While pulling up to a traffic light with loudly screeching brakes can be quite embarrassing, it’s also a big safety hazard. Worn brake pads are much more than annoying — they can lead to further costly damage and accidents. Here are some things that can happen if you drive around on worn brakes.
Damage to the Brake Rotors and Calipers
The brake system is comprised of many moving parts, with each one affecting the other. When one component experiences damage, that wear and tear can affect all other elements.
Let’s say your brake pads have worn down past a specific point. This can cause damage to the brake rotors. When you apply the brake, the brake pads tell the rotor to stop the vehicle. But when you have extremely worn pads, that exposed metal is what grinds against the rotors, which produces that awful sound.
If that weren’t enough, excessive heat is generated from all that grinding, which can crack or warp the rotor. Brake rotors usually last longer than the brake pads but you still need to replace the brake pads regularly to avoid frequent repairs. When you engage in regular brake changes and maintenance, you can extend the life of your braking system and prevent unnecessary repairs.
Slow Response Time
Sometimes, when you need to brake, you need to brake now! If your brakes are so worn that they can’t make your car come to a timely stop, this could lead to collisions and fender benders – or worse. One of the things you should be thinking about if your brake pads are starting to wear down is your car’s response time.
If your brakes are glazed, you will have to push harder on the brakes to come to a stop. This is a telltale sign that you need replacement.
Other things can happen when driving on glazed brakes, such as brake slippage, longer stopping distances, and the tendency of your car to pull to one side when braking. Brake slippage happens when the brake pads fail to engage or disengage the rotor. This means the pads can’t grip both sides correctly, which causes drifting.
When your brakes are in good form, you can brake smoothly. But when the pads are worn out or the rotors are damaged, braking will cause your car to vibrate. So, if you experience shaking when braking, or even just the steering wheel, you need to get your brakes serviced.
When you drive with worn brakes, this actually wears your tires down as well. You may have the tendency to slam on the brakes to stop or slow down your vehicle when driving with worn brake pads, calipers or rotors. This puts more wear and tear on your tires, so the tread wears down faster than normal and your wheels become misaligned.
When you take care of your brakes, you take care of your tires!
The bottom line, is don’t drive with worn out brakes. While you can do so in a pinch – to get your car to the shop, for example, you should stay off them once you know the brakes are shot. This will prevent further damage to the system, which can get very costly. For brake safety and an overall better driving experience, schedule regular brake work, inspections and replacement with your trusted Fort Worth auto mechanic.
Contact Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza
It’s our job to keep you safe on the road. If you’re starting to feel squishy brakes or hear squealing when you stop, bring your vehicle to Rick and Ray’s Auto Plaza. We offer a full range of brake system services, such as rotor repair and pad replacement.