5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Brake Pads

Have you ever heard or experienced a sharp squealing sound as you or a nearby car is applying the brakes? This is a common indicator that the vehicle’s brake pads need to be replaced. While car owners often remember to have their oil changed like clockwork, having areas like your brakes inspected is often forgotten or neglected. However, it’s one of the most important parts of your car to take care of, for obvious safety reasons. If you notice any of these signs of worn brake pads, bring your car into your local Orange auto repair shop in order to have your brake pads replaced as soon as possible.

1. Indicator Light Turns On

The most obvious way to tell if your brake pads are worn down is if your indicator light turns on. Not all car models have this, but some newer vehicles have a sensor on the brake pad that will trigger an indicator light when the brake pads become worn down. If your brake light turns on, bring your vehicle into an auto repair professional in order to have them assessed and replaced.

2. Squealing Sound 

One of the most common symptoms of a worn-down brake pad is a sharp squealing or squeaking sound. If you hear this sharp noise when applying the brakes, it’s highly likely that your brake pads need to be replaced. Although some conditions such as cold or rain can cause occasional squealing, hearing this noise consistently through all weather is a sign that it’s time to have your brakes evaluated by a professional.

3. Grinding Metal Sound

One of the worst noises you can hear is a deep grinding metal sound. This likely means that your brake pads have worn down completely and are irreplaceable. The sound is caused by the disc and the caliper rubbing together as the brake pad has been completely eroded. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to have your rotors turned or replaced, and your brake pads are likely beyond replacement as well.

4. Car Shakes When Braking

There are several reasons that your car could be vibrating, most a common cause is brake issues. If your car begins to vibrate and idle roughly when you’re braking, it’s likely caused by worn-down brake pads. The front brakes receive the most stress when you’re braking, so if your brake pads need to be replaced, your vehicle may start shaking when the brakes are applied. It’s advised that you replace your brakes every 50,000 miles on average to avoid this.

5. Reduced Responsiveness 

The final sign of worn brake pads is reduced responsiveness, also known as “brake fade”. Applying the brakes over a vast distance without bringing the car to a full stop can take a serious toll on your braking mechanism. Whether you live in a hilly area or you ride the brakes on a city freeway, forcing the pads to make contact with the rotors for an extended period of time will cause the brake pads to wear down. This reduces their ability to generate friction and, as a result, your car won’t come to a stop as quickly and efficiently as it used to.

If you notice any of these signs of worn-down brake pads, it’s highly recommended that you bring your vehicle into Citywide Auto Care as soon as possible. Your brakes are a vital part of your car that need to function properly in order to guarantee your safety in the vehicle. Even if you don’t experience any noticeable signs such as the ones above, it’s always wise to have an experienced mechanic check your brakes whenever you bring your vehicle in for an oil change or any other maintenance services. If you’re an Orange resident looking to replace your brake pads or have their status assessed, give Citywide Auto Care a call at (714) 633-4211. We would love to help you make an appointment for the time most convenient for you.