Top 10 Signs Your Brakes Need to Be Replaced

Top 10 Signs Your Brakes Need to be Replaced in Yakima, WA | Westside Car Care
Your vehicle's braking system is crucial in keeping you safe on the road. Over time, the components of your brakes wear out and may require replacement. By being aware of the signs that indicate your brakes need attention, you can ensure your vehicle's braking system remains in optimal condition. Here are 10 signs that will let you know your car needs brake replacement.

  • Squeaking and Squealing Sounds

When brake pads are approaching the end of their lifespan, the initial indication you'll likely observe is a high-pitched squeaking or squealing sound. As the wear progresses, you'll eventually encounter a grinding noise, which signifies a more advanced stage of pad deterioration. Unfortunately, this grinding sound also signifies potential damage to the rotors, which can significantly increase the cost of repairs.

  • Grinding Sensation

If you experience a grinding sensation or hear deep metallic grinding noise when applying the brakes, it typically means the brake pads are completely worn out. In this case, the metal of the brake calipers and rotors are rubbing against each other, causing significant damage.

  • Vibrations in Car Brakes

If you feel a distinct vibration in your vehicle when applying the brakes, it's a definite sign of brake-related problems. This is caused by the uneven surface of the rotors, which are responsible for bringing your car to a halt. When the rotors lose their smoothness, they disrupt the even operation of the brakes, leading to the noticeable shaking effect.

  • Strange Smells

The unpleasant odor produced when brakes overheat is hard to miss. This occurrence typically arises from prolonged and intense brake usage, leading to increased heat. When brakes heat up, their performance gradually diminishes, causing them to deteriorate and become less effective.

  • Car Brakes Dashboard Warning Light

While only a few vehicles have a brake light warning on the dashboard, it holds significant importance when it illuminates. Even if you believe your brakes are functioning properly, it is crucial to have the issue inspected. This warning light could be an indication of an internal issue that is not readily visible to the naked eye.

  • Taking Longer to Stop

A significant indication that warrants a brake inspection is a noticeable decline in braking performance. If you find that your brakes are taking longer to bring your vehicle to a stop, it could be a sign that your brake pads have worn down entirely or that your brake fluid is running low, potentially due to a leak.

  • Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

If your vehicle pulls to one side when you brake, it may be due to an uneven brake pad wear problem. This issue can affect your vehicle's stability and handling, so it's essential to have it checked by a professional.
Keep in mind that the symptom mentioned above may not be solely attributed to worn brake pads. Other factors like uneven tire pressure, a malfunctioning brake caliper, or a faulty wheel bearing could also be the underlying causes.

  • Thin Brake Pads

Other than relying on signs that manifest when driving, visual inspection is another way to know if the brake pads need replacement. This can be done by looking between the wheel's spokes and locating the brake pad. Brake pads less than a quarter inch thick as due for replacement.

  • Fluid Leaks

If you observe any fluid leaks near the wheels or underneath your vehicle, it could be a sign of a brake fluid leak. Brake fluid is essential for proper brake operation, and any fluid loss can compromise your braking system's performance.

  • Vibrating Brake Pedal

If your brake pedal shakes violently when pressed, it could be due to worn brake pads. A binding resin holds the pads together, and as they wear down, the heated resin can smear unevenly on the rotor surface. This phenomenon, known as "glazing," can lead to brake pedal vibrations.

If you notice any of these signs, addressing them promptly to ensure your safety on the road is essential. Visit Westside Car Care in Yakima, WA today, and our experienced technicians will diagnose the issue and provide the necessary brake service to keep you safe on the road.