The average person drives about 13,476 miles every year. If you’re like most drivers, you rely on your car every day to get you where you need to go. That means you put a lot of wear and tear on your car’s systems.

One of the most important components of your car is your brake system. You use your brakes dozens of times every time you’re behind the wheel, but how do you know if it’s time for a replacement?

Here are a few tell-tale signs that your car’s brakes need attention.

1. The Warning Light Is On

The easiest way to tell that your car needs new brakes is to look at the warning light indicators on your dashboard. If the “check brakes” light is on, it’s time to go to the shop.

Though excessive wear and tear can trigger the light, unexpected damage that results in emergency repairs may also trip the sensor. The only way to know for sure if you need new brakes is to schedule a brake check with your mechanic.

2. There’s a Grinding Noise When You Stop

When car brakes are in good condition, they should work almost silently. If you hear grinding anytime you tap the pedal, you have a major problem on your hands.

The grinding noise is often caused by wear on the brake pads. Every time you use your brakes, the pads come into contact with the brake rotors. They put pressure on those rotors and slow the momentum of your car.

Over time, the pads will wear away and once they do, you’ll feel and hear grinding when you stop. If left unrepaired, you’ll end up needing to replace your brakes and pads entirely.

3. The Brakes Don’t Respond Quickly

You rely on your car’s braking system to keep you safe and, if you’ve driven your car for a while, you know your braking distance like the back of your hand. However, as the system deteriorates, your braking distance will increase.

If you notice that your brakes are responding more slowly, you likely need a replacement. Once the new brake pads, rotors, and drums get installed, your braking distance will be back to normal.

4. You Can’t Control Your Car When Braking

You always need to be in control when you’re driving. Unfortunately, damaged brakes can make it hard for you to stay in control when decelerating.

Pay attention to the way your car handles anytime you come to a stop. If you feel the wheel getting pulled out of your hands or notice the car moving toward one side of the road, schedule a brake service appointment immediately.

According to the experts at Kor-Pak, the loss of control may be due to a dead caliper or damaged brake line. Leaving it in place will put your safety at risk and could cause more significant damage to your car.

Get Your Brakes Checked Regularly

Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your car’s brakes in good shape, but unexpected repairs happen all the time. If you notice any of these warning signs in your car, don’t wait.

Bring your vehicle to your mechanic as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the safer your car will be.

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you stay safe on the road? Check out our latest posts.