Signs Your Car Needs New Brake Pads

Car body disassembled

Brakes are one of the key features of vehicles. But similar to other parts, brake pads or shoes can also wear down and need replacement over time. When you apply the brakes on your car, some friction material is worn off the pads and/or shoes. As a result, brake pads become thin over time and need to be replaced. If left unattended, the friction material will wear away completely, revealing the steel parts. When this happens, the steel parts make contact with the discs or drums, resulting in damaging them and taking longer to apply brakes. Brakes are one of the most crucial aspects of your vehicle. It is critical that you examine the performance of your brakes in order to keep yourself and others safe on the road. 

Brake pads should be replaced every 50,000 miles as a general rule. However, every vehicle is unique, and there are a number of warning indications that you may require new brake pads. The brake pads can be of metallic, organic, ceramic, or composite materials. No matter what type of brake pads your vehicle has, they eventually lose a little bit of material with each use. When brake pads become thin, it reduces their capacity to stop the car swiftly and perhaps increases the distances required to do so. They eventually wear out altogether, which can create a slew of problems. So, before brakes become a safety hazard, take note of some common warning signs that show it’s time to replace old brake pads and get new ones.

Squealing or Clicking Noise 

You’re driving down the road and notice a scraping, screeching, or buzzing sound. This sound can be heard every time you apply the brakes. The odd noise disappears, only to reappear as soon as your foot off the brake pedal. A squealing sound when pressing on the brakes is a common indicator of brake pad deterioration. This noise is caused by the metal blade attached to each pad rubbing against the rotor, and it may indicate that the pads are too thin for effective braking. Odd sounds are common signs that mean your brake pads are nearing the end of their useful life. You may also hear a clicking sound whenever the brake pedal is pushed or released. This could happen when clips, bolts, or pins that hold brake pads become loose or damaged and begin to rattle.

Taking Longer to Stop 

Also known as “brake fade,” this problem is the direct result of worn-down brake pads or low brake fluid (oftentimes due to a leak). If you need to apply the brake for longer to bring the car to a full stop, clearly there’s a problem. When brakes get less responsive or their performance reduces, it’s time to get new brake pads for your car.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

Signs like brake pads appearing less than a ¼ inch thick or noticing vibration when pressing the brake are also common indicators of damage. A vibrating brake pad means it’s time to replace your brake pads. Vibration is not normal and shouldn’t be ignored. This problem usually happens when the binding resin that holds together brake pads is worn down. If you notice any issues, get the brakes checked and replaced them with good-quality brake pads.


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