Whether you’re a new driver, or have been driving for a long time, you may be wondering when it’s time to change your brakes. Overall, it depends on driving styles and other conditions. These repairs are usually quite easy, as minor symptoms will start showing up, making them easy to catch. In this article, we break down 10 signs it’s time to change your brakes so you can stay safe.

1. You hear a grinding sound

Many brakes have built-in metal wear indicators, designed to alert you with a loud sound when they need to be changed. However, a grinding noise when braking is an indicator you need to change them as soon as possible. Ignoring that grinding sound will lead to higher repair costs and a lot more damage.

2. You hear a squealing sound

If you hear a squealing sound when braking, it means your brakes have been excessively worn-down. Similar to the grinding sound we mentioned earlier, damage and steep repair costs are a possibility if you don’t address the issue ASAP.

3. It takes you longer to stop

The easiest way to know if there is a leak in your brakes is if it takes you longer than usual to stop. This can also mean your fluid is low or that they are completely worn down. In this scenario, a mechanic can help you understand what is going on with your brakes. 

4. You feel vibration

Vibration when braking means the rotors that stop the car are not smooth anymore, which causes it to function unevenly. Any shaking in your car is a sign it’s time to change your brakes. In this scenario, we recommend taking your car to a professional.

5. Your brakes are thin

In order to locate your brakes and check if they are wearing thin, simply look between the spokes of your wheels. This thinness is due to wear over time. If they are less than 6.4 mm thick, it’s time to change them.

6. Your indicator light comes on

Both your brake system warning light and your ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) light are warning lights on your dashboard. If your parking brake isn’t engaged and one of these warning lights turns on, we recommend taking your car to an expert so they can diagnose your car’s issues. As we mentioned, these are also the lights that turn on when your parking brake is engaged. So, it’s time to change your brakes if one of them turns on while you’re driving. 

7. You feel a pulling sensation

A sign that either your fluid needs to be replaced, drained, or it’s time to change your brakes, is if you feel a pulling sensation when braking. This pulling sensation often means either a foreign matter in the fluid or the brakes are wearing unevenly. We recommend taking your car to an expert, stat.

8. You hear a clicking noise

In some vehicles, the brakes are kept steady with bolts, clips, or pins. If the surrounding hardware gets damaged, causing them to loosen, they will begin to rattle. This rattling will also affect the car’s stability. When this special holding device is loosened, it results in a clicking sound every time the brakes are released or pushed.

9. Your car makes a noise when you pull over

Sometimes, one brake will thin before the other. This difference can cause issues for your car’s steering knuckles, steering rack, wheel bearings, and your vehicle’s ball joints. Having a mechanic investigate this problem will not only ensure your brakes are changed, but also keep the rest of your car safe. It’s important to know that, in this scenario, a faulty wheel bearing, uneven tire pressure, or a malfunctioning brake caliper can also be the culprit. 

10. You see signs of damage

Finally, it’s important to keep an eye on how your brakes are wearing over time. If you see any signs of damage, that’s a sign it’s time to change them. This wear can happen quickly, so it’s important to stay on top of it.

We hope this article helps clarify when it’s time to change your brakes. If you have any questions regarding your auto insurance policy, reach out to a member of our isure team today. Stay safe on the roads!

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