Pads & Linings Most common of the pads and linings that need periodic replacing are the brake pads or shoes.
The braking system of a car consists of a system of plumbing, pistons and hoses. Brake pads are a pair of heat resistant blocks that press on to a disc or brake rotor using friction to slow it down. When pressure is applied to the brake pedal this forces brake fluid through a system of hoses which in turn drives a piston to which the brake pads are attached. Of course it goes without saying that friction will eventually erode the pads in time. Most brake pads however have built-in mechanisms to remind you when they are due for replacement. This mechanism, or brake wear indicator is a piece of metal positioned about or near the base of the pad. When the pads have worn thin, this metal indicator would contact the brake rotor or disc and the resulting squealing sound every time the brakes are applied indicate the need for brake pad replacement. This is true for most car brake systems, be it drum or disc brakes. And unless you have a good knowledge of brake assembly, it is recommended that a certified mechanic undertake the job.
A word of advice: DO NOT MESS WITH YOUR BRAKES. Unlike messing around with your car engine, when something goes wrong, the worst thing that could happen is that your engine wonft start. Mess around with your brakes however, and when something goes wrong the only things that could stop you may be a tree, a brick wall or another car. BE VERY CAREFUL.