Your car's brake pads undergo plenty of stress and absorb heat on a daily basis, meaning they're susceptible to wear over time. Other factors such as aggressive driving habits might also increase the wear on your pads. It's important to change brake pads once they wear down to prevent damage to the brake rotors, which are much more expensive to replace. Here are some warning signs to look for, so you know when to change brake pads on your vehicle.
Shaking and vibrations
One of the most common signs of faulty brake pads is shaking. If your vehicle begins to vibrate as you brake, then you might need new pads. Another indicator is if the brake pedal pulsates as the car shakes. Vibrating can also mean that damage has spread to the brake rotors so make sure to check them while inspecting your brake pads.
When your brake pads wear out, you'll often hear a screeching sound as you brake. A similar squeaking sound sometimes happens when moisture builds up in the brakes, but the noise eventually subsides once the water shakes off. If the sounds keep occurring, then your car's brake pads might be too thin.
It's important that you install new pads soon after hearing this noise. If the sound changes to a grinding noise, this usually means your pads are ineffective and the calipers are starting to press against the rotors, which can cause severe damage.
Pulling while braking
While bad tires or alignment can cause your car to pull in one direction, worn out brake pads can also be the issue. Whenever there is uneven wear on the pads, your vehicle has a tendency to pull in a certain direction. You might also want to consider checking and changing brake fluid too since the pulling could be caused by contaminated fluid.
Learn more on how to change brake fluid
Soft brake pedal
Noises and excessive vibration are always a dead giveaway, but a mushy brake pedal can be a major indicator too. If the pedal feels soft whenever you brake, then you might need to replace your brake pads soon.