11 Signs That You Might Need To Replace Your Brake Pads

It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to replace your brake pads, but there are some tell-tale signs that you might need to head down to the service center. We’ve compiled a list of 11 signs that you might need new brake pads so keep reading!

  • The brake pedal pulsates as you moderately apply the brakes

This could mean that the disc brake rotors need to be serviced or are nearing the end of their useful life.

  • Despite constant pressure on the brake pedal, the brake pedal gradually drops to the floor

This could indicate a faulty brake master cylinder or air in the system.

  •  The brake pedal requires excessive force to apply the brakes

This could indicate a brake booster failure.

  • The brake pedal is pushed all the way to the floor with little or no resistance

This could indicate that your master cylinder is faulty or that you have a leak in your braking system.

  • The brakes lock up at slow speeds

This could indicate a leak in the wheel cylinders. It’s possible that brake fluid leaked onto the brake shoes, contaminating them.

  • The brakes smoke or emits a burning smell when you stop

  •  A sticking caliper is the most common cause of smoking brakes. This could indicate that the calipers are seizing unless the brake pads are new.


  • If the caliper has seized, one of your brake pads may be noticeably worn down when compared to the opposite of a properly functioning caliper.


  • The rotors can also smoke when you’re driving erratically.

  • As you apply moderate pressure to the brake pads, the brakes squeal (brake pads have metal tabs designed to scrape on the rotor when low)

  •  This could mean that the brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced before the rotors are damaged. Certain brake pads, however, will squeal due to the material. Brake pads with high performance tend to squeal.


  • Vehicles equipped with Brembos, Alcon, or any other factory performance brake kit may squeal due to ceramic pads.


  • When you engage the brakes, the travel distance is greater than usual or close to half the distance to stop

This could mean that the brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced or adjusted.

  • When the engine is running, the ABS light does not turn off

The presence of an ABS light indicates that the system is inactive or offline. Under normal circumstances, the brakes will function properly; however, the ABS system will not operate during an emergency stop, resulting in a longer stopping distance. Several factors can cause the ABS to fail, but the wheel sensors are the most common cause.

  • The vehicle makes a distinct grinding noise when you apply the brakes

This could mean that the brake pads are completely worn out and that damage to the brake rotors is already present. It is critical to replace the brake pads at this point.

  • The vehicle pulls to one side as the brakes are applied

This could be a sign that one of the brake calipers isn’t working properly. This could be caused by a collapsed brake hose, a non-sliding caliper, or a faulty caliper.

We’ve come up with some other amazing articles answering these questions! Check them out here:


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  • How Often Should I Check The Brakes On My Tesla?
  • Why Do The Brakes On A Car Suddenly Stop Working?
  • How Often Should Brakes On An Electric Car Be Replaced?
  • Is It Safe To Drive A Car If The Brakes Are Grinding?
  • What 3 Things You Need To Know Before Getting Brake Service
  • 3 Questions To Ask Before Getting Brakes Service
  • How Do I Pick The Right Brake Repair Service Near Danville?
  • How Do I Know If My Brakes Are Dangerously Worn?

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