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5 Signs You Need New Brakes

brakes getting checked by a technician

November 22, 2020 Topic: Safety Tips

Does something in your car seem off? Maybe you aren’t stopping as quickly or you’re hearing a squeaking or grinding noise. Don’t sacrifice your safety on the road. Here’s how to gauge when you need to get your brakes replaced. 

Common brake problems to look out for

The braking system in your car is an intricate network of parts that ensures you and your passengers’ safety on the road.  However, few car owners know how to detect when their brakes aren’t working properly. If the brake light on your dashboard just clicked on, the answer might seem obvious. But your brakes may be trying to signal you in subtler ways that they need attention. Avoid expensive brake repairs down the line by knowing the common warning signs to look out for:

  1. Funny sounds when using your brakes

    Does your car make an odd noise while you’re cruising down the road? If you hear squealing, grinding, or pieces of metal rubbing together, your brakes are indicating that they need a repair. But how do you detect where certain sounds are coming from? 

    A squeal means your brake pads have worn down to the low pad indicator and need a complete brake pad replacement service. On the other hand, a harsh grinding noise means you’ve gone right through the brake pads and the metal backing of the pad is now contacting the metal rotors, possibly damaging the rotors, which is a more extensive repair. Check out this guide on brake pad replacement costs

  2. Changes in vehicle direction

    Believe it or not, brake pad wear and tear won’t always happen simultaneously. Does the nose of your car pull to the right or left when braking, without you turning the wheel? This is a common symptom of a stuck caliper, a collapsed brake hose, or uneven brake pad erosion. While there are other common causes of your vehicle drifting, bad brakes should be your most important safety concern. With that said, you should get a free brake quote and schedule a brake pad repair to get the issue resolved.

  3. Brake pedal vibrations or pulsing

    Does your brake pedal vibrate or pulse? Your brake pads might be the root of the problem. This usually means your brakes are warped from heat stress. This can happen from driving down a steep hill or towing something heavy. If either of those activities were part of your recent vacation or work plans, it’s probably time to get your brakes checked. If not, your wheels may be misaligned

  4. Less responsive brake pedals

    Does your brake pedal turn to mush – or catch too hard – when you try to stop? This is a common sign that it’s time to get those brakes checked. Well-maintained brakes grab firmly and ease the car to a timely stop, while bad brakes are much less responsive. Soft brake pads that sink to the floor could mean you need a complete replacement or you have a hydraulic system leak. How to tell which one is which? Place an old sheet under your car overnight to investigate the problem. On the other hand, another sign of faulty brake pads is a stiffened pedal, which usually indicates a faulty brake booster.

    Still not sure where the problem is coming from? One of Brakes To Go’s
    expert technicians can investigate the issue.

  5. Burning rubber odors

    Is there an odd smell coming through your AC vents or when you step outside your car? Almost like melted plastic or burning rubber? This smell could be the result of overheated brake pads and or rotors. Place your hand a couple of inches from each wheel, do you feel excessive heat on one wheel and not the others? If you do, you most likely have a locked-up brake caliper. The car is not safe to drive and your brake caliper should be repaired immediately.

Infographic showing signs of needing new brakes.


Where can I get my brakes checked?

Good news! You have plenty of options for where you can get your brakes checked. You can schedule an appointment at your local dealership or auto repair shop, but you might face lengthy wait times and sneaky prices. Lucky for you, Brakes To Go doesn’t have the overhead of a large service center. So when our brake specialists come straight to you (wherever that may be), you’re getting the best price, on your schedule. 

Troubleshooting the cause of your brake problems can be pretty confusing. That’s why our technicians give you a free inspection to diagnose the problem first. After, we’ll determine the appropriate service, and leave it up to you. If you decide to move forward with the repair, we’ll fix your brakes on the spot. It’s that easy! Get a free quote and schedule your mobile brake repair today.