Brake pads are steel backing plates with a friction material bound to their surface used in the proper functioning of disc brakes. While, for a long time, asbestos was considered to be the optimal friction material for disc brakes, the rapid rise in asbestos-related health issues (such as respiratory problems and mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer) has caused manufacturers to look elsewhere for their chosen material. The brake pad is a vital component of the disc brake as it converts the car’s kinetic energy into thermal energy by means of friction. Damaged or worn brake pads can be extremely dangerous, and a good brake pad replacement is of utmost importance.

How Brake Pads Work

In layman’s terms, the brake pad is the component of the disc brake that presses down on the disc rotor with its friction surface, which heats both the brake pad and the rotor, transferring some of the friction material to the rotor itself. The increased friction caused by two friction surfaces rubbing against one another then causes the car to slow or stop. Of course, this wears down the friction material, and over time the brake pads get so worn out that they must be replaced. For frequent drivers, such as those in metropolitan Minneapolis, this means regularly servicing the car, including a brake pad replacement, for their primary commuting vehicle.

Why Does my Car Squeal?

Many disc brake manufacturers design their brake pads to alert the driver as to when the pads need to be replaced. Some manufacturers install an electrical circuit that will trigger a light on the dashboard once the brake pads need to be replaced. One low-tech option is the brake pad designed with a thin strip of soft metal running centrally beneath the friction material. This strip of metal is exposed gradually as the pad is worn down, and emits a high-pitched screeching or squealing noise when it rubs against the disc rotor. If your car is screaming like a banshee when you engage your brakes, it’s time for a brake pad replacement.

Brake Pad Replacement

It is extremely unsafe to drive a car with worn or damaged brake pads. In fact, in some states, it is illegal. Auto mechanics who offer brake pad replacement in Minneapolis should also offer a loaner car as a means for the average metropolitan driver to get around while their car is being repaired. One means of telling whether or not to trust an auto mechanic is by their stock of parts. Any auto mechanic worth his or her salt (and your money) should keep parts such as rebuilt transmissions and torque converters in stock so as to deliver timely and efficient repairs for their customer base. Similarly, their technicians should be certified by ASE and the business should be a member of ATRA, the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association.

If your car is screaming like a banshee when you engage your brakes, it’s time for a brake pad replacement. Richfield Transmission Center provide affordable break pad replacement service.