Are brake pad wear sensors necessary?
Whether you are talking about old-school mechanical brake pad wear indicators that let out a squeal every time you press the brake pedal or the modern electronic sensors that trigger the brake service light on your dash, wear sensors are a helpful tool to tell you that it is time to replace your worn out brake pads. Do you need them? If you have no indication that the pads are worn out, the next indication will be a scraping or grinding noise alerting you to significant brake system damage and a loss of braking ability.
Can brake pad wear sensors be reused?
No. Brake pad wear sensors are one-time-use devices. They work by maintaining an electrical circuit until the attached electrode comes in contact with the brake rotor, effectively breaking the circuit and alerting the computer to turn on the brake service light. Like a fuse, once the circuit has been broken inside the sensor, it needs to be replaced.
How long can you drive after a brake pad warning light comes on?
There is no fixed time or distance for driving once you see the brake service warning light come on. A number of factors play into the lifespan of your brake pads, including the vehicle make and model, driving conditions, and your driving habits. The composition of your brake pads, whether they are organic, ceramic, or semi-metallic, also makes a difference. You might be able to drive for up to a thousand miles, but it is wise to schedule service as soon as possible.