While coming to a stop in your car, you may notice that it is not stopping as quickly or smoothly as it once did. If so, look for the following three signs that could indicate that you need to replace your car's brake pads or rotors.
Brakes Squeal Or Grind When You Stop
While coming to a stop, you may be hearing a loud squealing noise coming from your vehicle's frontend. If so, the brake pads' top layers may have become torn or slick, making them slid on the rotors. The lack of friction then causes the sounds.
If you are hearing a grinding noise when you stop, the pads may be worn so badly that the metal underneath is hitting the rotors. This can cause permanent, serious damage to the rotors, and could eventually make you unable to stop your car. When you start hearing this sound, the pads and the rotors need to be examined as soon as possible.
Your Car Vibrates Whenever You Apply The Brakes
Whenever you feel the entire car vibrate while applying the brakes, this could be an indicator that your pads have worn down and are skipping on the rotors. This skipping action can cause further wear on the pad, since the repeated impact causing even more pressure on them. However, this could also be a sign that your car's axles or tire rods are malfunctioning, so you should have a mechanic determine the exact cause.
Metal Shavings Are Present On Your Wheels Or Tires
If you are experiencing one or both of the signs above, look carefully at your car's wheels for the presence of metal shavings on the wheels themselves or the tires. Look inside the spokes as well.
When metal shavings are present, this is a sign that the pads are no longer present and they are rubbing on the rotors directly. Whenever you apply your brakes, the rotors are being carved into. If you find the shavings, the pads and rotors must be replaced before you can safely drive your vehicle, as it will quickly become unable to stop while you are driving.
If you see one or more of the signs above, your brakes should be replaced as soon as possible. While you could replace the rotors and pads yourself, you may want to take your car to an auto repair shop like Discount Brake Center that provides brake services if you do not have the time or comfort level for doing the job.