Signs of a Bad Brake Pads You Need to Know
The success of any brake system in car is directly depended on the brakepads. When you drive your car and step on the brake pedal, the brake pads get pressed onto the disc brakes and create friction. This friction is what causes your vehicle to slow down until it comes to a complete halt, depending on how long you keep your foot on the brake pedal.
Since the brake pads are being used each time you use the brake pedal, they are liable to get worn out after several months of being used. Then the only thing you can do is to replace the brake pads before your brakes stop working completely.
To know if your brake pads are getting bad, there are some symptoms that you have to watch out for:
Most of these early symptoms of bad brake pads are not too serious, so you won’t be in immediate danger if you spot them. But it should prompt you enough to make an appointment with your auto mechanic shop and get the brake pads changed promptly.
On the other hand, if you have an average amount of knowledge needed at replacing such as alternators and spark plugs, then you should have enough skill to replace the brake pads on your own without consulting any auto mechanic. This will save you from having to pay a mechanic to do it for you and consequently save you some cash. The brake pads themselves will only cost between $20 and $100.
Below are some common signs of a bad brakepads that you need to know.
Brake warning light
Every vehicle has brake light which is noticeable on the dashboard. If you can’t find such on your car, you may need to consult your car user manual. When you have bad brake pads, one of the easiest symptoms to recognize is the brake warning light which is normally illuminated on the dashboard. This doesn’t always mean that the brake pads are at fault, it can be an indication of low brake oil. But it lets you know that something is wrong with your braking system. When you see this light, this should be a big enough reason for you to take your vehicle to the auto mechanic shop and have them confirm whether you need new brake pads or it is the brake oil that needs to be replenished.
Brake pads that are extremely worn out will not allow adequate or enough friction with the rotors to slow down the vehicle as quickly as possible. In other words, the brake response will be very slow each time you step on the brake pedal. This could cause a serious accident if you’re trying to brake quickly and have to wait for the braking system to catch up because of the bad brake pads. Once you notice your car is taking too long to stop after you have applied the brake or you have to press the brake pedal continuously before it stops, this is a clear sign that you have to take your car to an auto shop asap.
When you put your foot on the brake pedal, how does it feel? If it feels like it’s vibrating or pulsating, then it is could either be as a result of bad brake pads or bad brake rotors because the vibration usually occurs when the brake pad makes contact with the brake rotor. If one of them is damaged or worn out, then it will cause you to experience this feeling whenever your leg hit the pedal. This is not an indication or sign that you should immediately take your car off the road, it only shows that the brake pad is at early stage of being damaged.
Spongy brake pedal
If you step on the brake pedal and you sense that it is hard or squishy like a sponge, then it is an indication that you have worn out brake pads. Although, this will not stop you from applying brakes, it is just that you will have to put more pressure on the brake pedal than expected. Sometimes you might forget this in the event that you have to apply the brakes suddenly. So, be careful and get the brake pads replaced as soon start noticing this spongy feeling in the brake pedal.
If you step on the brake pedal and you hear some squealing sounds, this could definitely mean that your brake pads are in a bad state. This sound can also indicate that a rock is probably struck within your caliper unit, this sound could also be an indication of lack of lubrication in vehicles with rear drum brakes. When brake pads get worn out with age, they accumulate a lot of dust in them. As the dust continues to increase in the brake pads, they will start to squeal each time you use the brake. Not only that, but the brake pads will get so worn down that the brake sensor will touch the disc brake rotor. If the pads are still not replaced at this point, the worn out will continue to increase until the backing plate of the brake pad is connecting with the rotor. This will create certain scraping noises when you step on or off the brake pedal. At this point it is advisable you stop driving your car and contact the nearest auto mechanic shop. If you continue to make use of your car despite the bad brakepads, you are endangering your life, your passengers as well as other road users.
Shaking in the steering wheel or vibration
When you experience some vibration in the steering after applying the brake, it may be as a result of an uneven rotor or bad brakepads. The brakepads hug the rotors, which in turn causes your vehicle to slow down. Rust or prolong accumulation of dirt often cause this vibration.
Your car braking system will be in a better state if you pay attention to the above signs and you will be able to save yourself from any impending danger which may arise as a result of bad brake systems.