5 Signs of Worn Brakes

Image of bumber to bumber traffic where new brakes can help prevent a collision.

Properly maintaining your car’s brake system is essential to keeping you and others on the road safe.

The last thing any driver wants is for their brakes to give out while driving, particularly in the ice and snow. Be sure to have your brakes checked at a licensed repair facility at least once a year and keep an eye out for signs that it may be time to replace your car’s brakes.

Warning signs that you should have your brakes inspected

The Car Care Council recently provided a list of warning signs that you should have your brakes inspected by an auto service professional. They include:

Noises: If you hear your car’s brakes squeal or make a grinding or clicking noise when you use them, your brakes may need to be adjusted or replaced.

Pulling: If your car pulls to one side when braking, that could also mean your brakes are not adjusted properly or need to be replaced.

Pedal Issues (low pedal, hard pedal and grabbing): If your brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging, or if you have to apply extreme pressure before your brakes engage, you should have your brakes checked. Another warning sign is if your brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.

Vibrations: If your brake pedal, or your steering wheel or car, shakes or vibrates when you apply the brakes, even under normal braking conditions, your brake rotors may need to be replaced.

Brake Warning Lights: If your brake or Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) warning light on your car’s dashboard comes on, you should take your car to a licensed repair facility.

Finally, it never hurts to check your brakes visually to be sure your pads are not worn. You can visually check for brake wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. You should have your brake pads inspected or replaced, if you see less than 1/4 inch of pad.

And if you are concerned about protecting your budget in the winter months ahead, consider purchasing a vehicle service contract (VSC) from Toco Warranty. For an affordable monthly fee, Toco’s VSCs can help avoid the financial burden of unexpected covered repairs and include 24-hour roadside assistance. The level of coverage you can purchase, however, will be based on the age and mileage of your vehicle, and a deductible may apply.

The Car Care Council is not affiliated with Toco Warranty Corp. and has not endorsed Toco Warranty products and services.