Brake Pad Wear Indicator – A Detailed Overview

Do you want to know more about your brake pad wear indicator? Then this article is for you.

A brake wear indicator is a monitoring device that is designed to inform the driver promptly when the brake pad has reached its minimum thickness/wear limit.

The brake wear indicator is designed by vehicle manufacturers to warn drivers that the brake pad needs replacement. The brake wear indicator is available on all vehicles with more than three wheels. Brake wear indicators are useful for brake pads in industrial applications, including wind turbines and cranes.

While the disc brake pads, that is about two millimeters. The wear indicator can be electronic or acoustic, it all depends on the brake system.

Continue reading to see all you need to know about bread pad wear indicator with responses to frequently asked questions.

What happened when your brakes become Squeaky

There are several problems that your brake pad develops as you continue to use it every day. One of them is a squeaky brake pad or squeaky brakes.

Immediately you discover that your brakes become squeaky, it is the result of your brake pad wear indicators going to work. So you need to fix it or replace it immediately so that you will be able to prevent additional or severe problems.

Although, there are several common reasons why your brakes might be squeaking:

1. Debris In Brakes

If there are twigs, mud, or debris in or between your rotors and brake pads. These muds or other particles may cause squeaking and other strange sounds. 

A little routine brake check-up will reveal and clear any debris. 

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2. Metallic Brake Pads

You need to know that as your vehicle becomes larger and heavier, they begin to require more braking strength. That’s why newer brake pads provide extra reinforcement using metallic or semi-metallic friction material.

With the help of a metallic composition of up to 70%, brake pads will be able to naturally make squeaky sounds when braking. It may be unpleasant to hear, but these cases of squeaky brakes are no cause for concern.

3. Rusty Brakes

If your vehicle has been dormant during periods of rain, or moisture, or your braking system is a little rusty. It begins to make squeaking noises because the rust will wear away after driving your vehicle for a bit.

4. Calipers Sticking

Sticky calipers are also one of the most common causes of squeaky brakes. If your squeaky brakes are paired with unusual brake operations, today you need to consult your mechanic immediately so that you will be able to prevent severe damages. One signature sign of sticky calipers is when your car begins to pull to one side while braking.

If you are unsure of the source of your squeaky brakes, then seek the service of a mechanic.

Common Causes Of Uneven Brake Pad Wear and Solutions

1. Corroded Slide Pin

Any slide pin lets your car brake caliper slide back and forth so the brake pads won’t be able to contact the rotors.

Immediately these sliding pins become corroded or when you have a stuck piston, they prevent the caliper from sliding perfectly and smoothly. Due to this, the brake caliper gets stuck and leads to the brake pad wearing out more quickly.

How to get rid of corroded slide pins?

To get rid of this popular brake pad problem, you need to consult your mechanic as soon as possible so that they will be able to fix it for you before it causes a problem.

2. Misalignment In The Brake Pads

The correct alignment of a brake pad is to squeeze the rotor well.

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But, if there’s any improper pad installation, it usually causes uneven pad wear.

If you realize that you have a misaligned brake pad, then you’ll notice braking issues within weeks or months of a new brake pad installation.

What can you do about this?

To solve this problem you need to consult your mechanic, you can’t do it by yourself because it is a bit complicated for drivers to fix it by themselves.

3. Disc Thickness Variation

Disc Thickness Variation (DTV) is a popular term that refers to a condition when the brake rotors of your vehicle have different levels of thickness.

The brake pad is designed to contact more flat spots of the rotor, which consequently causes the brake pad to wear out more quickly and unevenly than the rest of the pads in your car.

This condition will arise from a sticking brake caliper, rust, corrosion, and frequent slamming on the brake. Dirt and debris in the rotor and the brake pad can cause Disc Thickness Variation.

What can you do about it?

You need to consult your mechanic and ask them to iron out the flat spots.

4. Caliper Failure

One of the common causes of an uneven brake pad is caliper failure and piston.

Your car brake caliper contains a piston that is designed to pressure the brake pads so that it will be able to stop the vehicle. Most times, the rubber seal that pulls the caliper piston away loses its ability to pull back.

This allows the pad to contact the brake rotor regularly and results in faster brake pad wear.

Rust or debris on the caliper can cause a sticky piston and guide pins, this won’t allow the piston to slide efficiently, leading to increased brake pad wear.

What should you do?

Consult your mechanic so that they will help you to fix it properly. Don’t try to fix it by yourself because it is more complicated than you know.

Brake Pad Wear Indicator Placement

Brake pad wear indicator replacement is a bit of a complicated process, it is advisable and recommended to consult your mechanic so that they will be able to do it perfectly well for you. Don’t try to do it by yourself because you may cause severe problems to your vehicle in the process of replacing your brake pad wear indicator by yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Brake Pad Wear

Q: What causes uneven brake pad wear?

There are several causes of uneven brake pad wear, but these are the common causes.

  • Debris In Brakes
  • Disc Thickness Variation
  • Caliper failure
  • Misalignment

Q: What does uneven brake pad wear mean?

Uneven brake pad wear means not level or smooth brake pad which is usually caused by caliper failure. The caliper contains a piston that presses on the brake pads to stop the vehicle.

Q: Does the brake pad wear indicator go outside or inside?

You need to know that your vehicle brake pad that has this wear indicator should also be on the inside of the caliper because the inside pad wears somewhat faster than the outside pad.

Q: What does the brake wear indicator do?

The brake wear indicator or sensor is a safety feature that is designed to warn the driver if the brake pad’s lifetime becomes critical and the need for a replacement. The sensor is mounted on the brake pad and routed with the caliper. About 2-4 wheels of a vehicle rely on brake wear indicators.

Q: How to check the brake wear indicator

You need a flashlight to get a good and clear look at the brake pad. In case you see the pads look thin, less than 1/4″, it might be time to replace them with a new ones. While on some brake pads, you might see a wear indicator slot down the center of the pad. If the slot is gone or just barely visible, then you need to get a new brake pad immediately.