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Keep Your Brakes in Check: 5 Signs It's Time for New Pads and Rotors

Your car's brakes are arguably its most critical safety feature. Regular maintenance and prompt replacement of brake pads and rotors are essential to ensure your vehicle stops safely and reliably. Knowing the signs that indicate when it's time for new brake pads and rotors can prevent potential accidents and keep you and your passengers safe. At McMahon Automotive in Whangaparaoa, we specialize in brake maintenance and replacement, ensuring your car stops smoothly and reliably every time.


  1. Squealing or Grinding Noises: One of the most common signs that your brake pads need replacing is a high-pitched squealing or grinding noise when you apply the brakes. This sound is caused by the wear indicator, a small metal tab built into the brake pad. When the brake pad wears down to a certain level, it comes into contact with the rotor, creating a noise. Ignoring this sound can lead to rotor damage and compromised braking performance.

  2. Vibrations or Pulsations: If you feel vibrations or pulsations through the brake pedal or steering wheel when you apply the brakes, it's a sign that your brake rotors are warped or unevenly worn. Warped rotors can affect braking efficiency, causing the vehicle to shake or shudder when slowing down. Prompt replacement of the rotors is necessary to restore smooth and reliable braking.

  3. Reduced Brake Pad Thickness: Inspecting the thickness of your brake pads is a straightforward way to determine if they need replacing. Most brake pads have a minimum thickness indicator. If the pad is worn down to the indicator or less, it's time for replacement. Additionally, visually inspecting the brake pads through the wheel spokes can give you an idea of their condition. If the pads appear thin or worn unevenly, replacement is necessary.

  4. Longer Stopping Distances: If you notice that your car takes longer to come to a stop than usual, it could be due to worn brake pads or rotors. As brake pads wear down, they lose their ability to grip the rotor effectively, resulting in increased stopping distances. This can be particularly dangerous in emergency braking situations. Prompt replacement of brake pads and rotors is essential to maintain optimal braking performance.

  5. Dashboard Warning Lights: Many modern vehicles are equipped with brake wear sensors that trigger a warning light on the dashboard when the brake pads are worn. If you see the brake warning light illuminated on your dashboard, it's crucial to have your brakes inspected as soon as possible. Ignoring this warning can lead to further damage and compromised safety.



At McMahon Automotive in Whangaparaoa, we understand the importance of properly functioning brakes for your safety and peace of mind. Our experienced technicians are skilled in diagnosing brake issues and replacing brake pads and rotors efficiently and effectively. Using quality parts and advanced tools, we ensure your car stops smoothly and reliably, keeping you and your passengers safe on the road.


Don't wait until it's too late to address brake issues. Knowing the signs that indicate when your brake pads and rotors need replacing can prevent accidents and ensure your vehicle stops safely and reliably. At McMahon Automotive in Whangaparaoa, we specialize in brake maintenance and replacement, offering expert service to keep your car in top condition and your family safe on the road. Trust us to bring your car back to life and ensure your brakes are operating at their best.

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