There are times when your brakes will give you sure signs they need to be replaced or repaired, and times when you'll wonder just what your brakes actually need. Needing to have your brakes done means you have to pay attention to what your car is telling or showing you so you get the work performed before your brakes give out on you entirely.
Never attempt to repair or replace brakes on your own. Even if you have basic mechanic skills, doing at-home brake repairs can prove to be dangerous; your brake repair specialist will inspect your brakes to ensure they are in good working condition while they perform the needed work so your car is deemed safe for driving again.
Here are signs your brakes need to be repaired or you need new brakes entirely.
Your brakes are squealing
Are your brakes squealing a lot while you're driving, even with slight pressure? You might notice that your brakes increase in volume when you are pressing hard on them. Squealing brakes may have something stuck in them, although this is more the case if they are making a more loud sound, such as a clanging or grinding noise.
Your brakes should ideally make little to no sound at all, so even if squealing brakes are infrequent or quiet, see a brake replacement specialist to make sure your brakes are in the best condition. Your brakes will be given a test drive and if any work is needed, your brake repair specialist can do work on-site.
Your brakes are slow to respond
You shouldn't have to slam on the brakes to make them respond, or have them appear to respond hardly at all. If your brakes appear to make you coast to a stop rather than give you the abrupt halt you desire, then the brake pads may need to be replaced. If your brakes are slow to respond and make a halting or jutting motion when in use, your brakes may have not just an issue with the pads, but problems with the brake lines as well. Air in a brake line can cause the brakes to sputter.
If you see brake fluid under your tires or on the ground, contact a brake replacement service right away. Your brake repair mechanic will be able to diagnose what is wrong with your brakes and make repairs, often on the same day. Do not drive your car until your brake issue has been properly addressed and repaired.