Not all pads are created equal. As an example, late model Ford Rangers,
F150's through F550, don't have squealers. If you don't do regular
inspections, the first time you'll know you need brakes is when the
backing plate is into the rotor.
As a couple of others have pointed out many cars have an early warning
device. If your wheels are chirping and stop when you apply moderate
pressure to the brake pedal then it is the early warning system telling you
it is time for new pads.
Don't wait. Do it now. And don't fall for that sucker line advertised on
TV that guarantees them for life. They will screw you and won't even kiss
while doing it.
There are metal tabs on brake pads that make noise to tell you its time
to replace them. Brake shoes dont have this.
First time the make noise is to tell you to replace them.
The noise will eventually go away usually.
Second time they make noise is because you failed to replace them and
are now grinding against your rotors, metal against metal.
sometimes metalic brakes can squeek a bit when breaking which is normal
for them. Just have to get used to understand each sound. This starts
by taking to good mechanic when you hear it. Find ONE good mechanic you
can trust and stick with him/her.
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