How to Check Your Car Brakes

We’re Available to Help with your Break Service

Although you may not think about them often, you rely on your brakes every time you push down on the brake pedal—so it’s important to keep them working their best. Fortunately, brakes are designed to give some clear signals when it’s time to have them professionally inspected or replaced. Checking your vehicle’s brake pads is easy and something you can do yourself without any real automotive knowledge. 

There are two main ways you can check your brakes: visually, while the car is parked, and while driving. 

How to Visually Check Your Car Brakes

First, take a look at your brakes while your car is parked (and the ignition is off) to see if there are any signs of wear and tear. 

  • Check the wheels. When you use your brake pads, it creates dust that builds up on the wheels. This is completely normal. However, if you notice your wheels seem to be cleaner, the brake pads may be worn out and should be replaced as soon as possible. 
  • Check the brake pads. In many vehicles, the brake pads can be seen through the wheels. Check each brake pad’s thickness; if any of them seem thin (less than 1/4 of an inch), it’s time to have them replaced. Some brake pads also have a wear indicator. This looks like a slot running through the center of the brake pad. If that slot is almost gone, the pad will likely need to be replaced. 

How to Check Your Car Brakes While Driving

  • Listen to your brakes. When brake pads are worn out, they’ll often make noises like squeaks or metal scraping on metal. If these noises get louder when you use your brakes, it’s a good indication that it’s time for a brake pad replacement. 
  • The brake warning light. If the brake warning light turns on while you’re driving, you could be running low on brake fluid. Schedule an appointment to have your brakes checked as soon as possible. 
  • Vibrations in the steering wheel and brake pedal. Worn brake pads will often cause the steering wheel or brake pedal to vibrate while braking. 


These signs can also indicate that it’s time to have your brake pads replaced:

  • It takes longer than normal to come to a complete stop
  • Your car pulls to one side when you hit the brakes
  • Your foot goes down further than normal when you push on the brake pedal

Is it Time for a Brake Pad Replacement? Visit Fisk Automotive! 

If you’ve noticed any of these signs, or you don’t feel comfortable checking your brakes yourself, Fisk Automotive is here to help! From inspections and maintenance to brake repair, we offer every service you need to keep your brakes in excellent shape. We also use the latest equipment and make sure that your vehicle always meets factory specifications. For high-quality auto care and the friendliest service in Fullerton, schedule an appointment at Fisk Automotive today! Call us today at 714-526-3303 or request an appointment online. 

Affiliations & Certifications

Find out more about our Professional Affiliations that help make Fisk Automotive your best Fullerton Auto Repair choice.
Learn More »

Translate »