Signs Your Brake Pads Are Worn Out

The Toyota Land Cruiser is known all over the world. It happens to be one of the most competent SUVs Toyota has ever built. Consider its power body frame and design. It has a 5.7-liter V8 that delivers 381 hp. Four-wheel drive and an eight-speed transmission are also available. The Land Cruiser can seat up to three rows of passengers. With Entune infotainment, everyone in the vehicle can stay connected to their outside world. 

Land Cruiser Safety Features

The Land Cruiser has a lot of safety features to admire. It offers driver, passenger, rear, side head, rear head, and rear body airbags. Four-wheel ABS is great for those who are on the roads quite a bit. Brake assist, electronic stability control, night vision, and rollover protection system are additional features that give drivers peace of mind and a great deal of confidence. 

Consumers usually examine all of a vehicle’s amenities before making a purchase. Family members, especially, consider their family’s safety. Toyota has tested the Land Cruiser on some of the most difficult terrain on the face of the planet. Owners can rest assured their vehicle has all the necessary safety features in place. Every safety element is crucial. However, the vehicle’s brakes stand out because they are often the one element that can mean the difference between a serious accident and a near miss. 

The basic elements of a brake system include the following:

Pedal – Everyone knows that drivers step on the pedal and the car accelerates. Stepping on the pedal actually moves a piston in the master cylinder.

Master Cylinder – This is a critical component of the brake system. Its location is directly in front of the driver on the vehicle engine’s firewall. The master cylinder’s job is to control the pressure exerted by hydraulic fluids. There are lines that connect the master cylinder to the brake cylinder.

Brake Booster- This piece of equipment mounts on the firewall just behind the master cylinder. The booster’s job is to amplify foot pressure so that a person only need apply minimal pressure to stop.

Disc Brakes – These are found mostly on the two front wheels. Some vehicles have four disc brakes.

Anti-lock brake systems rapidly pump the brakes so that skidding cannot occur during a sudden stop.

There are a number of signs your brake pads are wearing out or wearing thin.

1. If your brake pedal vibrates when you brake, this could be a sign that your brake pads are wearing out and need changing. In addition to vibration, it may feel like your brakes are constantly grabbing when you apply the brakes. Along with constant application, excessive heat can cause brake pads to warp. Your mechanic can re-machine the pads, or change them to fix the problem.

2. Brake pads that appear too thin are likely on the verge of grinding down to the rotor. You can check by looking through your wheel spokes. The outside pad should be clearly visible. If you see less than ¼” visible, they need changing. 

3. Brakes that make a clicking noise are a sign those brake pads may be on the verge of failing. While manufactures have different designs, all brakes have an installed device that prevents parts from rattling. 

4. When the brakes make a screeching sound there is no denying that the pads are grinding against the rotors. If you look close enough, you can see grooves on the pads and rotors. Having let the problem get to that point, both the pads and rotors may need to be changed. If the rotor’s grooves are not too deep, mechanics can “turn” and grind the rotor down. They will make sure the rotor is still within specs. 

5. The grinding sound follows the screeching sound. Brake pads will screech before they begin to dig deep into a rotor and grind at every stop. You will need to have your pads and rotors examined just as when there is a screeching sound. The deep grind cannot be repaired any other way than taking it to a mechanic someone who knows how to fix the problem. 

6. Bad brake pads can cause a car to pull to the left or right when attempting to stop. At this point, the pads are completely worn or unevenly worn. If the car pulls to the left or right in a natural way when driving and not braking, there is a different cause to consider. 

A lot of people ask the question if it is wise to change their own brake pads. The answer is yes. If you have the mechanical skills and you can change them safely and effectively, there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself. 

At Toyota of Des Moines, we provide every Land Cruiser type of brake pad regardless of your vehicle’s year, model, or make. Our parts and accessories are genuine OEM. We make it easy to shop and can guarantee your parts will arrive on time. We are located at 1650 SE 37th Street, Grimes, Iowa. 

Taking Care of Your Land Cruiser

Depending on the year and model, you may or may not have a warranty in place. If not, schedule regular tune-ups. As mentioned, your brakes are an integral part of the vehicle’s safety system. Servicing should include the transmission, engine, vehicle fluids, and its suspension system. The better shape your car is in, the more inspired you will likely be to hit the road for the next adventure. 

Land Cruisers are great for traveling and taking those adventurous trips with the family. As such, there are a number of fun things to do in Grimes that provide the perfect outing opportunities. M2B Raceway, Beaver Creek Golf Club, Sky Zone Trampoline park in Des Moines, and CrossRoads Shooting Sports. Nearby towns and cities include Olive, Ankeny, Indianola, Boone, and Fort Dodge. 

Each town has its own unique little eateries and shopping venues. At Toyota of Des Moines, we know that if you take good care of your Land Cruiser, it will take good care of you. Call us for all of your Land Cruiser parts and accessories.