You can check the pad wear for yourself but when it comes to changing them, if you don’t know what you are doing it’s best left to a professional who does.
To check the brake pad wear you will need to view the pads from outside the front tire. With most vehicles now days it will be quite visible, and all you need to do is look through the outside of the wheel rims. That way it makes the pads very visible, unless of course they are worn. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove the wheel to be able to see the pads. If you are able to do all this, you will notice that the outside pad should be looking right at you and if you look at it from above, you will see that the pad will be pressed against the shiny metal rotor.
It’s important to note that there are two ways to determine whether or not the pads will need replacing:
The first is visually.
If you see that the depth of the pad is less that 1/4 inch. You need to replace it, and soon! If you see that it’s less than 1/8 inch, there isn’t any time to waste as you are getting really close on damaging the rotor. You need to then do it ASAP!
It’s not the same on every vehicle, but use it to help you along.
The second is by ear.
If you are hearing a screeching sound when you put your foot on the break. Not good. You are overdue for a reline. But, if it sounds more like scraping on metal, then I’m afraid you have damaged your rotors and you need to fix the brakes immediately otherwise you could cause major damage.
Changing your brake pads too soon is much better than changing them too late. That way you will avoid more expensive repairs as well as unsafe driving.