two gloved hands holding a car's brake

How to recognize the warning signs that indicate worn brake pads

How do I know when my car’s brakes are getting old? 

As your trusted dealership in Dayton, OH, Matt Castrucci Nissan prioritizes your safety on the road. Below, we’ll discuss seven warning signs that indicate worn brake pads. By recognizing these signs early on, you can take proactive measures to maintain optimal braking performance. 

Seven warning signs that your car’s brakes are wearing out 

By paying attention to these warning signs, you can address brake pad issues promptly, ensuring your safety and the longevity of your vehicle. For any brake concerns or general maintenance needs, visit Matt Castrucci Nissan in Dayton, OH. Our experienced technicians are here to provide expert service and keep your brakes in top-notch condition. Drive safely! 

Vehicle brakes and parts on a black surface
  1. Squealing or squeaking noises while braking 
  2. Reduced responsiveness or longer braking distances 
  3. Vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal 
  4. Brake warning light illuminated on the dashboard 
  5. Burning smell coming from the wheels or brakes 
  6. Uneven wear on the brake pads or rotor surfaces 
  7. Increased pedal effort or a spongy feeling when applying the brakes 

What does it mean when my vehicle’s brakes do this? 

Check out the table below for a possible explanation for your brake issues. Different brake issues can mean a variety of things, so this is intended as a general guideline. To know for sure what your car’s issue is, consult with a professional technician at our dealership. 

Warning Signs 

Possible Causes 


Worn brake pads, damaged brake hardware 

Reduced responsiveness 

Thin brake pads, worn-out brake linings 


Warped brake rotors, uneven brake pad wear 

Brake warning light 

Brake fluid leak, low brake fluid level 

Burning smell 

Overheated brake pads, seized brake calipers 

Uneven wear 

Misaligned brake calipers, uneven rotor wear 

Increased pedal effort 

Air in the brake lines, worn brake components