How long can you drive with grinding brakes? You can drive on grinding brakes for a while, but the severity of the damage will determine the duration. But if you ask me, I would advise that you discontinue driving once your car brakes start to grind.
Unless you’re in a precarious situation or a dangerous drive zone, don’t engage in grinding brakes, or else you will wear them down.
In addition to wearing down the parts, you’ll be endangering your life and that of the vehicle. Consequently, by the time the brakes break down, you’d have increased the cost of fixing the initial problem.
In sum, driving your car on a braking system with a grinding noise is bad for the following reasons:
- It is unsafe for the driver and car
- Worsens the condition of the brakes and engine
- Raises the cost of fixing the issue
My point is that you should fix the brakes as soon as you notice the loud grinding sound. Don’t forget that brakes are an essential component of safe driving and you cannot afford to play around with them.
How Long Can I Drive With Grinding Brakes?
Let’s go back to the basics. Why do your car brakes grind in the first place? When the brake pad materials are lacking in the braking system, the consequence is the grinding noise your brakes make.
Rather than rubber against plastic, the contact between the brake rotors and pads becomes metal to metal. And when metal strikes another metal, the resultant effect is a squealing noise.
But does this condition suddenly develop? Absolutely not. In today’s technology, the innovation built into brake pads comes with a warning symptom. As the brake pads start to get thinner, the brake will start to make a loud warning, indicating that the pads need replacement.
Here’s the truth you may not be aware of: each time you press on your brake pedal, the calipers, rotors, and pads are affected in a way.
The cost of fixing or replacing any of these components can be scary. Hence, rather than letting it linger, therefore, it is best to quickly attend to any problem with your car’s braking system.
How Long Can I Go Without Replacing My Car brakes?
It all depends on the model and brand of the car. Additionally, age, usage, and maintenance will determine how long you can drive your car without changing the brakes. The issue is that the brakes are not like other parts that you can easily tell their mileage or longevity.
You can’t judge accurately the longevity of your brake by using the mileage parameter. Also, no amount of experience or skill can make a technician tell you when your brake will expire.
Although they can tell at a certain point in the life of the car if the brakes are no longer fit for use, the technician is not imbued with the kind of omniscience or super-knowledge about the expiration of your brake.
If you’re a rural driver, you may use your car brakes for longer miles before repair or replacement than an urban commuter who changes speed often and doesn’t maintain a steady speed. All in all, you shouldn’t take any chances with your safety.
Can Brakes Grind With New Pads?
Yes, your brakes can grind even after installing new brake pads. While this squealing sound is normal, it should only last for a few days. If it doesn’t stop after a few days, then there’s something fishing.
The stage of the brake pads is called the pad bedding. However, as the new pads continue to break-in, the grinding sounds will start to decrease gradually.
However, if you notice that the signs don’t stop after a while, you should suspect the presence of gravel, debris, or gunk clogging the pad of the new pads. You’ll need to run some undercarriage spraying with a cash wash. This will get rid of the debris.
The other cause may be that the brake pads were wrongly installed. You will have an issue at hand, especially if the new brake pads are set on worn rotors.
The contact between the pads and the rotors won’t be smooth. To resolve this, make sure you replace the worn rotors. Subsequently, when replacing brake pads, make sure you also change the brake rotors.
How Long Can My Car Brakes Last?
On average, car brakes are supposed to last between the 25,000 and 65,000-mile mark. The mileage range depends largely on maintenance and the quality of the components, including brake pads, calipers, and rotors. The brake pads are estimated to last beyond 80,000 miles.
But the truth is that you cannot use the mileage to determine how long car brakes can last. Proper maintenance and quality brake parts can help the brakes outlive their expected lifespan.
Can I Extend The Life Of My Car Brakes?
Yes, you can extend the lifespan of your car brakes. But it all boils down to the quality of maintenance you give to the brakes and the car itself.
Here’s a four-solution guide you can follow to make your car last longer:
- Maintain A Reasonable Car Weight: You should make the car as light as possible. This may come as a surprise: a heavily loaded or overweight car can affect the functioning and life of the brakes.
The more weight you add to your car, the harder the brakes will need to work to slow down the car or bring it to a stop. Buying a lighter vehicle is another option to make your brakes outlive their estimated life expectancy.
- Stay On Minimum Speed: No doubt, everyone has a place to go. But while you can determine your speed, you can’t decide for other commuters. The quicker you want to move with your car, the more you engage the brakes and the harder they work. You’ll need to slam on the brakes.
- Press The Brakes With One Leg: While driving, whether on free highways or busy roads, use only one foot to press on the brake pedal. Do not use two feet as this can damage or wear down your brakes quickly. Using two feet will cause the brake pedals to thin out and the brake rotors to warp. While driving downhill, it’s best to engage the brakes with light pressure. This way, you can maintain the safe application of the brakes and thus rest assured of safety.
- Ensure Vehicle Maintenance: The brakes are crucial for safe driving and so must be taken care of like many other components of the car. Keeping to the vehicle maintenance and servicing schedule is central to extending the life of your brakes. Regularly check the brake fluid level.
In addition, inspect the clutch system if there are any leaks; check the positioning of the brake lines. You should also clean the various contact points of the brake pad.
What Causes Brakes To Grind?
There are a number of reasons why your car brakes can give off a squeal. Regardless of the symptom, you’ll need to pay attention and fix the issue before it escalates.
1. Lack Of Lubricant
Insufficient lubrication in the moving parts of the brakes can cause the brake to start to grind. The caliper bolts, lug nuts, and more need enough grease for smooth running. While it’s advisable you lubricate these parts regularly, you can spare small bucks to replace the bolts and nuts.
If you parked your car in the garage for a long time, chances are that some parts will start to rust and corrode. One of the rust-susceptible parts is the brake pads and they’re responsible for much of the grinding sound the brakes produce. Make sure you drive around the compound once in a while.
3. Broken Shims
If your car’s brake shims wear out and break, chances are that the brakes will grind. The shim is guarded against coming in contact with another metal part of the brakes. When this happens, a squeal is produced. Check to make sure that the shims are in good condition and replace them once they run out of the guard.
4. Worn Out Brake Parts
The brake pads, brake calipers, and brake rotors can become worn out due to the constant and regular contact they make against each other each time you apply the brake. You can replace the brake pads every 20,000 miles. Don’t forget to also replace the rotors at the same time.
Grinding brakes pose a danger to your driving. Hence, you cannot continue to drive as long as the brakes produce a grinding sound.
After reading this post, will it still be necessary again to ask the question of how long you can drive on grinding brakes? Don’t make the mistake of not following the maintenance routine of your car and its interior and external components.
My name is James. Call me your ‘Born Auto Neighbor.’ I am an auto savvy with a burning enthusiasm to help vehicle owners, auto technicians, DIYer auto caregivers, and drivers like you have a seamless time with your vehicles. Do you own or work on a Dodge Convertible, a Chevy Crossover, a Ford SUV, a Toyota Hatchback, a Honda Coupe, a Datsun MPV, or a Mercedes Sedan? I have enough automotive content to help your auto service and repair on the go.
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