The Importance of Brake Pad Maintenance and Replacement Before the Winter Season

Learn the importance of brake pad maintenance in ensuring a remarkable winter driving experience.

For decades, winter driving has always been a challenge for many individuals in Amarillo, TX, especially with the icy environment making road safety more challenging for many. The poor traction between the wheels and the ground can significantly burn the tires, resulting in possible collisions. In addition, slippery curves, intersections, and hills can make it harder to stop, contributing to undesirable events.

This is why drivers need to understand the importance of brake pad maintenance, allowing them to ensure their car’s reliability despite the icy road conditions. Regular brake pad upkeep is usually required between 25000 and 65000 miles, and going past this can lead to a host of issues for the car owner and other drivers on the road.

Winter significantly changes road conditions, making roads more dangerous to navigate. So, with the fast-approaching cold season, vehicle owners in Amarillo must invest in brake pad maintenance to foster safe driving and protect other people sharing the road.

Understanding Brake Pads

Brake pads have been some of the most crucial parts of a car, playing a vital role in the automobile’s deceleration. The pads are used on hydraulic disc braking systems and slow the wheels down by turning kinetic energy into heat energy through the friction between the pads and the rotors.

The pads are located inside the brake calipers and are positioned on either side of the rotor or disc. Once the brake pedal is pressed, the hydraulic pressure caused by the brake fluid will cause the caliper to squeeze the rotor, with the pads coming in contact with the spinning rotor.

Since brake pads are subject to constant high temperatures whenever the vehicle slows down, they usually come in materials with exceptional insulation capabilities. The main types include ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic brake pads, which can withstand extreme heat, especially during sudden stops while the car moves fast.

Common Signs of a Failing Brake Pad 

As one of the most vital components of modern cars, brake pads must be maintained regularly, especially those already within the replacement period. Luckily for many drivers, many indicators can tell whether brake maintenance is already needed.

  • Squeaking Noises: One of the most noticeable signs that there is already a need to replace brake pads is if there is a squeaking or squealing noise from the brakes. This happens when the pads are overused, causing a grinding noise when the pads touch the rotors.
  • Dashboard Warning Light: A straightforward sign that experts might need to check the brake pads is if some warning lights start blinking. Many modern vehicles have a dedicated sensor that can signal if there is a need to check the brake pads.
  • Reduced Braking Efficiency: Depending on the manufacturer, vehicles usually have ideal stoppage times depending on the optimal performance of the pads. So, noticing that the car takes longer to decelerate than usual is a clear-cut sign that it is time to have the brake pads checked by mechanics.

The Common Challenges for Brake Pads During Winter

Traveling with damaged brake pads is very risky, especially for the safety of the passengers and other drivers on the road. However, driving with failing pads during the winter can aggravate the hazard, as the weather can profoundly impact how the brake pads work.

The significant drop in temperature can result in brake pads becoming less flexible, which reduces the friction between the pads and the rotor. The chilly weather can also affect the brake fluid’s viscosity, making it thicker, which can impede the proper functioning of the hydraulic brake system.

There is also the possibility of snow and moisture accumulation in the various components of the braking system, contributing to premature wear and tear to different parts, including the brake pads. This can reduce the pads’ lifespan and increase the possibility of other internal damage to the car.

Road salt, commonly used to melt snow and ice on roads, is another common challenge for brake pads in winter. The corrosive nature of road salt can negatively affect the brake pads over time, contributing to the pads’ corrosion and degradation of the pad material.

The Importance of Brake Pad Maintenance Before the Cold Season

· Temperature Sensitivity

One prime reason to upkeep the brake pads before the winter season is to ensure that the pads will be highly responsive despite the colder temperature. Friction is a critical element of braking, and the chilly weather can impact how the pads react once they come into contact with the rotors.

Fully maintained brake pads ensure an optimal conversion of kinetic energy into heat energy despite the low temperature. This can guarantee that the friction between the pads and the rotor will stay as is, helping mitigate potential issues because of diminished braking power.

· Prolonged Brake System Life

The challenges posed by the low temperatures and road salt make scheduling a brake pad maintenance even before snow falls more critical. Getting the pads checked and maintained by professionals can protect the car’s entire braking system from extensive wear and tear and ensure its longevity.

Apart from cleaning and inspection for visible damage or wear, maintenance work before the cold months also allows car owners to apply an anti-corrosive coating to the pads, which can safeguard the pads from different destructive elements, such as melted snow and road salt.

· Cost-Savings

A failure of the brake pads while driving on icy roads can result in many issues, such as major collisions, which can lead to significant repairs or hospital bills. In addition, the risks brought by the winter season can accelerate the wear of the pads and other components of the braking system, making them less reliable while driving.

This preventative approach can be crucial in extending the lifespan of the brake pads, preventing the need to purchase new pads constantly. This can also prevent sudden repairs or replacements during the cold months, as prices tend to increase during this period because of the higher demand for car maintenance services.

· Ensuring Optimal Performance

By having the brake pads maintained, car owners can guarantee the optimal performance of their vehicles while traveling during winter. Inspecting and cleaning the brake pads before the cold months ensures that the pads will not compromise their capability to generate the needed friction when decelerating. This promotes enhanced driving performance and road safety, protecting drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from unfortunate accidents.


Scheduling brake pad maintenance before the cold season is paramount to safe winter driving in Amarillo, TX. This helps car owners in the city ensure that the brakes will perform as expected, preventing various adverse effects of the low temperature. With the help of qualified mechanics, maintenance work can also ensure that the pads are dependable for a long time.

If you are looking for the best auto shop for brake repair in Amarillo, TX, Brothers Auto and Glass is for you. We have served residents of Amarillo for more than 15 years, delivering quality car repair and preventative maintenance services.

Visit or call 806-601-0456 to get an estimate on your car’s needs today.

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