HOW TO: Know When You Need New Brake Pads and Shoes

Your car's braking system is made up of a number of parts that help to bring it to a stop when you step on the brake. Brake pads contact and apply pressure and friction to the brake rotors, which slow and stop the wheels from turning. When it comes to brake pads, the more you use them, the more often you need to replace them. How do you know when you need new brakes?

  1. If you hear scraping, screeching, or another sound when you apply the brakes. Many cars have built-in wear sensors that scrape against the brake disc when the pads need to be replaced.
  2. Pressing your foot down further on the brake to stop. If your pedal sinks toward the floor, it could be an indication of a problem in the braking system.
  3. Vehicle pulls to one side when braking. If you notice the pulling, it could be a sign that the brake pads are wearing unevenly and need to be replaced.
  4. Vibrating or pulsating in the brake pedal. This can be a symptom of warped rotors, often caused by severe braking for long periods of time. The vibration happens because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly. 

Driving on worn brake pads can be dangerous and costly if you have to replace the rotors. Be sure your AAA Auto Insurance is up-to-date. Keep your brakes in good working order by visiting your local AAA Car Care Center. Our expert technicians will inspect your braking system and make necessary repairs. AAA members will receive a 10% discount on repair labor and a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty on repairs. 

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