Although cars are usually tuned up to increase their top speed, a fast car is of no use if you cannot slow down or stop properly. Which is why it is very important to always check your brakes if they are working properly, especially if you are planning on going on a rather long road trip. You need to make sure you have enough brake fluid in the reservoir, and you also need to check if your brake pads need replacing too. But how will you know if it's time to replace your car's brake pads? And how much does brake pads replacement cost and rotors inspections?
When to Replace Your Brake Pads
Obviously you need to have your brake pads replaced if you are having difficulty slowing down or stopping. But waiting for that time to come will mean more than just a costly brake repair, it can also cost your life if you get into an accident because of faulty brakes.
So before you get into any danger here are some tell-tale signs you need to look out for so you know when it is time to change your brake pads.
- If you hear a squeaking or grinding noise when you step on the brakes.
- If you get a whiff of what smells like burning metal or plastic when you are coasting to a stop.
- Or if you feel that your car drifts to one side when you brake.
These are the most common signs that will tell you if your car's brakes are starting to fail. If you do not get replacement pads for your brakes immediately then you are risking total brake failure and getting into a major accident. When you start to notice any one of these signs you should have your brake pads checked at a professional garage, or if you want to save a couple of dollars from your brake pads replacement cost you can try to do the job yourself.
How Much Do Brake Pad Replacement Usually Cost?
If you go to a professional garage to have your brakes checked out and possibly have them replaced, you should prepare yourself, and your wallet for the costs. The average price for brake pads are around $20 to $30 each, if you factor in the labor costs and additional taxes you are looking at around $150 to $200 on your final bill.
Here is a good tip to remember when choosing which garage to take your car to when you need the brake pads replaced, make sure that they are using quality parts, or mid-range at best. Ask if you can see which parts they will be using on your car, check the box if they came from a trusted brand name, if you only see “premium brake pads” on the box without an actual brand name then you can be sure that you will need them replaced in just a couple of months. Just pay a few more bucks extra for quality brake pads, it will cost you less in the long run.
Another thing to look out for when choosing garages is their warranty terms. What you need to avoid are garages that give a lifetime warranty on parts, this is most likely a scam. These garages are not giving lifetime warranty on parts because they have absolute faith on the durability of the parts they will use, they are in fact hoping that the parts will fail on you soon so you will go back and have it replaced and then the garage will charge you for labor costs.
How to Replace Brake Pads
If you are fairly confident with your mechanical skills you can save a lot of money by doing the repair work yourself. You can shop around when buying the necessary replacement parts to get a good deal, all you have to do is enter your car make into a search engine with replacement costs for brake pads (like BMW brake pads replacement cost). This will help you save a lot of money in labor charges which are extremely high on some garages.
You can find plenty of instructional videos and literature on how to replace brake pads on the internet, lots of them provide a lot of detailed instructions and useful tips when doing brake jobs. And speaking of tips, here are some safety tips you need to remember when you are working on your car's brakes. Keep these things in mind so that you do not run into any unexpected accidents while you are on the job:
Lifting the Car Safely – When raising the car for any job, whether it is for replacing the brake pads, or even if you are just rotating the wheels, you should not just rely on your hydraulic jack to keep your car up in the air. You should always place jack stands underneath the car, so even if the hydraulic jack fails there is a backup that will prevent the car from crashing down and pinning you on the ground.
Replacing the Brake Pads – In some car models, the left and right brake pads are noticeably different from each other. So make sure you have the right kind of pad at hand so you do not run the risk of possibly installing them backwards and ruining your entire brake assembly. And another thing, if you find that the other brake pads on your car are starting to get worn down you should replace them as well, this will ensure that all your brakes will wear down uniformly and prevent your car from drifting left or right because of unbalanced brakes.
Pump on the Brakes After – After you installed the replacement brake pads, you should first pump on the brakes before taking the car on a test drive. Pumping on the brake pedals will cause the caliper pistons to come out. If you take your car out immediately after replacing the brake pads, the brake pedal will just go down straight to the floorboard without applying any brakes.
Saving money in brake pad replacement cost should not be your only concern when doing the job yourself. You should always place safety above all else when you plan on replacing your worn down brake pads yourself.