Brake Pad Replacement
Every time you use your brakes, a bit of material is worn off from the brake pads at each wheel. Because of this, the pads need to be replaced every so often. How often depends on your braking habits, how far you drive, and how often you have to slow or stop your car. In any case, any set of pads will eventually wear out. If you don’t replace them in time, you’ll typically hear squealing first. After more wear, the backing on the pad will come into direct contact with the rotors, causing a grind – and damage to the rotors. At this point, brake failure is a definite possibility.
If you keep trying to hold out on having your brake pads replaced, you’ll eventually damage the rotors. This happens because the worn-out brake pad, now with no actual padding left, hits the rotors directly. Since this is metal-on-metal contact, grooves are gouged into the rotors. Then, they must be replaced. This is a relatively expensive job, but it can generally be done fairly quickly once the right part comes in. The same general principle applies to drum brakes, which have shoes that wear out over time.