Symptoms of Bad or Failing Brake Pads

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.


Next Step

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Recent Brake System Inspection reviews

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Joel

21 years of experience
960 reviews
Joel
21 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Brake System Inspection - Jacksonville, Florida
Joel, did a very good job explained everything he was doing answered all my question and was straight forward what he is doing and going to do with fixing my truck
Infiniti G35 - Brake System Inspection - Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Joel was great. Honest fast and professional. He is the automobile maintenance version of the trusted family doctor, attorney etc. Good to have a QB to save time and $pin job at dealership etc!

Benji

22 years of experience
188 reviews
Benji
22 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake System Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
Benji performed a detailed inspection on my 2007 Range Rover and completed the work very quickly. Highly recommend!!
Lincoln MKX - Brake System Inspection - Gilbert, Arizona
Very professional and knowledgeable. Very good business sense and cordial. Thank you for taking care of my car today! ☺

JOHNNY

33 years of experience
67 reviews
JOHNNY
33 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake System Inspection - Carmichael, California
Johnny was early, friendly, and thorough! He explained things to me about my car that I had no idea about before! I booked him for a diagnostic appointment and I’m definitely requesting him for a follow-up!

Dan

39 years of experience
856 reviews
Dan
39 years of experience
Nissan Murano - Brake System Inspection - Buford, Georgia
Very nice, professional, and knowledgeable! Felt at ease during the appointment and would recommend!

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