Signs That Your Brakes Are Done For or Need Serviced

You have to use all senses to tell when your brakes are in need of replacement or when an element of the braking system needs to be serviced. From listening to feeling and even just taking a look, here are common ways to tell when you need to get your brake system repaired ASAP.

By the way, if you’re told that your brakes are down to 2mm, you shouldn’t wait to get them replaced. This is dangerously low and your car is highly unlikely to make it to your next basic service before the brake pads completely wear out.


The brakes look less than a quarter of an inch thick. If you have a vehicle where you can easily see the brakes pads, give ‘em a look. If they appear to be under a quarter of an inch thick, bring your car in immediately for a brake pad replacement at Toyota of Richardson.

Very little or too much pressure is needed to engage the brakes. Do your brakes react immediately no matter how gently you touch them? This could mean several things, including uneven rotor wear or dirty brake fluid. Do you have to take your pedal almost down to the floor before the car slows down? This could also mean several things, including the possibility of having air in the brake fluid or low brake fluid levels. It may even have to do with a hydraulic system issue.

It takes longer than it used to for your car to come to a stop. If your brake pads are bad or worn, or if your car is leaking brake fluid, if can hinder stopping power.

When you apply the brakes you feel vibration. This may indicate issues that have nothing to do with the brake system; but when the vibration is the result of a brake issue, it likely has to do with warped rotors. The brake pads may be just fine, but if your rotors are warped the pads can’t grab the rotors like they should, leading to irritating vibration.

You hear a high pitched noise or a grinding sound when braking. If you’ve heard a high pitched noise when you brake for a while now, that’s a warning sign that the brake pads have thinned to a dangerous point and need replaced. Let it go and the next sound you could hear is grinding, which indicates that the pads are done for and that you’ve got some metal-on-metal action happening (i.e., the calipers are grinding against the rotors, causing expensive damage).

When you brake you feel the car pulling to one side. If this is indeed a brake-related problem, it could have to do with a caliper that’s stuck, a brake hose that’s collapsed or unevenly worn brake pads. Pulling is also commonly caused by other vehicle parts too, so have one of our certified mechanics take a look if you’re experiencing this.

Categories: Parts, Service, News
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