Updated: How can I tell if my car's brakes need replacing?

Brakes aren’t important to the aesthetic of your car, but they are one of the most critical safety systems. If you were road tripping during December, it’s likely that your car’s brakes were under some strain.

You may already be aware of some of the earlier signs that your brakes are in need of a service or routine maintenance. Below are three signs and symptoms that will tell you that you need to get your brakes checked – but first, what are brakes and brake pads?

Your car requires friction to stop safely, and brakes create that friction. Within the braking system, brake pads are simply the component which applies the pressure to the brake rotor which is what makes your wheels stop.

Think about this: How often do you brake when driving? Brakes are an essential mechanism and the care for your brakes is one of your top priorities when your car goes in for routine car maintenance.

Brake maintenance is covered with a Service Plan or a Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy. With fixed, affordable monthly payments a Service Plan or a Maintenance Plan help keep your car in a safe condition. Click here to get a quick and easy online quote.

 Three signs that your brakes need replacing

   The car shakes when you stop. 

This could indicate an issue with the rear brakes. You can usually tell if it’s your rear brakes by gently applying pressure to the emergency brake. If your car shakes when you stop, you need to get them checked by a specialist auto care mechanic, to ensure your safety.

   Your car makes a noise when you stop. 

This is one of the most obvious indicators that your brakes should be replaced. The noise that you hear is caused by a component called a wear indicator which is attached to most brake pads. The initial warning squeal means that you have time to make it safely to a mechanic for repair.

  Your steering wheel shakes when applying pressure to the breaks. 

This is another common indicator that your brakes are in need of a service, or need replacing completely. This symptom occurs to practically any make or model of car if there’s an issue with the brake. The steering wheel shakes because of warped front rotors. In many cases, this can indicate that your brakes are in need of servicing rather than full replacement and can be dealt with through pad refinishing. However, if the issue is caused by rust, then a full brake replacement may be required.


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