Over the life of your vehicle, you’re going to have to replace the brakes. Often, it can be difficult to know conclusively that it’s time to replace the brake pads. If if you let them go too long, you can end up with a vehicle that’s unsafe to drive. It may also mean that more parts are needed to be repaired or replaced.

Issues of Poor Brakes

There can be several signs of an issue. If you notice longer stopping distances or that the pedal feels soft or spongy underfoot. The brake light or ABS light comes on while braking. Also be aware of any low brake fluid. This could be a sign there is a leak somewhere, or that your brake pads have worn down. If the vehicle pulls to one side or the other while braking, and is hard to control, it could have an issue.

Signs to Notice

Also feel if there is a pulsation or shudder through the brake pedal while braking. Any tendency for one or more wheels to lock up and skid while braking can also be a sign of an issue. Excessive brake pedal travel, with the pedal going almost to the floor before brakes engage is something to be aware of. Also notice any squealing, groaning, or metallic grinding noise while braking

The metal-to-metal grinding noise is by far the worst. It means the friction material of your brake pads has worn to a point where the rivets that hold them to the steel backing plate are exposed. Your only braking ability comes from metal-to-metal contact, and the rivets are quickly digging deep grooves into the rotors. Not only will your badly-scored rotors need to be replaced, but you’re also driving a very dangerous vehicle.

Depending on your vehicle and driving style, brake pads will generally last 40,000-60,000 miles. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to have your brake pads inspected about once a quarter. If you see they’re thinner than normal, make sure to contact us as soon as you can.