What happens when your brake pads are worn out?

So your brake pads are done for… and you know it. When you spot the telltale signs that your brake pads are on their last legs, it’s important to schedule auto service at Toyota of Orlando to get them replaced as soon as you can. But what would happen if you simply drove anyway when your brake pads are worn out? We’re here to discuss the risks and what could happen to your car if you take them.

brake pads are worn out

First, let’s discuss what your brake pads actually do. When you hit your brakes to bring your Orlando Toyota to a stop, your brake calipers squeeze your rotors, creating friction to slow you car. Your brake pads make contact with the rotors doing this process and over time, the aforementioned friction causes them to wear down. Luckily, they’re replaceable and the process is simple and not overly expensive; it’s just a typical piece of the car care puzzle. But what happens if you skip this auto service appointment? Here are three outcomes you might face:

Your brakes don’t work as well. When you drive when your brake pads are worn out, your brakes may not work as quickly or as effectively. They may feel “mushy”, or like you have to push down harder on them to get the same response. Additionally, driving when your brake pads are worn out can lead to your car pulling to one side as the brake pads don’t engage properly, as well as vibrating when you you brake that shakes your entire car. All in all, driving when your brake pads are worn out means you’re a lot more likely to get into an accident, so don’t risk it.

You damage your rotors and calipers. However, car accidents aren’t the only risk of driving when your brake pads are work out.  You can also do damage to the other parts of your brake system. Remember how we said the calipers and rotors work to bring your car to a stop and the brake pads act as sort of a buffer? When they’re worn down and too thin to do their job, exposed metal hits the rotors instead, grinding them and resulting in warped and/or cracked rotors. And trust us, it’s much faster and more affordable to replace your brake pads than it is to replace your brake rotors.

You wear out your tires more quickly. Not only can you damage your brake rotors and calipers, but you can also wear out your tires more quickly. When you drive when your brake pads are worn out, your Orlando Toyota has to work harder to come to a stop. Hard braking can wear your tires our more quickly or wear them unevenly, which means you’ll need tire rotations and tire replacements a lot more often than you normally would. Don’t spend the extra money!

How do you know if your brake pads are worn out? Here are some surefire signs you’re due to schedule this car care appointment at Toyota of Orlando:

  • You hear squealing when you brake – this noise actually comes from built-in indicators on the brake pads and is your signal that your brake pads need to be replaced.
  • Your braking is mushy and it’s harder to bring your car to a stop
  • Your car is pulling to one side when you brake
  • You feel vibrations when you hit the brakes
  • You shouldn’t need new brake pads too often; they’re generally meant to last 10,000 – 20,000 miles depending on your driving habits.

Toyota of Orlando is here to help with your brakes and the rest of your car care needs – call us today with questions or to schedule service! We’re open seven days a week at (407) 298-0001. You can also schedule online or visit us in person at 3575 Vineland Road, just off I-4 near the Millenia Mall.