When Should You Replace Your Brakes?

Posted on: 6 November 2023

Brakes are an essential component of any vehicle. They allow you to slow down and stop your car when needed, ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road. Like any other part of your car, brakes need maintenance and replacement as they wear out over time. But how do you know when it's time to replace your brakes? 

Reduced Responsiveness

Your brake pedals should respond immediately when you press them. If you notice that there's a delay in the responsiveness of your brakes or that they require more effort to bring your car to a stop, it's time to replace your brakes. Reduced responsiveness can be caused by worn brake pads or a decrease in brake fluid levels. In some cases, the problem could also be caused by air or moisture in the brake lines.

Vibrations or Shaking

If you notice vibrations or shaking when you apply the brakes, it's time to have them examined by a mechanic. In most cases, this problem is caused by warped or damaged brake rotors. You may also notice that your steering wheel vibrates when you apply the brakes. Don't ignore this problem, as it can lead to more severe issues in the long run, and it also affects the safety of your car.

Unusual Noises

One of the significant signs that indicate that your brakes need replacement is the presence of unusual noises when you apply them. Grinding, squeaking, or squealing noises from your brakes are all signs of worn-out brake pads. Friction between metal calipers and discs causes this noise. When you notice such noise, don't hesitate to have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic. Left ignored, these noises can quickly escalate to more severe problems and even cause damage to your brake rotors.

Warning Light

Most cars have a brake warning light on the dashboard. If this light goes on, it's an indication that something is wrong with your brakes that requires attention. At times, this light may be caused by low brake fluid levels, but it could also indicate a more severe issue with your braking system. By having your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic, you will determine the cause of the light and necessary repairs can be done.

Worn-Out Brake Pads

Brake pads must be replaced periodically, depending on their wear level and the kind of driving you do. When the brake pads wear out, the metal backing plate will come into contact with the rotors, leading to metal-on-metal contact, which causes damage to the brake rotors. Replacing the brake pads early on can help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

Your brake system is paramount and should never be overlooked. It's vital to replace the brakes periodically or when you encounter the signs listed above. It's encouraged for you to bring your vehicle to a professional mechanic for an inspection if you notice any of these signs. Neglecting issues with your brakes can cause significant damage to your vehicle and compromise your safety. Remember, when it comes to your safety and the safety of others, there's no such thing as too much caution.

Contact a brake service professional near you to learn more.