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Early Warning Signs You May Want To Replace Your Brakes

Brake replacement should be a predictable piece of automotive maintenance. Whether you follow OEM instructions or you track break wear according to the recommendations of a performance part manufacturer, you can generally count on getting to a certain mileage before needing to inspect them regularly. Sometimes brakes wear down early, though, so understanding when you see early warning signs of irregular brake wear is important.

Early Symptoms of Brake Wear

One often discounted sign your brake pads are wearing down early is a slight dip in brake fluid. If you don’t see any signs of a leak and the loss was not enough to trigger the low-pressure light but it was enough to dip below the fill line, that is often from the pads wearing down and requiring a wider range of motion to actuate. That is not the only early symptom, though, and you will only see it if you regularly check your brake fluid.

The first signs that most drivers see are longer stopping distances and a slight softness to the pedal’s action. If you are used to a very firm and responsive brake pedal, any loss of that responsiveness should have you investigating further because it could also be a sign of brake fluid leaking. The more performance upgrades you have, the more responsive you need those brakes to be, so it might be time to order a new set with your next round of drag slicks if you notice any declining performance.

Additional Signs You Need Replacement Brakes

If you miss those very early signs of brake wear, you are probably going to pick up on the ones that pop up afterward.

  • Metal in brake fluid
  • Grinding sounds coming from the brakes
  • Corrosion on brake calipers, pads, or rotors

Each symptom gets worse over time, too. That means you can expect your stopping distances to keep getting longer and the grinding noises to keep getting worse until you replace your brakes. If you are looking to increase braking power and performance, you should also consider a disc brake conversion for older vehicles to provide the benefits that come with disc brakes in the front and back. Many older cars use drum brakes in the rear.

Upgrading To Performance Brake Pads

If you are looking into competitive upgrades like drag wheels, you probably need a full-performance brake package to make the most of them. At the same time, though, even a grocery-getter can benefit from the responsiveness and durability offered by a small upgrade to performance brake pads. They are built with materials that exceed the specifications of OEM pads, and sometimes with materials that did not exist when the OEM pad for a vehicle was approved.

Performance pads often last longer on vehicles that get nothing but commuter miles, and even when they don’t, they offer superior stopping power, reduced heat buildup from friction, and shorter stopping distances. That makes driving safer for everyone in the vehicle, even if you are just going down the street for some groceries. Check out your options for performance brake pads today.