Your brake pads serve as a buffer between the calipers and rotors in the car’s wheels, which creates the friction necessary to bring the vehicle to a stop. Unfortunately, worn or damaged pads can wear down over time and make for dangerous driving conditions, so it’s important to recognize when replacements are needed. Here are a few signs you should take your car in for brake service.
How to Tell if You Need New Brake Pads
1. Squealing or Clicking Sounds
Most modern braking systems come with built-in wear indicators, which are essentially metal clips at the top of the pads. Once the pads wear down, the clips rub against the rotor and produce a squealing sound, indicating that new pads are needed. Additionally, clicking sounds could mean that the pad holder, bolts, or pins are damaged or loose. Either issue requires prompt service from a professional.
2. Vibrating Brake Pedal
Pads contain a binding resin that can sometimes get erratically distributed over the rotor, usually due to wear. This leads to a strong vibrating sensation whenever you depress the brake pedal. This could also be caused by uneven brake pad wear. Generally, a vibrating pedal indicates extreme deterioration of your pads, which can be a serious safety risk, so it’s essential to take your vehicle in for brake service as soon as possible.
3. Slowed Stopping Times
Ideally, your vehicle should come to a complete stop within five to six seconds of hitting the brake pedal. If yours is taking any longer than that, damage or wear on the pads may be to blame. Failing pads cannot produce the same amount of friction they once did to bring the vehicle to a stop on demand, requiring more time to generate the resistance required.
If you notice any of these red flags, the brake service professionals at JL Tire & Auto Service are here to help. Located in Chantilly, VA, they have been serving the Greater Washington metropolitan area since 2013. They are a full-service auto repair shop providing brake, engine, transmission, and tire work, as well as routine auto maintenance. Call (703) 327-4366 to schedule repairs, or visit them online for a list of vehicles they service.