How often should I change my brakes?

A question that is often presented to the service consultants at Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA is “How often should I change my brakes?”; and that’s a really good and responsible question to ask. There are many variables in Bedford PA that come into play when answering that question, such as: how often you drive your car, traffic conditions, the braking style of the driver and the type or condition of the brake components of your vehicle.

To better answer this question let’s look at a few of the braking components, braking conditions and scenarios to answer: how often should I change my brakes?

Driving Conditions in Bedford PA

Driving conditions in Bedford PA vary from driver to driver, car to car and city to city; greatly impacting how long your brakes might last. Most brake component manufacturers will tell you that the average life of a brake pad is approximately 30,000 miles “depending on driving conditions”. In simpler terms, the more you use your brakes the faster you will need to replace them.

If you are in the stop and go traffic of congested city driving, then your brakes will typically wear faster than those that may do more rural driving found in the Bedford, PA area. By that same token, your braking style may wear the brakes more aggressively such as waiting to the last moment to hit your brakes at a stop vs. gradually applying the brakes over a longer period of time.

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What’s That Screeching Noise?

One of the telltale signs that your brakes need to be replaced is a screeching noise (metallic) coming when you apply your brakes. For most modern cars in the Bedford, PA area, this is by design. There is a thin metal feeler that protrudes from the side of the brake pad that when the brake pad wears at the point that the pads should be replaced, the metal feeler rubs against the brake rotor creating the metallic screeching noise, that you should be hearing.

This is absolutely normal and should be the sign that you need to replace your brakes. Other more sophisticated vehicles utilize an electronic wear sensor seen on many high-end European models. If you are hearing a metallic screeching noise yet, you know that your brakes are in good condition (because you have them regularly inspected at Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA) then there may be a mechanical problem that should be investigated by the master mechanics at Town Hill Auto Repair Service.

Rear Brake Replacement

As cars continue to change each year in the Bedford, PA area, so do the components in the braking system. Over the last 10 years, especially, passenger vehicles have been produced with very small brake pads that wear as quickly as the front or faster because they’re so small. This has naturally created a level of confusion as older vehicles could typically go 50,000 miles and up on rear brake pads or drum shoes.

Why does it seem like I need to replace my brake rotors every time?

Brake rotor thicknesses have been changed due to recommendations from the NTSB making them, in some cases, below the recommended thickness as they come out of the box. Because of the use of composite materials in brake rotor construction, turning or resurfacing is a practice seldom done except for larger pickups and SUVs that traditionally have much thicker brake rotors. The service professionals at Town Hill Auto Repair Service will always make recommendations based upon your safety, not to just sell more parts.


For those vehicle owners that appreciate the advantages of a vehicle that is well maintained and inspected by a qualified auto repair service such as Town Hill Auto Repair Service serving Bedford PA; brake wear is regularly inspected to let you know the approximate life left on your brake pads. For those DIYer’s, the brakes themselves will have a metallic feeler that will let you know when the brakes are worn to a point of recommended replacement, providing that your using quality parts like premium brake pads from Napa Auto Parts.

When Local Experience Matters

Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. is your main source for vehicle maintenance and repairs for your vehicle. Our ASE Master certified, dealer trained technicians can help you keep your vehicle ready for the road year around. Because we are a Napa certified repair facility, you can have peace of mind knowing that the repairs performed by Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. are backed with quality Napa parts and our nationwide warranty. Be sure to check with our automotive experts on best tips and practices to keep your car in Bedford PA. running its best.

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