Replacing your brake rotors and brake pads is an essential maintenance task that can keep your vehicle safe on the road. It can be difficult to determine when you need to replace your brakes, so look for these signs that your braking system needs to be repaired.
Your ABS Light Is On
One of the first signs you’ll receive is your brake light. The ABS light is signaled on your dashboard if there is even a minor change in your braking performance. Even if you don’t notice any braking issues, it’s best to have your vehicle inspected for signs of poor brake performance. This warning light may also be caused by a failed sensor, but it’s better to check than to experience serious braking issues on the road.
Shuddering, Halting Motions
Unusual stopping power is the most noticeable sign that you need to repair your brake system. Halting, shuddering stopping may be caused by a sticking brake caliper. This forces the brake pad against the rotor and doesn’t release it immediately when you remove your foot from the brake pedal.
Low Brake Fluid
Under normal circumstances, your brake fluid should remain at the optimal level and perform well. Over time, there may be some moisture in your brake line, which would cause your brakes to feel soft and take more time to come to a complete stop. Otherwise, low brake fluid is typically a sign of a leak. Have a mechanic inspect your brake lines before you purchase more brake fluid to prevent wasting more fluid through leaking lines.
Decreased Stopping Power
There’s nothing worse than failed brakes. As you push on your brake pedal, your vehicle should be responsive and quickly come to a stop. Decreased stopping power may be a sign that you need new brake pads. Brakes may slowly lose efficiency, or it may seem like an overnight change.
Decreased stopping power can point to a number of issues. While brake pads are a common culprit, you also may have issues with your calipers, rotors or brake lines. Inspect your entire brake system to determine whether you need new components or if a new set of pads will restore your brake system.
Grinding and Squealing Noises
A grinding, metal-to-metal scraping sound is one of the final warning signs you’ll receive. This usually means that your brake pads are worn down so far that the steel backing plate is exposed. This means your braking power is severely limited and continuing to brake will damage your rotors.
Thankfully, new brake pads include thin metal strips that create this noise before it’s too late. While it’s still a sign that you need new brake pads, they may not be completely worn down to the backing plate and rivets, so you may have some stopping power left to carefully drive to your nearest auto parts store.
Find Affordable Replacement Pads Today
If you need to know how much do brakes cost or what type of brake pads you need, stop by a reliable auto parts store or shop online. Find out how you can receive affordable, long-lasting pads that reliably fit your vehicle and restore your braking power.