What Does It Mean When A Technician Says Your Brakes Are "Thin"?

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The last thing many car drivers will want to hear is that there's some sort of issue with their brakes. Without properly functioning brakes, any car becomes a deathtrap flying down the highway. This is probably why a lot of people get nervous when the technician tells them that their brakes are thin.

Almost all car owners understand the need to have their brakes checked regularly. However, there are times when it will take more than inspection to have a safe car on the road. If your brakes are thin, you'll need to act quickly.

What Are Thin Brakes?

Thin brakes are brake pads that have become worn over time. This is to be expected of all types of brakes eventually. Brakes operate using friction. The friction between the pads and the rotors reduce the speeds of the vehicle as you are driving. 

However, this same friction plus the heat produced cause the brake pads to wear down. This is why brake pads have to be replaced after some time. The brakes are usually designed in a way that ensures the pads wear at a much faster rate than the rotors.

What's Wrong with Thin Breaks?

In many cases, you may not have any clue that you have thin brakes until the technician tells you. This is because thin brakes can continue to function just like regular brakes. However, thin breaks are not too far away from being completely worn. There's a good chance that you'll hear a squealing noise when applying brakes in the near future. In the worst case scenario, you'll apply the brakes and they'll fail to work. This is what happens when the friction material becomes too thin or is completely worn.

What Should You Do About Thin Brakes?

It's easy to assume that you can get a few more days or weeks from thin brakes. However, this is an extremely unsafe idea. Depending on your driving habits, your thin brakes may not last you more than a few miles. Driving with thin brake pads can easily result in an accident.

The best idea if your technician tells you your pads are too thin is to replace them. Choosing to replace the brakes later has limited benefits and it would mean finding another day to bring your car to the brake repair shop. This could mean having to waste another day when you could have had the repairs done earlier.