Symptoms of Bad or Failing Brake Pads

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Brake pads are the component in the braking system that provide the friction to slow your vehicle. They are located in the brake calipers and function by pressing against the disc brake rotors with friction material to slow and stop the wheels. As they are a contact wear item, the brake pads will eventually wear out over time and need to replaced. Usually bad or failing brake pads will produce a few symptoms that will alert the driver that the vehicle may require service.

1. Noisy brakes

The most common symptom of bad or failing brake pads are noisy brakes. Brake pads can accumulate dust as they wear, which if allowed to build excessively, may cause vibration and squealing when the pedal is applied or let off. Squealing brake pads can also be caused by excessively worn pads that have worn down to the point where the wear sensor has come into contact with the rotor. Severely worn brake pads, ones that have worn all the way to the brake pad backing plate, will produce a scraping sound as a result of the metal-on-metal contact between the brake pad backing plate and the rotor. Depending on the extent of the wear, the scraping may be audible when the vehicle is moving forward or when the pedal is depressed.

2. Pulsating pedal

Another symptom of bad or failing brake pads is a pulsating brake pedal. Severely or abnormally worn pads can cause the pedal to pulsate when the brakes are applied. A pulsating pedal may also be indicative of a potential problem with the rotor as well, as the pulsation felt in the pedal is a result of the contact between the rotor and brake pad.

3. Poor brake response

Bad or failing brake pads can also cause poor brake response. If the brake pads have been excessively overheated or severely worn, their capacity to slow the vehicle may be hindered as a result. Reduced brake response will take away from the overall handling and safety characteristics of the vehicle, especially during heavy braking situations where the force and heat generated by braking is considerably higher.

Because the brake pads are essentially the direct component that actually slows the vehicle, they are very important to the overall safety of the vehicle. If you suspect that your brake pads may be worn, or are making noise, have the vehicle’s brake system inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. If necessary, they will be able to replace the brake pads for you.


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Recent Brake System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake System Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

218

Rating Summary
202
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5
202
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5

Jimmi

25 years of experience
44 reviews
Jimmi
25 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake System Inspection - Orlando, Florida
Jimmy was very friendly and professional. I feel very happy to have him return to apply his skills to my vehicle whenever. Thanks Jimmy 

Ramon

19 years of experience
32 reviews
Ramon
19 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake System Inspection - Tucson, Arizona
Ramon is awesome! He really took the time to explain things to me and he was totally honest. I will be recommending him to others and I trust what he says.

Matt

14 years of experience
57 reviews
Matt
14 years of experience
Toyota Sienna - Brake System Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
He did a great job. He was even able to fix the problem same day, and warn us about possible upcoming problems as well as a time frame for fixing the.

Stacy

23 years of experience
178 reviews
Stacy
23 years of experience
Honda Crosstour - Brake System Inspection - Jonesboro, Georgia
Fantastic service, above and beyond. Always early, professional, and friendly. Excellent service. I will be back!@@! Thanks.

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