Are my brakes wearing out?

Brakes are one of the most vital components of any vehicle and it is essential that they are replaced when necessary. Find out here how to tell if your brakes need replacing.

How can I tell if my brakes need replacing?

Motorists must ensure their braking system is maintained and operating optimally to reduce the risk of an accident – this is one of the most important legal requirements of driving.

Many drivers don’t know when to get their brakes replaced and are unsure of what to look out for. Check out some of the most common warning signs below.

What to look out for


Brakes naturally deteriorate over time and it’s likely that over the course of a car’s lifespan, it will need to have its front discs and pads replaced because of wear and tear. Discs should always be replaced in pairs and new pads will be needed at the same time as well. Depending on how you drive, brake pads can last for anything from 15,000 to 35,000 miles.

High-pitched or grinding sound

A high-pitched squeal when you press the brake is often a sign there could be a problem. When this starts happening, it could be an indication that your brake pads may need replacing.

A grinding sound is another noise you should be aware of when driving, this can very often be a symptom that your brake pads have worn out.

Bad smell

A burning smell may be caused from friction between the brake pads and the discs – there can be numerous reasons for this, however you should get your brakes inspected as soon as possible.

Pulling to the left or right

Another sign of brake wear and tear is if the car wants to pull to either the left or right when you are stopping. This can potentially be caused by a sticking or failing brake caliper.


If you notice some vibration in your steering wheel or brake pedal as you slow down, this may also mean your brakes need to be checked. A vibration in your brake pedal may be a sign that your brake discs are starting to warp (become out of shape).

Pressing to the floor

Drivers also need to be aware of how responsive their brakes are. If you have to press the pedal nearly all the way to the floor before the car starts to slow down, there could be a problem with the hydraulic braking system and you should get your brakes checked.


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