If you think maintaining the braking system needs not to be a priority, then you’re making a big mistake. Without an efficient braking system, driving a vehicle is not only dangerous but also disgusting.

There are many components in the braking system that makes the brakes to function properly. And brake pads are one of them that causes friction when pressed against the disc brake rotors and bring the vehicle to a complete stop while applying the brake.

But unfortunately, brake pads get worn down over time and lead to various issues with the braking system that affects your driving experience and safety both.

However, you can’t prevent or delay the damage of brake pads but if you know the signs and symptoms of the failing brake pads, you can get the required repair and maintenance done before the things become worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Bad Brake Pads

#1 – Noisy Brakes

When pressing on the brake pedal, if it gives out the squealing sound, it means your vehicle has the failing brake pads. Generally, this squealing sound is caused by the dust that gets accumulated in the worn brake pads.

And this sound can become louder if the brake pads get worn out excessively that the rotor comes into the contact of brake pad backing plate where metal-on-metal contact makes the squealing sound louder. If you notice this symptom, you should get your brake pads replaced as soon as possible.

#2 – Slower Brake

Another symptom of bad brake pads is a slower brake response. When brake pads get worn out excessively, the friction they produce against the rotor that also gets decreased that causes a delay in applying brake when you press on the brake pedal.

If you overlook this symptom, it can lead to very serious damage especially when you need emergency stop and the braking system of your vehicle doesn’t respond quickly.

#3 – Pulsating Pedal

Pulsating brake pedal is also a symptom of bad or failing brake pads. The excessively worn brake pads cause the brake pedal to pulsate. However, the pulsation in the brake pedal can be associated with the defective rotor also as the contact between the rotor and the brake pad causes the feeling of pulsation.

#4 – Brake Warning Light

When there is any fault with the brake pads, the brake warning light gets illuminated on the dashboard. It is indicative of a problem with brake pads. However, the brake warning light can be indicative of several other issues with the braking system as well. Therefore, it is essential to take your vehicle to an expert mechanic who can exactly diagnose the problem with the braking system.

But illumination of the brake warning light is enough to alert you of the problem with the braking system that can save you from the catastrophic situation.

#5 – Spongy Brake Pedal

When you step on the brake pedal, if it feels spongy or squishy, it means either the brake pads are worn out severely or there is some fault with the brake pedal. However, in both conditions, you will be able to apply the brake but it will take too long to respond or you will have to put too much pressure on the brake pedal to stop the vehicle.

To exactly know the reason, you will need to take your vehicle to the mechanic for inspection.

What Happens If You Drive With Bad Brake Pads

Generally, most people ignore the signs of failing brake pads and keep continuing driving the vehicle with worn brake pads. But perhaps they don’t know the heavy loss they get in return. While driving with failing brake pads, they not only risk brake failure but also cause heavy damage to their vehicle.

The purpose of the brake pads is to safeguard the rotor. When you step on the brake pedal, these brake pads press against the rotor to cause friction that brings your vehicle to a stop. When these brake pads get worn out, the rotor comes in the contact of the brake pad backing plate and starts grinding against it which causes damage to the rotor.

The brake pads also help to disperse heat produced during friction. When these brake pads get worn, they also cause the braking system to overheat.

And if still, these brake pads are not replaced, the excessively worn brake pads can also damage the brake calipers. And the replacement of these parts is quite expensive.


Now, you have understood, how important are brake pads. The delay in the replacement of worn brake pads not only risks your safety but also leads to more damage to the braking system. And in the end, you have to pay high repair costs to get things right. It is always better to do the replacement at the right time before the things become worse, delaying only means paying more.