2000 impala

i have a 2000 impala ,have had it since april 2000.how can i tell when the brakes need to be replaced.the dealership where i get my regular stuff done
said that they will start to squeal the whole metal on metal sound.the brakes have never been replaced and currently i have a little over 33000 miles on the car.for about a year and a half i've noticed every once in a while the squealing sound appears then goes away , especially in cold weather.any help in solvomng this problem would be of great help.
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Charles wrote:

On a typical GM car, the front brake pads will wear thin first. At first, you will hear a "chirping" noise. This is caused by a little metal piece that contacts the rotor when the pad is about 95% gone. My rule of thumb is to listen for that chirp noise and then get it to a brake shop within 500 miles, and then there will be no rotor damage. If you let it go too long, then rotor damage might happen.
---Bob Gross---
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If you got the 5 spoke aluminum wheels you can probably see the brake wear sqeaker and how close it is to the rotor. Just drive the car forward till you can see the upper part of the brake caliper.
A simple inspection will determine if you need brakes. I bought my car in Feb 1991 and replaced the front brakes in Nov 1992 at 43,289 miles. The original ( drum ) rear brakes were replaced in Aug 1997 at 125,000 miles.
Brake life is shorter if you drive fast & brake hard.
My uncles 94 Century has about 75,000 on the original front & rear brakes, but he barely dives over 25 mph and does alot of coasting up to the insections with little or no braking.
Good Luck
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~273,304 miles_~_~_
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Robertwgross wrote:

Even easier than that order the pads ahead of time. I ordered a set of pads and stuck them in the trunk. Once my wife hears the sound I just replace them the next nice day.
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For the front brakes (which generally wear fastest), depending on what kind of wheels you have, you may be able to see the edge of the brake caliper through the spokes - look at how far away the squealer tab on the brake pad is away from the rotor. If it's getting close to the rotor, they'll probably need changing soon. When it starts touching, that's what makes the squealing noise to let you know to change the pads. If you keep driving it around for very long after that, you'll start getting worse noise from the metal backing plate of the pads grinding into the rotor, probably resulting in the rotors needing to be replaced as well as the pads.
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Robert, some call it a squealer tab. Some call it a squeaker tab. Some call it a chirper tab.
Whatever. We know what you mean.
---Bob Gross---
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