It might not be as bad as you think. Many brake pads have a small piece of metal that sticks out (see picture).
The flip side to this is that not all pads have wear indicators. So, if you year a grinding noise, and your pads don't have wear indicators, then it's likely that all of the pad material is used up and you have a real safety concern on your hands. I see this quite frequently, and it can eventually ruin the calipers which can be expensive to replace.
Ultimately, the best practice is to have your brakes checked regularly by a shop you trust. They can alert you to changes in your pad wear before you experience any grinding and help you plan out the repair so it isn't a surprise at a bad time, like when you just spent a bunch of money on Christmas presents. Plus, a great shop can spot abnormal or uneven wear, which can lengthen your stopping distances, even though the pads aren't officially worn out.
So, if you are hearing a grinding it's time to take it in to your favorite shop. If you don't have a regular shop, give me a call. I can take a look at it for you.
Well, oil changes are a lot like marbles...
Let's start with a synthetic oil change, so.....imagine a jar of marbles. Imagine that the entire jar was filled with small marbles that were all the same size. If you poured it out on the table you'd expect those marbles to flow smoothly and perfectly through the opening of the jar, and spill out across the table. This is how synthetic oil behaves in your engine. It easily flows through the tiny holes and crevices without any trouble.
Now, imagine that the jar was filled with marbles of different sizes. If you tried to pour that jar out on a table, you might find that some of the time the big marbles would tend to plug up the opening of the jar, preventing the flow of marbles out onto the table. This situation is a lot like how conventional motor oil behaves in your engine.
So, what does all of this mean for your engine? Well, take a look at this little part...
This is a rocker from a Ford V8 engine. See that little black round hole (the size of a pencil led) in the bottom left of the picture? That hole is used to squirt oil up onto that little wheel in the middle.
So back to our marbles....can you see how the more consistent-sized jar of marbles would easily flow through that tiny hole and provide more lubrication of that wheel? It gets worse, as engines age, these tiny holes and crevices get even smaller as they slowly plug up with dirt and engine sludge, making it even harder for the oil to pass through.
This is why we recommend running full synthetic oil in every car and truck. With modern engine technology, the engines need the more consistent oil to maintain adequate lubrication. In that Ford V8 we just talked about there are 24 of those little holes and countless other little ports and crevices that all impact the ability of the oil to sneak though and lubricate the engine. Using synthetic oil makes sure that all of these components are lubricated and working smoothly...and that helps keep repair costs down, and your car out of the shop.
At Motolux, we carry many name brand oils ranging from 0w-40 to 5w30 and all of the important specs like LL01, VW 502, MB 229.5 and many more. It's important to us to use the correct oil to keep your vehicle operating like new and prevent costly repairs.