How Do You Know if You Need New Brake Pads or Rotors?

If there is one component in your vehicle that cannot be ignored, it is the brake system. If your vehicle fails to stop when and where you expect it to, an accident could be just minutes away. Because properly working brakes are an absolute must for safe driving, be alert if you feel your brakes begin to fail or lose their effectiveness. Don’t put off a needed brake replacement.

So how do you know if you need new brake pads or rotors?

  • Visually check the brake pads through the spaces between the wheel’s spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad.
  • Listen for a high-pitched screeching sound while braking. This is an audible warning when brake pads need to replace.
  • If your brakes are not as responsive as they used to be, or if the pedal “sinks” toward the floor, this could be an indication of brake fluid or an air hose leak.
  • If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may indicate that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. The brakes may need an adjustment, or the fluid drained and replaced.
  • A grinding or growling noise is typically one of the signs of worn brake pads, most likely beyond repair. This is caused by the two pieces of metal rubbing together. This can “score,” or scratch your brake rotors, creating an uneven surface.
  • If you feel a pulsation when applying the brakes it could be a sign of warped brake rotors, which happens when the brakes are applied for an extended period of time.

If you’re experiencing any of the signs above, schedule an inspection of your braking system so that your vehicle drives as safe as possible.

Are you wondering how do you know if you need new brake pads or rotors? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at theWrench, Ltd. Car Care Center about a brake replacement and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Silverdale, WA, and the surrounding area.