Of all the components that make up your car, brakes should be one of those at the top of your list for maintenance.
You certainly don’t want to be on a busy expressway, in rush-hour traffic or anywhere else for that matter, and not be able to stop your vehicle.
Ideally you should have your brakes checked on a periodic basis to make sure your brake pads (and possibly the rotors) aren’t worn.
Brake pads should last tens of thousands of miles, but our busy lives don’t always let us pay attention to things like mileage, so one way to tell you might need new pads is if you start hearing a squeal whenever you lightly touch the brake pedal.
“Most brake pads have a thin metal tab (called a wear indicator) that starts to touch the brake rotor when the pads wear down,” said Doug McAllister, owner of Douglas Automotive in Barrington and Crystal Lake. “When brake pads near the end of their life, it creates a high-pitched squeal when rolling at slow speeds or upon light pedal pressure. The noise usually goes away when heavily braking.”
Another reason for a squeal could be the result of installing inferior quality brake pads. If you opt for one of those $99 brake jobs, you are most likely not going to get a OEM-quality (original equipment manufacturer) brake pad and you may have to live with some brake noise.
Bottom line; always have top quality brake pads installed. You should use OEM-quality or better to get the stopping power and comfort that was designed into your vehicle.