As a local, family owned auto mechanic repair shop in St. Louis, we have seen a lot of brake issues. Brake issues are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle and they help you stay safe on the road. It is crucial that you maintain your brakes and their performance.
Brake pads should be changed around every 50,000 miles, and rotating you brake pads every 6 months is a great practice to help prolong the life of your pads. Maintaining your brake pads, as well as keeping an eye out for the indicators that signal issues with brake pads can save a lot of money and help to keep you safe on the road.
Here are 9 signs that your vehicle needs new brake pads.
Squeaking, Squealing or High Pitched Screeching Noise Coming From Brakes
The #1 indicator that it’s time to replace your brake pads is if you hear constant squeaking, squealing or screeching. The squeaking sound is actually coming from metal in your brake pads that’s designed to let you know when the pads are getting low and need to be replaced. Squeaky brakes can be normal in some weather conditions, however, having screeching brakes during all weather conditions indicates there may be a problem. Persistent squeaking indicates that it’s time to have brakes evaluated by a professional auto mechanic.
Heavy or Deep Grinding Sound
A deep grinding or growling metal sound is a major indication to replace your brake pads. This sound means that your brake pads have worn down completely and the metal plate is rubbing against the rotor. If you hear a deep grinding sound, make sure to get your vehicle into an auto mechanic as soon as possible. If left unchecked, you could create a lot more damage to your vehicle, costing you thousands more in repairs.
Indicator Light Turns On
Some models of cars (especially newer models) have a sensor on the bake pad that will indicate and notify the operator when the brake pads become worn down. If the brake light indicator comes on in your vehicle, you need to have a professional auto mechanic inspect your brake pads.
Brake Pedal Vibration
Warped rotors cause vibration through the brake pedal. One of the main causes of warped rotors is improper or harsh braking, especially if the rotors are old and improper braking is applied. If it is difficult to stop your vehicle and your brake pedal vibrates as you press down, this indicates that your brake pads have worn out. If you have a vibrating brake pedal it is important to have your car checked right away.
Visible Signs of Wear and Tear
Performing a visible inspection is another good way to check on the condition of your brake pads. Brake pads can be inspected by looking between the wheel spokes. The brake pads are located on the rotor of the tire. If the pads appear to be less than a quarter inch thick, it’s time to have them inspected or replaced.
Brake Fluid Puddles
Noticing puddles of fluid on your driveway or pavement is another indicator of brake issues. Brake fluid looks similar to motor oil but it is not as slimy. Noticing puddles of brake fluid underneath your vehicle is an easy way to spot an issue with your brakes and you should get your vehicle in immediately before the issue becomes worse.
Vehicle Pulls to One Side While Braking
If it feels like some invisible force is pulling your car to one side while braking, there’s a good chance the brake linings are wearing unevenly and are in need of adjustment. It could also be a sign that there’s some sort of foreign matter in the brake fluid, which means you’ll need to get the fluid drained and replaced.
Slow Brake Response / Insensitive Brakes
This occurs when you need to stop quickly but the brakes don’t feel like they are stopping fast enough or are not as responsive as they should be. This is typically a sign of a leak in the braking system. Additionally, if you have to push the brake all the way to the floor in order to get your vehicle to stop, this is also an indicator to get your brakes checked. You may have air in the brake fluid, your brake pads may be too thin or you may be low on brake fluid.
Highly Sensitive Breaks
You will notice highly sensitive brakes if you apply the brakes lightly and they slam your car to a stop. This could mean you need new rotors or a brake fluid exchange. If your are experiencing highly sensitive brakes while stopping, you need to get your vehicle in to a professional auto mechanic right away.
As a local, family owned auto mechanic repair shop in St. Louis, we have seen a lot of brake issues. Brake issues are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle and they help you stay safe on the road. It is crucial that you maintain your brakes and their performance. Brake pads…
314.236.9900 / 314.352.6317
CRESTWOOD: 8750 Watson Road 63119 KINGSHIGHWAY: 5208 S. Kingshighway 63109