Your brakes need to be in good working order for your car to be roadworthy and to ensure you and other drivers are safe on the road. However, it's often the case that drivers aren't aware of how the braking system in their car works and don't know how to spot the signs of worn brake pads and discs. Here's a summary of the braking system and the common signs of worn pads and discs.

The Braking System

A car's braking system has three main components, and all of the components work together to slow your car down. The system consists of callipers, discs and pads. When you engage the brake pedal, callipers tighten around the brake discs to press the discs against the wheels and slow them down. There are pads on each side of the discs to reduce the amount of friction being created when the discs come into contact with the callipers and with the wheels.

As you would expect, this mechanism can cause the discs and pads to wear out every so often, and when they are worn, there is not enough pressure on the wheels when the brake pedal is engaged. This can leave drivers in a vulnerable position, as they underestimate the time it will take to slow down or stop their car.

Brake pads and discs should be replaced at the same time to prevent uneven wear occurring, and although your driving habits will influence how often these parts need to be replaced, you can expect to replace them a couple of times over a five-year period.

Signs Of Worn Pads And Discs

There are a few common signs of worn brake pads and discs that are worth being aware of. If you feel your car vibrate when you brake, the brake discs have worn out. When brake pads have eroded but brake discs are still intact, your car will pull to one side when you brake or your brakes will make a screeching sound when you engage the brake pedal. In general, you will notice your stopping distances have increased regardless of the driving conditions and you will likely have to press your brake pedal all the way to the floor to stop your car when the brake pads and discs are severely worn.

If you think your brake pads and discs need to be replaced or if it's been over a year since you last had your brakes inspected, schedule a brake check with your local mechanic as soon as possible. Speak with a professional who provides car repairs to get them fixed.