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Technical Tips

Brake System Inspection
– Part 2 –
How to Check Brake Pads

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Crucial Component

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

Review Part 1 of the Brake Inspection series to learn How to 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.

Technician putting vehicle on lift to inspect brake system

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.

Technician removing brake caliper from brake system

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.

Technician examining brake pads in a brake system

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.

Learn more about quality brake pads and rotors, find your car part, or find where to buy your auto part today.


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.

Tags: Brake Pads, Braking
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