☑You can perform a visual inspection of your brake pads at any time to keep track of wear. Remove the wheel and inspect how much brake pad material remains on both the inside and outside brake pad. If it is worn down to less than ¼ inch, it needs replacing. There is likely a wear indicator (groove) that provides a quick reference to tell you that it’s time to change your pads.
☑When you apply the brakes, do you hear a high-pitched squeal? This is often a clear warning indicating your brakes need looking after. Squeaks can be the result of a number of things including moisture, rust, or wear. Some brake pads are even manufactured to squeak when it’s time to change them.
☑An even worse noise to watch out for is grinding. When you apply the brakes, is there a sound like two pieces of metal grinding together? This usually means the wear on your brakes is so great, there could be little to no brake material left on the pads. This can lead to damage and scratches on the surface of the rotors, which impedes proper braking. Damaged rotors would need to be replaced at the same time as the pads.
☑Does the vehicle pull to one side when braking? This indicates uneven brake wear, contaminated brake fluid, or a seized or damaged brake caliper.
☑Have you noticed your vehicle is not stopping as effective or as quickly? Does your brake pedal sink lower to the floor and feel spongier than it used to? This could indicate a brake fluid leak or an air leak in the brake hose. Check under your vehicle; if you see a small puddle of fluid that resembles oil, you likely have a brake fluid leak.
☑If your brake pedal vibrates when you push it, your rotors may have become warped. This is often the result of many instances of heavy braking. This reduces the ability of your brake pads to effectively grab. Replace your pads and rotors.