A vehicle can be an essential utility, especially if you want to avoid the hassles of commuting through public transport. However, it can also cause harm if you don’t check its different components properly.

Your car has different components intended to protect you during a car crash. This includes the deployment of airbag modules and automatic recoiling of seat belts. While these two functions rarely occur unless you experience a high-impact collision, there’s another system that you use more often as a driver: brakes.

Being Observant of Your Brake Pads’ Condition

Brakes are complements to your gas and clutch pedals. It’s not just for adjusting your speed but also for preventing you from minor to major car crashes. Most manufacturers recommend drivers replace their vehicle’s brake pads after reaching a 40-thousand-mile mark. This usually costs around 150 dollars for each axle.

While there’s a recommended mileage for a mandatory brake pad replacement, there are other signs that can signify your car’s need for it. If your brake pads aren’t working properly, you’re in grave danger of performing the right maneuvers on the road. This is why you need to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a broken brake pad.

Before you head straight to the highway, you should always check for these four broken brake pad red flags:

Thinning Brake Pads

A thinning brake pad is usually a sign that you might need to visit a car repair shop. You can perform a physical inspection by looking through your car’s wheel spokes. Once you locate the brake pad, you can measure if it’s to standard. If it’s conspicuously one-fourth-inch thick or less, it’s time to get yourself replacement brake pads.

Activated Indicator Lights

Even without a physical inspection, your car can notify you of its various issues. For example, most modern vehicles have different sensors to alert the driver of different complications. Besides a blinker for battery and gas levels, your vehicle could have a Brake Pad Indicator Light, which can warn you if your brake pads are thinning. Additionally, an Antilock Braking System (ABS) could light up if there are other problems with your car’s automated ABS.

Odd Behavior

Looking for visual indicators isn’t the only thing you should consider when checking a broken brake pad. Sometimes, your brake pads can react differently with your input. For example, a brake pad creating squeaking or squealing noise may be a sign of wear and tear. This could mean that there’s friction against metal-to-metal parts, most likely with its rotors.

Another potential red flag of odd behavior is longer stopping times. Your brakes should work almost instantaneously if you use them with the right pressure and adjustment on driving speed. Otherwise, you could stop at the wrong allotted distance between vehicles or crosswalks. 

If your brake pads aren’t working as smoothly as before, it could be an issue with your brake fluid or a leak in your system. This could be a bigger issue altogether, so you need a professional mechanic to confirm your car’s condition.


If your car starts exhibiting any of the red flags above, it’s important to stop driving immediately. This is an urgent matter you shouldn’t take chances with, even if you’re only a few blocks away from home. It’s best to ask a friend to tow your car home or contact the nearest garage to pick up your car for repairs.

If you’re looking for a shop that does brake repair in Hoover, AL, we’re the right company to call. At Hoover Automotive, our expert mechanics understand your car’s need for professional repairs and replacements. Contact us now at 205-587-4888 to receive top-notch customer service.


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