliper down on the disc. The pads serve as a buffer between the metal calipers and discs, and they apply the necessary friction to slow the vehicle.
Even the best Dodge Ram 1500 brake pads will wear down over time, and it’s important to replace them before the two metallic components have a chance to rub together. Here are some suggestions on how often to replace your pads.
Know the Factors That Affect Brake Pad Life
Quality pads can last anywhere from 20,000 to 70,000 miles, but what makes for a longer or shorter life? You can consult your owner’s manual for suggestions on how often to replace these components, but you could end up with an expensive brake job quote if you allow them to severely degrade. The suggested mileage is a good place to start, but there are a few key factors that could shorten a pad’s life:
- How hard you are on your brakes
- Environmental and traffic conditions
- The hardness of your pads
- Materials used in your braking system
Know the Signs of Pad Wear
With so many variables affecting the life of your brake pads, it’s easy to go too long and risk further damage to your truck. Instead of trusting your odometer, put your observational skills to use while you’re behind the wheel. If you’re getting close to replacement time, you’ll begin to notice a few symptoms when you’re on the road.
Manufacturers put small fibers at the bottom of each pad that generate a squealing sound while braking. You may also have to press harder or experience vibration or pulsing whenever you press the pedal. Thinning of the pad is also a symptom, which is why you should have your mechanic take a look whenever you have an oil change or tire rotation. If you notice any of these warning signs, make an appointment for service as soon as possible.
Keep Your Brakes Working Properly
Now you know more about the life of your brake pads, you’ll be better prepared to replace them before it’s too late. No matter if you’re going to a professional mechanic or you plan to tackle this project yourself, make sure you insist on top-quality parts from a reputable auto parts supplier.