Pay attention to the 5 signs below that tell you it's time for a (brake pad) change. They can mean the difference between life and death.
SQUEALING OR SCREECHING NOISES
The first indication that you're due for a brake check up is when you hear a squealing noise when you step on the brakes. This is caused by a small, metallic shim indicator embedded in your brake pad. Try listening to the sound whenever you step on the brakes. If it disappears after the first few times, that’s a good indicator that it was just a rust build up on the brake pad. You need not have your brake pad replaced just yet. Rust build ups normally occur when pads are exposed to water e.g. just wading through flood.
But, when you hear the squealing noise regularly while braking, it’s time to bring your Rover in for an inspection.
THE QUARTER INCH RULE
If you've spoke rims that allow you to see the rotor and the caliper, you can visually inspect your brake pads to find out if it’s time to have them replaced. Located between the caliper and rotor, the brake pad should at least be a quarter inch thick. If they're any thinner than that, it's time for a change.
HEAVY METAL SOUND - NOT THE ONE YOU'D WANT TO HEAR
It's bad news if you hear a deep, low noise that sounds like metal grinding. That, my friend, means your brake pads are gone, with your brake discs and calipers now making direct contact with each other. This unholy metallic matrimony can cause even further damage to your braking system. Once you damage your rotors, you're practically turning a relatively easy and inexpensive replacement to a more costly exercise.
A mushy pedal, one that goes practically to the floor before engaging the brakes, could also mean worn pads. Wouldn't hurt to have your brakes checked.
Finally, regularly check that indicator light on the dashboard that tells you it's time for a change. If it lights up, you know what to do. Just remember to have your mechanic replace the light sensors as well.