How to Diagnose Failing Brake Pads

If we're being honest, most of us have powered through bad brakes before admitting that they need to be checked. However, when a set of brake pads has gone really bad, it's hard to rationalize not changing them.

Since worn brake pads seriously compromise your Mitsubishi's braking performance, it's wise to check your brake pads (and replace them accordingly) as soon as you notice some symptoms.

Telltale Signs That Your Car Needs New Brake Pads

Worn brake pads

Brake pads usually go bad after about 50,000 miles. However, they can go bad well before they hit that mark. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Squeaking, squealing, or grinding noise when the brakes are applied
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Spongy pedal feel
  • Burning smell coming from the brakes
  • Swerving to the side when the brakes are applied
  • Vibration in the brake pedal when the brakes are applied

How to Check Your Brake Pads

To see if your brake pads have any life left, take the following steps:
  1. Loosen the lug nuts on all of the wheels you're going to be removing. You can just turn them by a quarter of a turn.
  2. Jack up the car and then place jack stands underneath the frame.
  3. Remove the lug nuts and then take off the tires.
  4. Now you should be able to see the rotors and calipers. You can either:
    1. Remove the caliper (by unbolting it from the bracket) and remove the brake pads.
    2. Leave the caliper on and locate the brake pads through the window on the back of the caliper or by looking at the top or bottom of the caliper..
  5. Take a brake pad measuring tool and then measure the friction material on the brake pads.

How Little is Too Little?

The thickness of the friction material tells you everything about the state of your brake pads. If you chose to remove the caliper and the brake pads, you can also inspect the pads for uneven wear. Uneven wear is a is a sign of mechanical problems with the caliper assembly.

If the brake pad friction material is:

  • Under 3mm: The pads are completely worn and you should replace them ASAP.
  • 4mm-7mm: There's still some life left on the pads, but you should replace them soon.
  • 8mm and above: There's sufficient pad life, and you shouldn't worry for a while.

Why You Should Check Your Rotors Too

Brake rotors

When checking your brake pads, it's a good idea to check your rotors too. All rotors wear out over time. Also, rotors can be damaged as a result of overheating, heavy braking, or brake caliper malfunction. Visually inspect your rotors for:

  • Deep scratches or grooves
  • Rust
  • Severe wear
  • Burn spots
  • Uneven wear

Genuine OEM Brake Pads at Wholesale Prices

If you determine that your brake pads need to be replaced, we have good news: you can save a lot of money on genuine OEM brake pads by ordering them from us! We offer wholesale pricing for all OEM Mitsubishi parts. Look up your Mitsubishi model in our catalog of brake pads for pads that are designed just for your car.