Brake Pad Sensor
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Stop-and-go traffic, abrupt braking, and the rigors of daily car use can wear out your brake pads in no time. In the past, there was no way of knowing whether the brake pads are already too worn out to use safely. Times have changed, though, and thanks to technology, you can use a Brake Pad Sensor to monitor your brake pads' condition. Typical brake pad sensors are U-shaped copper wires, which are connected to your dashboard. When the brake pads become too thin, there's a LED indicator that will light up to let you know. The actual sensor can be found near the brake pads and most vehicles use at least two brake pad sensors. Wondering how the sensors work? Well, when a brake pad's friction material is reduced to 2-mm thick, the rotor tears a small plastic bump on the sensor and cuts it in two. As mentioned earlier, the wire is connected to the dashboard. When it's already broken, an open circuit is created. The LED indicator then lights up and lets you know that you need to replace your brake pads as soon as possible. Brake pad sensors can only be used once, though. If you need a new Brake Pad Sensor, you don't need to go far because Auto Parts Warehouse offers brake pad sensors from the best brands. Our store's easy-to-use catalog will make it easy for you to place an order.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a New Brake Pad Sensor
Shopping for a new brake pad sensor? While many of today's pads are already offered together with this sensor, some pads don't come with this part in the package-you will have to find a separate one. And while shopping for the right sensor could be a challenge, this guide will help you find the best part for your ride without any problem.
What is a brake pad sensor?
This is a sensor attached to the brake pad. What it does is monitor the pad's thickness and alert you when that thickness goes beyond the thinnest level-you'll see the alert in the form of a blinking light on your dash. It is advised that you change the sensor each time you are replacing the pads.
What factors should you look into in your search for a new brake pad sensor?
- Sensor location. Depending on your vehicle, it may have a sensor in all four wheels or just one for the front and one for the rear wheels of your vehicle. Some sensors are specifically designed only for the rear wheels, the front wheels, or the wheels for the driver or the passenger side. Meanwhile, there are sensors that can be used for both the front and rear wheels, for the passenger and the driver side. You need to carefully check the one that you get to ensure that it matches the mounting location.
- Sensor mounting. Depending on the sensor design and the set-up in your braking system, there are sensors that can be easily bolted into the pads and sensors that are plugged and require the use of tools like needle-nose pliers for them to be removed and installed. Check the original one in your auto to determine which part to get.
- Sensor quantity. When you check online, you'll find that sensors come in different packages. Some sensors are offered individually, some in pairs, while others in a set. Find the right package according to your needs and save more dollars in your purchase.
Aside from all these factors, you'll also find that you can narrow down your choices based on the brand of the sensor. There are various brake pad sensor brands today, among which are Celtix, EBC, and Replacement. Most of these brands offer OE replacement sensors. To help you decide, you can look into online reviews and check out the warranty that they offer.
Brake Pad Sensor Installation
Most brake pads today are equipped with a brake pad sensor that is designed to monitor the condition of the brake pads and to emit signals (in the form of a warning noise or a blinking light on the dash) when the pads have reached their minimal thickness and are in need of replacements. It is advised that you replace the sensor together with the pads or when they are damaged.
Here we provide an easy step-by-step instruction in replacing the brake pad sensor in the front brake pads-DIY style. Read on.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Floor jack
- Jack stands (2)
- Wheel chocks
- Socket wrench
- Needle-nose pliers or socket set
Step 1: Engage the parking brake of your car, plus the park gear or reverse, before turning the engine off. You can also place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels for additional safety.
Step 2: Using your socket wrench, loosen the lug nuts on both front wheels, but do not remove them yet.
Step 3: Lift the front of the car using a floor jack and support each corner with a jack stand.
Step 4: Remove the lug nuts on the front wheels and take the wheels off. Then, locate the brake pad sensors-each pad has one sensor that is attached to the brake caliper.
Step 5: You will see a wiring harness attached to the sensor-unplug the harness.
Step 6: Depending on the kind of sensor in your car, you can take it off using needle-nose pliers or using a socket set (in case the sensor is held by a bolt).
Step 6: Attach the new sensor in place (via the needle-nose pliers or the socket set). Then, plug the wiring harness into the new sensor.
Step 7: Replace the wheels and secure the lug nuts (without totally tightening them).
Step 8: Lift the front corners of your car, then remove the jack stands supporting them until the car is parked on level ground. Only then should you tighten the lug nuts completely.
NOTES: Depending on your car, it may have a sensor on all four wheels or one for the front and one for the rear wheels. There may also be some variations in the installation process. Check your car manual for specific instructions.