How Do You Know When You Need New Brakes?

Squealing, grinding sounds, vibrations, and a squishy brake pedal are ways to know if you need new brakes in your vehicle.

mechanic inspecting brakes - how to know when you need new brakes

Are your brakes squeaking? Grinding? Does your brake pedal vibrate when you step down? How do you know when you need new brakes or brake pads? This article from New York’s favorite used car dealer, Major World, helps you figure that out. Let’s get into it. 

Taking Care of Your Vehicle and Its Braking System

Modern cars have become easier to maintain than ever before. Our grandparents and great-grandparents had to deal with everything from frequent valve adjustments and spark plug replacements to carburetors and point ignition systems. Believe us, no matter what they tell you – we have it easier today. 

But one thing that hasn’t changed is there’s still a need for maintenance if you expect your vehicle to last and continue to perform well for you. Brake systems and getting new brake pads periodically are an important part of that maintenance cycle. 

Obviously, you need your brakes to work well – it’s a matter of safety. Most vehicles have a brake-wear warning light on the dashboard. But, as a rule, it’s really not ideal to wait until a light shows up on your dashboard to do anything. They call those “idiot lights” for a reason after all. 

When do you need new brakes?

  • Most brake pads last between 30-50,000 miles – a lot depends on how you drive.
  • Don’t wait for trouble – if you hear noises or feel vibrations, get it checked by a pro.
  • Follow your owner’s manual for brake maintenance intervals and keep service records. 

How To Know When You Need New Brakes or Brake Shoes

The first place to start will always be your owner’s manual. If you don’t have your original owner’s manual, you can contact the new car dealership for the make of the vehicle and order one. You can even find them used on eBay, but make sure it’s for the right model year. 

Flip to the index in the back and look up “brakes”. Most manuals have service intervals for all parts and systems toward the back of the manual. Somewhere in yours, there will be intervals when the brake system should be checked and serviced. 

If you bought your used car at Major World, then there’s nothing to worry about, the maintenance will be up-to-date, and the vehicle in prime condition. But if you bought it privately or don’t know when the brakes were last serviced, then you should consider having the car serviced. 

Brake pads or shoes generally need to be replaced every 30-50,000 miles. A lot depends on the vehicle and the driver of course. 

When it comes to your vehicle’s braking system remember…

  • Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is always the best way to keep your vehicle running smoothly. It will usually cost you less money in the long run to do proper maintenance too.
  • If you bought a used car privately and you don’t know when the brakes were last serviced, it’s wise to have an auto technician take a look the next time you get an oil change. Brake pads usually last 30-50,000 miles or so. 
  • If you buy one of our low-mileage used cars here at Major World, all of the scheduled maintenance will be up-to-date, just follow your owner’s manual for your next scheduled service and you’ll be all set. 

Some Symptoms of Brake Issues and What They Mean

Problems with your car or truck can create a lot of anxiety for many people. For most of us, our vehicle is precious. It gets us to and from work so we can make a living. A vehicle also represents freedom for a lot of people. If you’re a car or truck enthusiast on top of all that, well then you’re into some next-level emotional bonding with your machine. We get it. 

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common brake problem symptoms, from grinding to vibration and squealing. 

This list is not a way for you to diagnose a brake problem—only a trained technician can do that. This is merely to give you a little insight into what might be happening and some peace of mind. If anything seems even a little “off” with your brakes, have your vehicle looked at by a trained technician immediately. Your safety and your family’s safety could be at stake!

Squeaking or Squealing Brakes

Squeaking or squealing brake sounds here and there isn’t usually anything to worry about. But if your brakes make noise almost every time you use them, it’s a good indicator that your brake shoes are wearing out. Eventually, the squealing becomes grinding. Don’t wait. Get it looked at. 

Grinding Sounds From Brakes 

Grinding noises, especially metallic-sounding ones, often indicate that brake pads are worn through. Most brake pads these days have built-in metal wear indicators that are designed to make noise. Get your vehicle’s brakes serviced immediately, it could be unsafe to drive. 

Vibration From Your Brakes

A rapid vibration or “grinding” sensation when you jam on the brakes very hard in an emergency stop or on a slippery surface is likely your anti-lock braking system. Any other vibration through your brakes is unusual though. The most common cause is warped brake rotors – take it in. 

Taking Longer To Stop or Squishy Brake Pedal

If you notice it’s taking your vehicle longer to stop than normal – it is often an indicator of excess brake shoe wear. But it can also mean low brake fluid. If your brake pedal is “squishy” or too easy to press, that can indicate air bubbles in your brake fluid. All of these issues can be potentially dangerous. Do not wait – take your vehicle to a qualified technician for diagnosis

Fall In Love at Major World

Your next low-mileage used SUV or car is waiting for you at our modern Long Island City car lot and showroom. Our vehicles are inspected for common issues to ensure that your used vehicle is in in excellent shape to drive for many miles to come. Come down to see us and find out why more people return to Major World for their next used vehicle than any other dealership in our area. Check out our competitive inventory through our online search portal. Get pre-qualified for financing right here

Don’t settle for anything less than the best-used car and SUV dealership near the NYC Metro Area. You deserve the Major World standard of customer care. Give us a call now at (866) 614-2884.

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