Washing your car is probably not something you look forward to all that often. However, once you’re done and the task is out of the way, any driver would take pride in driving a gleaming vehicle. So you do this, but find that the front wheels were dirty once again, just a day after you washed them.
In short; this is likely dust, which came out of your brake pads. The dust forms as a result of the rotor wearing the brake lining away. Every time you step your foot on the brake pedal, this wearing process repeats, because the friction that causes this is necessary for the vehicle to stop.
Brakes wear out, and nothing you do can keep that from happening. The longer they last, the better the quality; even so, it is smart to get brake jobs done every now and then. If your brake pads have worn too far, the metal backing may start touching the brake rotor. This is bad, and can not only damage the rotor, but also endanger the driver and passengers. Spending a little bit on new brakes ensures the safety of everyone in your vehicle.
Checking for Wear
• This process rarely requires removing the wheels. Look at the thickness of the pad; if it is close to flimsy, then you have a problem. Some pads have center slots that indicate wear; if your pads have one, check how much of it is left.
• In cases where the wheel needs to be removed, you may be able to inspect the pads through a caliper opening. If the cross-section view shows less material than what is safe, you are in need of a replacement. In addition, check the condition of the pads while you are at it, after disconnecting the rotor from the caliper. The repair manual specifies how this is done. Alternatively, call a mechanic to help with this.
• Listen for screeching whenever you hit the brakes. If you hear any noise of that sort, it may be coming from the wear indicator. These components are meant to alert you of a need to get the brake pads replaced.
• Pay attention to the sensations that occur when you hit the brakes. Do you feel grinding when you push the brake pedal? That may mean the pad has worn out, or that there is debris stuck between it and the rotor.