The lifespan of your brake pads usually depends on the area where you drive, the style of your driving, and the vehicle itself. The brake pads can generally work well for about 50,000km, however, you would still want to check them regularly to be on the safe side. So, can you check the brake pads without removing the wheels, and what is the proper way to do that?
You can check your brake pads without going through all of the trouble of removing the wheels. The easiest way to do that is by checking your brake pad through the wheel and assessing its thickness. Generally, if the brake pad feels too thin, then it means it is almost used up and requires changing.
If you want to check your brakes regularly the easy way, then you have come across the right article. Here, I will discuss the easiest and the possible ways of checking your brake pads without bothering to remove the wheels. If you know the lifespan of your brakes, but still want to assure yourself, then this type of checking will do the trick and save a bunch of your time.
Can You Check Your Brake Pads Without Removing The Wheels?
The average lifespan of brake pads lasts about 50,000 km. However, this number may vary due to many factors, and it is better to check them regularly, so you would avoid any unpleasant occurrences.
Generally, it is recommended to check your brakes every 16,000 km. Sometimes, the brake pads would show themselves that they are used up by producing squeaking and grinding noise, especially when they turn to one side. On other occasions, they might seem alright while actually, their proper functionality has almost come to an end.
Either way, you need to check them, no matter whether they produce noises or not. In order to do that you would have to jack up your car and remove its wheels. This can be time-consuming, and you will not always be in a position to do it. However, there are ways that enable you to check the thickness of your brake pads without decomposing parts of your vehicle, i.e. removing the wheels.
There are several ways in which you can check failures in your brake pads, and luckily for you, you do not need a mechanic to do that. You should choose the method you find most convenient, and check for signs of weariness of your brakes. If after trying the methods, you believe that you still cannot determine whether your brakes are used up or not, you should take your car to a professional.
Checking Brake Pads Without Removing The Wheels
Method 1: Assessing Thickness
One method is by checking the brake pads by assessing their thickness through the wheel. So, without removing the wheel you will need to find the brake pad through it and feel its thickness. If the brake pad seems too thin, then it means that it is almost used up, meaning you will have to change it.
Certain brake pads have a slot positioned in the center which can serve as an indicator of weariness. You should check how much slot is left, and if it is almost gone, that means you will need some new pads.
Method 2: Checking For Brake Dust
Furthermore, if you notice some dust on your brakes and wheels, that means that that is a sign of brake wear. Usually, there will be more dust on the front wheels in comparison to the back ones. However, if you notice this and after some time the dust is less and less noticeable, then you should know that you have used your brake pads up and down to the metal backing.
Method 3: Listen For Different Noises
Many brake pads tend to produce certain noises as indicators that they are almost worn out. Screeching metallic noise when hitting the brakes means that they have been used up. Also grinding noises can be a certain indicator of worn brakes.
You should always listen carefully to these noises because the brake pads are designed in that way to give you heads up when it is time for changing them. Wear indicators are actually tabs made of metal that are created to come in touch with the rotor when the brakes are almost used up.
Method 4: Checking Brake Pads Weariness Using A Straw And A Pen
This method might seem odd, but it is quite convenient. So, along with a straw and a pen, you will also need a pair of scissors and a ruler. You will be able to check your brake linings quite quickly and avoid wasting your time by taking your car to the mechanic.
So, to do this method properly, you should follow the steps below.
- Take the straw and slide it along the brake pads until it touches the base of the brake.
- With your marker, mark the straw at the brake pad edge as close as possible, so you could achieve the most accurate reading.
- Cut the straw at the mark you have put.
- Measure the cut-off straw end using a ruler, and mark 5mm from the end.
- Then, move the mark to 0mm to make your last measurement.
- Check whether the brake pad is 4mm or less. If so, consider replacing your brake pads.
If this did not help you, and you are not sure whether you have done the method right, then opt for a mechanic. A professional can check your brakes quickly and tell you whether you need a replacement of brake pads or not. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
You have seen multiple methods for checking your brake pads without removing the wheels. These methods are quite convenient and efficient, so if you decide to try any of them, you might realize that you do not always need to spend money on a mechanic for some simple things.