Signs You Need to Replace Your Brake Pads

Maintaining the brake system in your vehicle is obviously of critical importance. To guarantee better safety for you and others on the road, it is helpful to know the different parts that create your vehicle’s brake system, and how to tell when certain parts need to be replaced.

How Do Brake Pads Work?Front Brake Parts Disks and Pads

One component of a vehicle’s brake system are the brake pads. Any time you push in the brake pedal, a set of heat resistant brake pads firmly grip the spinning brake rotors. The brake pads provide friction, which slows the wheels down so the car can come to a complete stop.

Why It’s Important to Replace Worn Brake Pads

Even though brake pads are heat resistant – which is essential since they use friction to stop the vehicle – they still wear down over a period of time. Worn brake pads will begin to lose the ability to slow down your vehicle.
It’s important to replace worn brake pads as soon as possible in order to avoid damaging the brake rotors. Failure to replace brake pads can warp your brake rotors, which makes your vehicle’s brake system extremely unsafe. Here are some signs to remember so you can recognize when you may need to replace your brake pads.

Signs You Need New Brake Pads

An easy indicator of worn brake pads is a loud, usually high-pitched screeching sound that occurs when you press the brakes. Some brake pad manufacturers design them to include a small piece of metal that makes a screeching sound when the brake pad material has worn down so a driver realizes they need to be replaced.

If you have to push your brake pedal in further than in the past, this is another sign that your brake pads need attention. If you press the brakes and your vehicle takes longer to stop than you’re used to, this is another indication.
If you are fixing your brakes by yourself, look for deep, circular marks and grooves in your brake rotors. Severely worn brake pads can leave these grooves in your rotors, which is an obvious sign that they need replacement.

Performance Trucks & Auto Repair Can Help!

If your vehicle needs new brake pads, Performance Trucks & Auto Repair in Montgomery, AL, is here to help. Our knowledgeable team can help you select which brake pads are right for your vehicle, and can replace your brake pads for you. Our team can also inspect the rest of your brake system to make sure it is functioning properly, and to make sure that your vehicle stays safe.

Call us today at (334) 260-3582 for more information or to schedule an appointment!

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.


  1. Knowing the signs as to when it is that you need to get new brake pads is really important. That way you can make sure that your vehicle is going to safe and you are not going to be having troubles with stopping. You never want to have a vehicle that you cannot trust to stop properly. That is just not safe and no one’s vehicle should be like that.

  2. Thanks for sharing this advice on checking your brake pads! Last night, I noticed that I had to brake a bit harder than normal to slow down. It seemed pretty considerable considering I drive it almost everyday. Can that be attributed to normal brake wearing, or do you think that there is something wrong with the brake pad?

  3. How long does it normally take for a brake pad to get worn down? I’m trying to decide when I need to take my car in to get the brakes looked at. It’s really smart how brake pad manufactures add that little piece of metal to alert drivers that their brakes are worn down. Once you get to that point how long do you usually have before your brakes are a danger?

  4. Thanks for the information. After reading this, it seems like I should definitely replace my brake pads. They’ve been making a lot of squealing noises, just like you suggested. If I don’t have them replaced, I’m not sure my car will be able to stop in time. Wouldn’t you agree?

  5. I had no idea that routine break inspections were so important. I like how you point out that with car safety your breaks are at the top of the list. I’ve noticed that there’s some slight squeaking when I press my breaks, so I’ll be sure to get them checked. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great and helpful Blog!! Thanks for sharing this information!!

  7. Thanks for this post. I didn’t know that the screeching sound was made purposefully by brake pad manufacturers. That is really interesting. I always thought that it was the sound of actual damage being done to your rotors/brakes. Great post about brake pad issues.

  8. Some of the signs might actually be pointing to your brake rotors. If you hear squealing, then your brakes are worn. If the car pulls to one side, that could be a sign of uneven wear that occurs not to often. If the vehicle vibrates under braking, chances are, your brake rotors are warped and will need to be resurfaced.

  9. Getting your brake pads done often is really important. Don’t be like me and forget for a long time and then have rotor damage. The rotors are much more expensive than pad and it will not be a fun day for you when you hear that metal on metal noise coming from your car!

  10. Maintaining your vehicles brake system really is of critical importance as you put it. That is why people need to be getting their brakes checked on a regular basis. Then they can make sure that they are keep up on their vehicle. This is something that you and those around you are counting on.

  11. Occasionally when I brake, I hear a metal scraping sound. You mentioned a high-pitched screeching as a sign of needing new brake pads. Is the sound I’m hearing my brake pads or something else?

    • It very well could be your brakes, but the best way to find out is to get them checked. The professionals will let you know what is going on and will inform you of how it is that you should go about it.

  12. The breaks on my car have been sounding really funny lately and I’m not sure why. What makes me nervous is that if they are sounding this bad, they could possibly give out. I’m learning how this all works and this helped me out a ton.

  13. So you said that a high-pitched squeal is a sign of brake pad wear, and that I recognize, but I get just a little bit of a wearing sound whenever I apply the brakes in my Corolla. Is that an issue? I’ve taken off the wheels and felt the rotors and they still feel smooth. Should I take it in?

  14. I am about to get a new used car. The only thing that it needs work on is brake repair. While I’m at it do you think that I should just go ahead and get new brake pads? I’m not quite sure how long the current ones have been in use while on the vehicle.

  15. It is interesting to learn a little bit about some of the signs that indicate you need to change your brake pad. I have not thought about half of these. These are some really interesting thoughts.

  16. Agastya Mathur says

    A wide range of Friction Materials are now available in the markets that serve as the perfect accessories for your vehicle. MasuBrakes has been a well renowned name for manufacturing & exporting the high quality Friction Material like Brake pads, brake lining/blocks etc.

  17. Thanks for this info on when it’s required to change your brakes. This is obviously a very important aspect of the function of a car. I think it’s good to be on top of this type of maintenance and to make sure your car is getting the attention that it needs to function well.

  18. Love this site.

  19. I didn’t know that there was so much you could check to know if you need to change out your brakes. It seems like they go through a lot of stress! Mine haven’t been screeching but I’ve noticed that I need to press my pedal a little deeper than before. It may be time to finally get them switched out!

  20. Hey thanks for the heads up on my brakes. I know this is a little off topic, but do you also have any tips or ideas on leaks on power steering pumps? I’m pretty sure mine is leaking and I don’t want to have to spend a ton of money to take care of it. Thanks again for the great help!

  21. These signs that I need new brake pads will help make it easier to know when I should replace them. It’s good to know that hearing a loud, high-pitched screeching noise from my car is an indicator that I need to change my brakes. It’s funny that you should mention that first thing, because I noticed a loud, screeching noise coming from beneath my car for the past two days. It’s a good thing that I’m now aware of this so that I can fix my brakes. That will help prevent car accidents in the future. Thanks for the tips!

  22. Thank you for explaining why we need to replace worn brake pads. I don’t think I have ever allowed my brakes to get so bad that they start grinding on the rotors, but it would be really interesting to see what kind of damage that would do. One of the signs I listen for is the grinding or pulsation that comes from really worn brakes.

  23. Excellent post! I’m glad that I stumbled upon it because I’ve been thinking about replacing my brake pads. I think you’re absolutely right: if your brake pads are loud, it’s likely that you’re in need of repair or new brake pads. I’ll be sure to follow your suggestion by taking my car into the shop. Thanks for the great advice; you’ve been very helpful!

  24. Thanks for sharing such useful articles.We ensure that auto parts could be replaced and glued before it gets ruined.We can avoid extra expenses if the service and maintenance is up to.

  25. I have definitely realized lately that my brakes are making that high-pitched screeching sound. My brakes are probably in need of some repairs. Our car is pretty old, it runs well, but it’s old. We try our best to take care of it. I will need to take it into a shop soon to have the brakes and brake pads checked on. Thanks for your helpful tips on the signs brakes give!

  26. Do you know if there is a way to check if your brake pads need to be replaced? You mentioned that if you replace them yourself, you should look for a circular mark, but if there isn’t any I’d like to know what else to look for. I have heard that squeaky noises can often just mean that your brakes just need to be oiled.I just want to be sure that I only replace them once they start to go bad, not just when I hear them squeak.

  27. I really like how you said that, “Worn brake pads will begin to lose the ability to slow down your vehicle.” People don’t realize that the whistling noise they hear coming from the tires is an indicator that they are worn out. The other day I was driving and kept hearing a whistling noise, but I had no idea what it was. Thanks for sharing this article because it helped me figure out what the problem was.

  28. Thank you for the help. I have not replaced or repaired my brakes in quite some time and I think I have started noticing it. I have been pushing harder on the break to slow down, as you mentioned. When getting brakes repaired, is it wise to ask the mechanic to check the alignment as well?

  29. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that high-pitched screeching when pressing the brakes could indicate that you need to replace the pads. I noticed this sound while driving home from work yesterday, and I wasn’t sure what was wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve had my brake pads replaced, so I’ll definitely look into getting that done right away. Thanks for the great post!

  30. My brakes are sounding awful and I don’t know why. At this point though, I think its time that I change them up before they get worse. This article helped me see what I need to do and I hope that I can find a good service to help me out.

  31. Thanks for explaining what a break pad is, and why it is so important. I didn’t know that by not replacing the pads it would damage the rotors. I have heard the screeching sound before of a break pad needing changing, but I didn’t know that companies put that in there to let people know it is time to replace them. Thanks for the help!

  32. I’ve been noticing that my brakes make a strange sound when I push them, and after reading this I can see that it might be a sign that I need to get them checked out. It is interesting to me that you point out that heating pads can ware down after a while which can make it a lot more difficult for them to stop your car. I imagine that not fixing them rather quickly after that happens could be a real hazard. I will have to call and get my car in this week, thanks for sharing this!

  33. It becomes very important to analyze the brake system, because, it ensures the safety driving on the road and to conform whether it is in clear condition, it becomes essential to check all the parts connected to the brake system.

  34. I have been wondering whether or not I need to replace the brakes on my wife’s car. I know for a fact that they squeak a little bit, but I guess this is a sure sign that they need to be replaced. Thanks for helping me out because I am pretty clueless when it comes to car maintenance.

  35. Oh, so not only you put yourself at risk of injuring yourself or others when your brake pads are out, but also you risk damaging your brake rotors. I’ve noticed that my brake pads are starting to wear, I’ll have to make sure that they haven’t damaged my rotors. Thanks for your help.

  36. Brake are important since, it analyses the driving safety.

  37. Great post! I have been debating on changing my breaks so this helped me reach a conclusion. Thanks for stating that, ” An easy indicator of worn brake pads is a loud, usually high-pitched screeching sound that occurs when you press the brakes.”. I have this sound so I think it will probably be a good time to change my breaks.

  38. Driving safety is most important! So brake repair are must!

  39. I have had some experience with worn brake pads and it definitely isn’t fun. A friend of mine ended up spending a lot of money after he ignored the sounds when he would hit the breaks. Getting the necessary repairs as soon as possible like you said is a really smart and money saving idea. Thank you for sharing!

  40. Aside from the whistling noise your brakes will make when it is time to replace, you will experience what is called brake fade. Brake fade is the sudden loss of braking power, and tends to happen when the brakes reach a certain temperature, due to the fact there isn’t enough material to dissipate the excess heat through. Your braking distance will also increase, and your foot travel might be slightly longer.

  41. That is so weird that not replacing your brake pads ruins your rotor. I just learned that brake pads wear first but it is good to now know this. I’m looking to buy Camaro brake rotors because I think mine is damaged. Hopefully it didn’t get ruined because I didn’t replace my brake pads. How long do brake pads usually last?

  42. I’ve been wondering what the loud, high pitched screeching sound of my brakes meant. They haven’t ever made noises like that before. I guess it is about time I went and got some auto brake repair work done before the problem gets worse. Does your car ever make those kinds of noises if you don’t need new brake pads like could it be caused by something else?

  43. It is good to know how brake pads work for your own personal information, but also for the sake of your car. For example, knowing that the harder I press on the brake pedal, the hotter it gets makes me more wary of staying on my brakes for too long. That way, I can minimize the amount of brake service I need to undergo!

  44. I knew about the loud screeching sounds, but I wasn’t aware of the different indications of worn down brake pads. I have never paid attention to how far I have to push the brake pedal in order to stop, but if that can let me know when I need a replacement, then I should definitely start paying attention! It sounds like not replacing the brakes on time can lead to a lot of bad complications, so thanks for the advice!

  45. Great post! Thank you for helping me understand when it is time to have my brakes replaced. I really like how you said that “It’s important to replace worn brake pads as soon as possible in order to avoid damaging the brake rotors. Failure to replace brake pads can warp your brake rotors, which makes your vehicle’s brake system extremely unsafe.” I have never had problems with my brakes before but it is good to know that replacing them when problems start to occur will ensure the safety of me and those in the car as well.

  46. Thanks for this information. I especially like the explanation of how break pads work. That helped me understand better why they would need to be replaces. I didn’t know there were some brake pads that were made to produce a screeching when worn down far enough. Thanks again!

  47. I never knew that worn brake pads could cause so much damage. I think that is what happened to my brakes and I had to replace the rotors. That was much more expensive than just replacing the pads. That is something I won’t repeat.

  48. Reading this article has helped me to understand what to look out for when checking my brakes. I really like how you said that “If you have to push your brake pedal in further than in the past, this is another sign that your brake pads need attention.” I hope that I can find a good brake repair shop so that they can help me to ensure that my brakes work when I need them most.

  49. It sounds about right what the author said how brake pads lose their ability to slow down when they’re worn out. I know so because my own brakes aren’t braking very well like it used to. After seeing them in bad conditions, I knew that it was time to find some new ones or even used parts that are still in shape.

  50. Thank you for the help. I recently started hearing my brakes screeching, as you mentioned. I had not realized that meant the brakes needed to be replaced. Is that an urgent sign that requires immediate attention?

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  53. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  54. Thanks for explaining that the brake pads are heat resistant. You also mentioned that they firmly grip the spinning brake rotors. I think it’s a good idea to choose a brake repair shop that specialized in working on your car’s make.

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  62. It is good to know that it is important to replace worn brake pads as soon as possible to avoid damaging the brake rotors. I did not realize that this would make your vehicle’s brake system extremely unsafe. I have heard that grinding and squealing are signs that brakes need to be replaced.

  63. I’ve noticed a squeaking sound whenever I press the brakes. I didn’t know that it was a sign that I need some new brake pads! I’ll be sure to get a professional to help me install them.

  64. Thanks for the advice regarding brake pads and how to know when to replace them! This has been the biggest struggle for me and it seemed impossible to know when you need to and when you are alright. I had always thought that the screeching noise when braking was a lack of oil or lubrication but now I know! Thanks again!

  65. Thanks for sharing a great post. it’s really helpful to all.

  66. That’s actually a pretty good idea that manufacturers had to put metal in it to let you know when you do need a brake change. Mine are probably getting there, but my current problem is that it takes a lot more pressure to actually stop now. I should find somewhere to get my brakes replaced at.

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