How Do You Know If Brake Repair Or Replacement Is Necessary?

Do you think that your vehicle's brakes are in need of repair or replacement, but you're not quite sure? If so, it helps to know how to diagnose the problem on your own.


Breaks are designed to operate with very little noise or no noise at all. If you hear a squealing sound when you apply pressure to the brakes, this means that the metal wear bar in the brake pads is exposed and causing that noise on purpose. Since you can't get a dashboard indication that your brake pads do not have much thickness left on them, the wear bar is the audible sign that your brake pads need to be replaced. 

Vehicle Pulling

Do you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side when you apply pressure to the brakes? This could be due to several problems that require brake repair. You may have a seized caliper that is now allowing one side of the brakes to work properly. Warped rotors can also cause vehicle pulling because the brakes are not getting even pressure. 

Spongy Brake Pedal

Do you put your foot on the brake pedal and it goes down to the floor? This problem is often due to a brake fluid leak since the system is lacking the necessary fluid to give the pedal some resistance when you press down on it. You could also have a bad master cylinder or rear brake shoes that need to be replaced. 

Warning Light

Your vehicle will have a dashboard light that will indicate something is wrong with the brake system. It may actually say the word brake, or it could have a circle with an exclamation point in it. Take your vehicle to a mechanic when you notice that this dashboard light is on since they can read the error code and find out the specific problem you are having.

Uneven Brake Pad Wear

If you are able to take the tires off your vehicle get a good look at the brake pads, there are a few problems that you can identify based on the wear that they currently have. It is normal for all brake pads to be worn down evenly across all of the tires. However, be on the lookout for tapered wear, one brake pad being more worn than the other, and brake pad material that is cracking. You are likely dealing with a problem that requires more work than simply replacing the brake pads. 

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