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When to Change Your Brake Pads: What are the Warning Signs?

When to Change Your Brake Pads: What are the Warning Signs?

Daily commutes, trips to the store and road trips to see family all put stress on your brake pads. The heat and friction will cause your brakes to wear over time. To keep the rotors and other pieces of the braking system healthy, you'll need to replace the pads when they wear down. Here are the warning signs you'll want to look out for so you know just when to install a fresh set of brake pads.

when to change brake pads

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.

Squeaking Brakes

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 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.