Squeak! 11 Definite Signs You Need New Brake Pads

As an active driver, you know the importance of staying on top of your car’s maintenance. You get an oil change every 3,000 miles, and you keep an eye out for engine light warnings — but have you been checking your brake pads?

Anyone with driving experience is familiar with the rhythm of getting behind the wheel. Where does speed become momentum? How does it all come crashing to a grinding halt?

It’s the brakes! New brakes can mean the difference between a safe stop or a complete blowout. If you have been paying attention, you already know that brakes are important. The advantages of new brake pads are plentiful.

In this article, we will explore the advantages of brake pad replacement. We will also cover a short list of key signs you have to have new brake pads installed as soon as possible. Cozy up to your screen and take a moment to ensure your personal safety.

  1. Brake Pads Are Squeaking

Nowadays, pads are made with built-in wear indicators. Built-in wear indicators are a thin strip of metal. It is attached to the pad’s backing plate and the metal rubs against the rotor once the pad becomes thin.

You never want to hear your brakes squeak, but unfortunately, it’s one of the ways your car tells you it needs some tender loving care. If you notice your brakes squeaking, it is time to bring your car in for a maintenance check.

  1. Brake Pedal Feels Spongy

When your brake pedal feels spongy, it’s definitely one of the most obvious signs that you need new brake pads. If you keep pushing down on the pedal and it feels like it’s getting softer and giving way, then that’s because your brake pads have worn down and they’re not providing the level of support and resistance that they used to.

  1. Brakes Take Longer to Stop the Car  

When you press down on the pedal, it should stop the vehicle relatively quickly.  If you have ever had to pump your brakes a few times to get them to engage, it is probably time for new brake pads.

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  1. Steering Wheel Vibration

One of the most common problems is steering wheel vibration. If you feel your steering wheel vibrating, it’s a good indication that you need new brake pads. This is usually caused by warped rotors, and it can be dangerous.

  1. Brake Fluid Leaks

There are a few different ways to tell if your brakes need to be serviced. One way is to look at the brake fluid. If the fluid is dark in color, it means the pads are wearing down and brake pad replacement is a must.

  1. Brake Indicator Light

Many modern cars have indicator lights that appear on your dash. After the circuit breaks, the car’s computer will illuminate the warning light. It’s important to get your brakes checked as soon as possible to avoid any accidents.

  1. Visibly Thin Pads

As your brake pads wear down, they will become thinner.  You may also see cracks, metal shavings, or glazing on the pads.

The minimum thickness for brake pads is 3 mm, and if yours are thinner than that, it’s time for new ones.  You may be able to see this wear and tear just by looking at your brakes.

  1. Grinding Noise

If you hear grinding noise when you brake, it’s a sure sign you need new brake pads. The pads are worn down and the metal backing is rubbing on the rotor.

This will cause damage to the rotor and will lead to expensive repairs. If you hear this noise, take your car to a mechanic and have the brakes checked.

  1. Pulling

When you brake, your car should stop in a relatively straight line. Another sign that brake pads need to be replaced is if the vehicle is beginning to pull to one side when braking. This is usually due to an uneven wear pattern on the pads.

It is important to get the pads replaced as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the rotors or calipers.

  1. High-Pitched Screeching

The screech is coming from a tiny piece of metal in your brake pads. If you have ever experienced the high-pitched screeching of brakes before, then you know exactly how unpleasant it can be. This screeching is one of the clearest signs that you need new brake pads.

  1. Curved or Worn-Through Friction Material

The first sign that you need new brake pads is if they are beginning to show wear. This can manifest itself in the form of either a curved or worn-through friction material. If the pads are significantly worn, they will no longer be able to effectively grip the rotors and slow down the vehicle.

Time to Replace Your Brake Pads

You must regularly inspect your brake pads. If you are unsure how to check brake pads, then you should call your trusted mechanic to do it for you.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re stranded on the side of the road.

Visit your local auto shop today for a brake pad replacement. Make sure you take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic to get your brake pads replaced.

Ready to keep your car in tip-top shape? Check our Automotive Section for more helpful articles like this one!