Signs My Brake Pads Need to Be Replaced

Never take your brakes for granted. You need your car to slow down and stop every time you step on the brake pedal. Ultimate Auto Repair can help with regular brake inspections every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This gives us a chance to make sure your brakes are operating as they should be and you have plenty of pad depth left. Here are signs that you need new brake pads.


Your brakes will squeal while you’re driving and stop squealing when you step on the brake pedal if your brake pads are getting too low. This noise is caused by a “low pad indicator” embedded in the brake pads. If you don’t have this indicator, your brakes may still squeal when you step on them because your pad depth is worn and the brakes are overheating and glazing the rotors.


If the pads need to be replaced, your brakes will grind when you use them. This is a bad sign. This means the brake pads have worn down completely and all that is left is the metal backing. If you continue to drive your car, truck, or utility vehicle, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot slow down and stop your vehicle. You will also damage your rotors.


Vibration also happens when you have no brake pad surface left. The grinding sound that you hear accompanied by the vibration is the metal backings of the brake pads scraping against the metal brake rotors. This warps the rotors, which is a far more expensive repair than just replacing the brake pads. It’s important to get any vibration checked right away.

Trouble Stopping

You will also notice that it takes longer to stop your vehicle. As the brake pads wear down, they lose their friction-inducing surface, and this makes it harder to stop your car. You will find that you need a longer stopping distance, and you may find that you are pressing down harder on your brake pedal to get your vehicle to slow down and stop.

Brake Light

If your brake light comes on even though you don’t have the parking brake set, this is a sign that you need new brake pads. Many brake pad manufacturers also embed a sensor that triggers the brake warning light or, if your car has it, the low brake pad indicator light to tell you that it’s time to get a new set of brake pads put on your car.

Thin Measurement

If you don’t have that indicator light, we can tell you whether you need new pads. Once the pads wear down to 1/4-of-an-inch, it’s time to replace them, so stop by Ultimate Auto Repair in Jackson, MI, today. We’ll measure your brake pads and inspect the rest of your brake system.

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