Signs It’s Time to Change Your Brakes

Quality brake pads that are installed correctly should last for several years, up to 50,000 miles. That said, how long your brakes last is dependent on several factors, including how much you drive and your driving style. If you’re in stop-and-go traffic frequently, expect that your brakes will need to be replaced sooner.

Fortunately, there are several signs you need new brakes that will tip you off when the time comes. Let’s look at the indicators of when to replace brake pads.

Squeaking, squealing and grinding

When brakes are nearing the end of their useful life, one of the first things many drivers notice is a squeaking or squealing sound coming from the brakes. This is due to worn-down brake pads. In fact, most brake pads have metal wear indicators built in to alert you that you need to have them replaced.

If you begin to hear a grinding sound, that’s a sign that the brake pads are completely worn out. This is a leading indicator that you need new brake rotors, as grinding can damage the rotors. It’s best to get the brake pads fixed now, before they become a major problem.

Stopping power

Another sign that your car’s brake pads need to be replaced is that they’re not performing as they should. When your car takes longer to stop, this is a sign that either the brake pads are worn down or the brake fluid is low due to a leak. You need your car’s brakes to be working properly to ensure your safety. To get to the root of the problem, schedule an appointment with a brake mechanic.

Indicator light

Many newer vehicles have indicator lights that will inform you if there’s an issue with your brakes. A sensor on the brake pad will trigger after the pad has worn down. When this light appears on the dashboard, it’s time to bring your car to a trusted technician.

Vibrating brakes

Another sign that the brakes have gone is the brake pedal beginning to vibrate. If it’s difficult to apply pressure to the brakes or it feels unsteady when you press down, these are indicators that the brake pads are no longer functioning. Have this fixed right away to avoid hazards—you need properly working brakes to avoid accidents.

Brake pads are worn thin

You can also inspect the brake pads yourself to see what kind of condition they’re in. Look between the spokes of the wheel and find the brake pad. If the pads appear to be worn down—less than a quarter inch thick—then you’ve found the source of the problem.

Pat Doll Automotive LLC is a full-service auto shop that’s been serving drivers since 1937. We offer a range of affordable repair and maintenance services for both foreign and domestic vehicles. Our team of mechanics can handle it all, from brake repair to AC and heating services and engine repair. Call our shop today to schedule a service appointment and request a free quote.