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When Do I Need New Brakes?

Coming to a fast, safe stop is an essential part of driving. No matter what type of brake pads your vehicle has, they lose a tiny amount of material each time they're used, so it's important to monitor their performance. You might be wondering, "When do I need new brakes?" The key to avoiding an expensive brake repair (or worse) is knowing the warning signs. If you experience any of the following issues below it may be time for new brake pads, rotors, calipers, or discs:

  • Your vehicle is taking longer to stop or is less responsive
  • Your brake pedal has a spongy, soft feeling when pressed down
  • Your brake pedal is pressed fully to the floor before the vehicle responds/stops
  • Your vehicle pulls to one side when you press the brake pedal
  • You feel a noticeable vibration in the brake pedal or steering wheel when coming to a stop
  • You have low brake fluid, usually due to worn-out brakes or a leak
  • You hear a screeching, squealing, or grinding noise while braking
  • Your vehicle's wheels lock up and skid when attempting to stop
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How Often Do I Need New Brakes?

While some brake pads can last for up to 70,000 miles, most will need to be replaced between the 30,000 and 35,000-mile mark. However, everything from the brand of brake pads to your driving style will influence how long they will last, and knowing these factors can help determine how often you will need new brakes. Pay close attention to the following variables:

  • Driving Environment: City driving is tough on your brakes with the stop-and-go effect caused by heavy traffic (and traffic lights). Other factors like towing heavy loads and mountainous areas with steep, downhill braking will also wear out your brakes more quickly.
  • Driving Habits: Also called "spirited driving," the hard braking that comes along with sharp cornering, tailgating, and unexpected stopping wear down your brakes much faster.
  • Brake Pad Quality: The life cycle of your brakes will depend on the manufacturer and price point of the parts being used.
  • Friction Materials: The most commonly-used friction materials used in brake pads are ceramic, organic, or semi-metallic, and they all experience different wear rates.

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Brake Repair in Sioux Falls

Brakes are a crucial part of vehicle maintenance and your ability to stop affects everyone on the road. If you adjust your driving habits, use quality parts, and recognize the early signs of performance loss, you can avoid potential car accidents. And when you do need new brakes or brake repair, schedule your service appointment with any Vern Eide dealership online today.


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