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.


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Recent Brake System Inspection reviews

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Johnny

33 years of experience
264 reviews
Johnny
33 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 L4-2.4L - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
Johnny arrived early which was great, he performed the inspection in less than half an hour, and gave us a complete quote for all items needing attention, including the brakes as our main concern. Johnny is fast and efficient so I scheduled the work done by him.
Ford Escape - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
The convenience is worth the cost. I was also tired of the dealership not really caring about my old car. Last couple of times I had to wait well over an hour to get my car after the dealership said "It's ready!". They also wouldn't fix the things I asked saying they didn't have time and I need to come back.

Jay

37 years of experience
947 reviews
Jay
37 years of experience
Chevrolet C10 Pickup V8-5.4L - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
Knowledgeable, Professional, Friendly, and PATIENT! Sickeningly HONEST, as I tried to ply him with cash, alcohol, outside work, and wild dancing girls - although I wouldn't have "ratted him out" if he HAD accepted. A guy like this needs a "bigger cut" than what you are paying him ... because loyalty like his is hard to find these days! THANKS!
Volkswagen Jetta - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
As usual, Mr. Jay provides efficient and professional quality of work. I would highly recommend him to any customer searching for a good mechanic.

Christopher

10 years of experience
114 reviews
Christopher
10 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-3.5L - Brake System Inspection - Katy, Texas
Christopher was very knowledgeable and was able to address our concerns. We would trust him with future service needs.

Jesse

16 years of experience
61 reviews
Jesse
16 years of experience
Nissan Frontier V6-3.3L - Brake System Inspection - Flagler Beach, Florida
Jesse took the time to explain everything that was going to be done and why and then proceeded to repair my truck not only professionally but quickly. As a disabled Veteran and no longer able to perform work that was needed to be done it is nice to know a mechanic such as Jesse will take the time to explain all the various issues and what needs to be done before a blanket you need everything. After Jesse went thru everything I felt comfortable that all work was required and needed. 8 can safely say I will use yourmechanoc .com again and hope I can request Jess

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