How Do I Know When My Brakes Need Replacing?

No brakes, no stop.

You never want to see a day when your brakes become unpredictable, so it’s best to stay ahead of the game. You can do that by giving close attention to these signs:

You’ve Driven Past the Manufacturer’s Recommendation

Question: When is it time to replace my brakes?

Answer: When your manufacturer recommends it.

It’s still common for manufacturers to put maintenance interval suggestions in the owner’s manuals, and they usually recommend changing your brakes every 25,000 to 65,000 miles. Thus, you probably need new brakes if your odometer has gone past what the manufacturer recommends as brake changing time.

You Have to Put Your Pedal Almost to the Metal

Question: What are the signs my brakes need replaced?

Answer: When you have to floor your brake pedal to stop.

Good brakes should be firm and respond quickly to the pressure from your foot. A spongy feeling indicates that you have air in the system, which happens when your pads are worn.

Soft brakes are a huge call for action, and so is a low response threshold. Therefore, it’s time to see a specialist if you notice that you have to put your foot almost to the floor to stop your vehicle.

Your Brakes Sound Like a Party Horn

New technology makes it easy for automobile owners to recognize when they need to change their brakes. The manufacturer installs wear and tear alerts that make sounds you can hear when you drive.

Light squeaking usually occurs when the pads wear down to less than an inch. You need to change your brakes as soon as you hear the light squeaking because it will turn to squealing if you don’t. The next step is metal on metal, which means you may need to buy new rotors.

You Hear Grinding, but You’re Not a Welder

You can rest assured that you need to change your brakes and a few other things if you hear grinding coming from the bottom of your vehicle. The noise means that you’ve waited too long to change your brakes and have allowed metal clamps to rub against your rotors.

You may get lucky and hear that the mechanic can save your rotors by shaving them, but grinding usually means they’re done.

Your Indicator Light Is On

You might have a brake pad wear indicator if you have a newer car. It’s one of the latest technological additions in the automotive world. The manufacturer may set it to warn you at a certain mileage interval. Alternatively, your brake pads might be connected to a sensor that reads the actual wear. You’ll see a warning light in either situation.

Now you know what to look for when deciding if you should get your pads changed. Don’t get caught out there with poorly performing brakes. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by paying attention to the above signs and stopping your problems before your brakes fail to stop for you. Schedule a session with a reliable mechanic and have your pads checked or changed immediately.