Brake It Off: Identifying Problems in Nissan Xterra Brake Pads
Brake pads provide the main stopping power of the vehicle's braking system by taking the majority of the friction. Because brake pads are consumable, they need to be replaced immediately when signs of wear start to appear. Here's a list of some of the common symptoms of brake pad wear and how to detect them:
A squeaking or squealing sound upon stepping on the brakes is a bull's eye sign that you need to check your car's brake pads. Inspect them for signs of wear and tear. Damaged or worn brake pads cause metal to metal contact between the warning indicator and the brake disc, producing the squealing sound. However, if the squealing sound occurs during the first few stops in a cold morning, then there's nothing to worry about. This noise is only caused by the brakes heating up from its cold or damp initial condition.
Excessive brake dust
It's normal for brake pads to produce brake dust when the brakes are applied. All types of brake pads produce brake dust. They just vary in the amount of brake dust they produce when they experience wear and tear. However, large amounts of brake dust can interrupt normal braking functions and make the wheels dirty. Check your brake pads regularly and clean up the brake dust.
Reduced stopping power
Brake pad glazing can lead a noticeable loss of braking power. This happens when the brake pads become worn and eventually lose their rough surfaces. Because the brake pads' porous outer coverings are replaced by smooth, polished surfaces, the amount of friction that the brake pads can apply to the spinning brake rotor is reduced. Inspect the brake pads visually, and check if their surfaces have become smooth
Firm pedal but lower coefficient of friction
When your car's brake pads overheat, the coefficient of friction drops. This means that even if the pedal is still firm, you may experience harder braking or stopping. Overheated brake pads are soft and spongy, making them more vulnerable to breaking or flaking. Examine your brake pads to verify overheating. Study the brake pads to verify if they have become soft or spongy.