Screeches-n-squeals: a learning experience

It was two years ago when I first had one of those “Oh no, what’s that noise?” moments while driving the kids to their middle-school football practice. Actually, I had heard that noise — but from other people’s cars.

Best brake padsThat annoying screech followed us home. My husband, who was dragging the garbage cans onto the curb, grimaced as he put his hands to his ears. Very funny, I told him. Then I asked if he knew how to change brake pads. A dumb question because I’m well aware that he knew all about replacing brake pads since he did it on our sedan a year earlier. “Replacing brake pads,” he tells me, “isn’t as bad as you think.” He knows I never back down from challenges, especially if I can learn something new and valuable, like brake pad replacement.

“That squeal is just the sensors announcing it’ll soon be ‘Replacing Brake Pads Time,’ then he added, “let’s do some brake pad replacement before winter. How about this Saturday morning?” Good deal, I told him. That would give me time to figure out how to change brake pads.

I researched brake pad reviews, leading me to picking up the best brake pads on the market. Plus, I’d get a jumpstart on this Do It Yourself Brake Pad Replacement experience by familiarizing myself with the brake drum removal process and other technical brake pad replacement moves not taught in my yoga class. It was an interesting experience, one that has kept me diligent when it comes to staying on top of our car’s most valuable safety feature.

Fast-forward a couple years, and what do you think I did this past Saturday? One of our other vehicles had been talking back like a touchy teenager, calling out “change my brakes” in a screechy, metallic tone. This time, I was more than ready. Turns out, the brakes weren’t as bad off as the screech implied, but still could use a switch-out. Luckily, everything else was in check. My improved acumen for brake pad replacement was evident, and I now wear it like a badge of honor.

In closing, it all comes down to thinking ahead. To all of the other moms out there: get to know the various parts of your car, especially the key safety features. Not only will you save money, you’ll help keep your family safe, and minimize down time, especially on weekends, when you should be spending quality time with your gang. On that note, I’m off to help one of my gang members complete his science project that’s due Monday—wish me luck!

Editor’s note: DIY’ers of all stripes are singing the praises of new Wearever Platinum ceramic brake pads. They last longer, have excellent stopping power, will keep your wheels cleaner, and best of all, offer silent braking. Find Wearever Platinum brakes along with other quality auto parts at Advance Auto Parts.

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