But what does it actually mean? ‘Metal on metal’ means that the brake pad has completely worn down and that the base of the pad is coming in contact with the rotor. The bigger question is, what does this mean during the operation of your brakes? What happens when you push down on that brake pedal?
It means the braking ability of your vehicle is compromised. The non-technician description of what happens is that you push down on your brake pedal and the pressure from the brake fluid causes the caliper to push the brake pad against the rotor. Over time the brake pad wears down, as it should. There are several ways you can know that this is happening.
You may have an indicator on your dashboard that is notified by a sensor on your brake pads that they are low. You may hear grinding or squeaking from your brakes. Why don’t you want to ignore these signals from your vehicle? Your brakes stop your vehicle and when your braking system is not functioning as it should be, your braking ability could be compromised. Your vehicle is thousands of pounds of metal accelerating on the road with others in their cars. By not keeping your brakes in working order, you don’t just endanger yourself but your passengers and everyone on the road with you. There are studies showing the effect of unmaintained vehicles on the road and how they contribute to accidents. We all want to be safe on the road and maintaining our vehicles helps to accomplish that.
Ask to have your brakes checked when having your vehicle serviced. Many auto repair shops visually inspect brakes while performing an oil change or other maintenance service. If you’re not sure, ask your repair shop to inspect your brakes. Being aware of your car care helps you stay safe!