Brake Pads

How do I know if I need brake pads or rotors?

cropped view of mechanic holding brake pad near assembled disc brakesDetermining whether you need new brake pads or rotors can be tricky, as both components work together to stop your vehicle. Here are some common signs that may indicate you need new brake pads or rotors:

Squeaking or grinding noises: If you hear squeaking or grinding noises when you apply the brakes, it could be a sign that the brake pads are worn down and have damaged the rotors.

Vibrations or pulsations when braking: If you feel a pulsing sensation or vibrations in the steering wheel or brake pedal when you apply the brakes, it could be a sign that the rotors are warped or uneven.

Reduced braking performance: If you notice that your vehicle takes longer to stop than usual, or if you need to press the brake pedal harder than normal, it could be a sign of worn or damaged brake pads, rotors, or both.

Visible damage: If you can see deep grooves, cracks, or other damage on the surface of the rotors, it's a clear indication that they need to be replaced. If your brake pads are worn down to the metal backing, they will need to be replaced as well.

Uneven wear: If one or more of the rotors show signs of uneven wear or thickness, it could be a sign of a sticking or malfunctioning caliper, or other brake system issues.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to have your braking system inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Neglecting your brakes can lead to reduced braking performance, increased stopping distances, and potential safety hazards. A professional inspection can determine whether you need new brake pads, rotors, or both, and help ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable.