Brake pads are one of the wear items on a vehicle. Keeping track of how brake pads wear is essential to knowing when it’s time to replace them. Once you have examined the master cylinder and brake fluid, the next step in inspecting the brake system is to examine the brake pads. Read on to learn how to check a vehicle’s brake pads.
Step 1 – Check Brake Fluid
Step 2 – Lift the Vehicle
Raise the vehicle and remove the tire(s) to see what the brake pads look like. If you don’t have access to a lift, be sure to use secure points for the jack and jack stands.
Step 3 – Remove Brake Caliper
Next, remove the brake caliper to gain access to the brake pads. Remove the anchor bolts and lift the caliper off.
Step 4 – Examine Brake Pads
Inspect the condition of the brake pad. Remove the brake pads from the anchor bracket to get a close look. Check for even wearing – the inner and outer brake pads should wear at the same rate. If the brake pads aren’t wearing evenly, there is something else going on, and replacing the brake pads won’t fix the problem. The wear issues will continue until the source of the problem is resolved.
If the outside pad is worn out and the inside pad looks new, it can be an indication that the slide pins are seized up. The caliper slid back and was keeping constant pressure on the outside pad.
If the outer pad is like new and the inner pad is worn, the caliper piston could be dragging and not releasing when the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal. The result is that constant pressure is kept on the inner brake pad leading to premature wear.
Step 5 – Check the Brake Caliper and Brake Rotor
Check out Part 3 of the Brake Inspection series to learn How to Check the Brake Caliper and Brake Rotor.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.
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