A good braking system must have good brake pads. When driving your vehicle and stepping on your brakes, the pads get pressed onto the disk to create the friction needed for a full stop or vehicular slowdown.
It depends on how heavily or how long you keep your foot on the pedal. Brake pads naturally wear down as they get used for several years. You should replace them when they start wearing down, or else you risk damaging the brake system itself.
With that said, pay attention to the warning signs that you need to replace your brake pads outlined below.
Symptoms of Bad Brake Pads
- Squeaking Brakes: If your brake pedal is squealing when you activate it like in the movies but you're not involved in a high-speed car chase (i.e., you're just stopping over a red light), then there's something up with your brakes. Worn out brake pads build up dust that will make them squeal harder than that guy from the movie Deliverance. You know the one.
- Brake Warning Light Is On: The warning light is there to warn you that something is amiss with your car. It's the same way pain is the way your body warns you that something is wrong with it. Don't ignore that flashing light on your dashboard. For modern cars, you'll likely get an error code referring to brake pad damage and recommendation for replacement.
- Brake Pedal Has Become Spongy: Stepping on your brake pedal should not feel like you're stepping on a sponge. This is an indication that you've worn out your brake pads and they should be replaced ASAP. At this point, you can still apply the brakes, but they're so stiff that you have to practically floor them in order for them to respond.
- The Brakes React Slower: Brake pads that are brand new allow you to react fairly fast to stop lights, stop signs, and traffic jams. Brake pads that are worn down and old won't produce enough friction to stop your rotors and wheels from spinning in a quick fashion. In not so many words, your brakes' responsiveness is totally compromised when your brake pads go bad since the friction and rotor contact mostly depends on them.
- Vibrations from Your Vehicle: Vehicle shakiness is a symptom for many a vehicular ailment the same way headache and nausea are to many a human sickness. However, when your car shakes whenever you put your foot down on the brake pedal, then it's something that's related to your brake pads. You could specifically have bad brake pads or rotors whenever you feel shakiness from the car or the pedal itself.