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How Often Should You Replace Your BMW’s Brake Pads? | Valley Auto World BMW

How Often Should You Replace Your BMW's Brake Pads?

Healthy brake pads are essential for your braking system to work correctly. Like all other components, they will eventually wear out and need replacement. Most drivers don’t know much about their pads or what they do. As your BMW dealer, we’d like to tell you how the pads work and when you need to replace them.

What Do the Pads Do?

Your pads fit into the brake calipers, and a caliper is attached above each wheel rotor. When you hit the brakes, pressurized brake fluid forces the calipers against the wheel rotors. The pads have friction material coverings that generate friction against the rotors, which slows and stops your wheels. Without this friction, your wheels won’t stop easily.

How Often Do You Replace Them?

On average, your pads need replacement sometime between 30,000 and 50,000 miles. The exact replacement time is listed in your car manual as part of your regular service schedule. You may also need to replace the pads sooner, depending on driving conditions and driving style. If you often ride your brakes, the pads will wear out sooner than planned.

Signs You Need To Replace Your Pads

There are several different signs that your pads are wearing out, and we’ve listed a couple below:

Screeching Sounds

Screeching sounds are great in a car chase in the movies, but they’re not great if they’re coming from your brakes. High-pitched screeching sounds are the first warning that your pads are wearing out and need replacement. The material covering the pads wears off as they generate friction. A new pad has a 1/2″ thick covering. When this covering drops to 1/4″ thickness, it’s time to change the pads.

The pad manufacturers install a warning device in the pads. This warning is in the form of a sharp spike. When you hit the brakes, and your pads are worn, you’ll hear a high-pitched screeching sound. This noise is caused by the spike scraping against the rotor. This scraping doesn’t cause any harm to the rotor, but it’s a powerful reminder that the pads need to be changed.

Grinding Sounds

Grinding sounds are less noisy, but they’re a sign that part of your car is being damaged. When the friction material wears off, the bare metal of the pad will directly touch the rotor. The metal pad is stronger than the rotor surface, and the pad will dig into the rotor surface. This produces a grinding noise. If the pads aren’t replaced ASAP, the pads will cause serious damage to the rotors.

Now you know more about pads and when they need to be changed. Call us today to book their replacement at Valley Auto World BMW.

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