Driving a car with worn brake pads is extremely dangerous for you, other drivers, and pedestrians since you might lose the ability to slow or stop your car at any time. This can have disastrous consequences.

Driving with worn brake pads might also cause additional issues. Your vehicle may be seriously damaged and require repairs that are far more expensive than replacing your brake pads. Here are four things that might happen if your brakes are worn.

1. Cause Damage to the Rotor and Calipers

When you push down on the brake pedal, the calipers grip the rotor and create friction. This friction is what slows your car down. If your brake pads are worn, they can cause damage to the rotor and calipers. The rotors can become warped or cracked, and the calipers can be damaged as well.

2. Drastically Decrease Your Stopping Power

Worn brake pads will drastically decrease your stopping power. This is extremely dangerous because you might not be able to stop your car in time if someone cuts you off or if there’s an animal on the road.

3. Overheat Your Brakes

Worn brake pads can also cause your brakes to overheat. When your brakes overheat, they can become less effective and might even fail completely. This is incredibly dangerous because it means that you could lose the ability to slow or stop your car entirely.

4. Cause an Accident

All of these factors – decreased stopping power, overheating brakes, and damage to the rotor and calipers – can ultimately lead to an accident. And, of course, accidents are always dangerous. They can cause injuries, property damage, and even death.

How to Know if Your Brake Pads are Worn

Fortunately, you won’t have to guess whether your car needs new brake pads—your car will inform you when it does, in its own unique way.

Here are several indicators that you need new brake pads:

1. Squealing or Grinding Sounds

If you hear squealing or grinding sounds when you push down on the brake pedal, it’s a good indication that your brake pads are worn. These sounds are caused by the calipers gripping the rotor.

2. Vibrating Brake Pedal

Another indicator of worn brake pads is a vibrating brake pedal. This is usually caused by warped rotors. When the rotors are warped, they don’t create as much friction, so the car doesn’t slow down as effectively. This can cause the brake pedal to vibrate.

3. Less Effective Braking

If your car takes longer to stop than it used to, it’s a good indication that your brake pads are wearing thin.

4. Burning Smell

If you notice a burning smell when you use the brakes, it’s likely because the brake pads are overheating. This is caused by friction, and it’s a serious problem. If you notice this indicator, you should take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

5. Dashboard Warning Light

Many cars have a dashboard warning light that comes on when the brake pads are getting low. If you see this light, it’s time to replace your brake pads.


Taking your car in to get new brake pads is a simple and relatively inexpensive fix. But if you don’t take care of the problem, it can turn into a much bigger and more expensive problem. So if you think your car might need new brake pads, don’t wait—take it to a mechanic right away.

Hoover Dam is the go-to expert when it comes to automobile maintenance and repair. We are an auto repair center in Hoover, AL specializing in brake maintenance services plus other automobile repairs. Get in touch with us today!

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