Needed brake repairs should never be ignored for any car or truck, as even a small problem with a vehicle's brakes can easily interfere with safe stopping, resulting in a collision. A small problem with the brakes can also soon grow into a major fix, so you'll wind up spending far more money to get your car safely back on the road. Note a few questions car owners often have about brakes and needed repairs so you can ensure your vehicle is always in good condition and safe to drive and so you can avoid unnecessary repair bills as well.
What causes brakes to fail early?
When you have new brake pads installed, their packaging may note a certain lifespan, but don't assume that those pads won't fail before that timeframe. Excess amounts of gravel and road dust can get into the area of the brakes, between the pads and the rotors, causing damage. Extreme cold can make both the pads and the rotors brittle, so they tend to crack when you apply the brakes. If your vehicle is overloaded, that added weight also puts extra wear and tear on the brakes, so they will wear out quickly. If any of these describe your everyday driving conditions, don't assume you won't need new brakes until their advertised lifespan is over, but have them checked annually or as often as needed to ensure they're always in good repair.
Why do brakes grind?
Brakes may grind when they're wet, because of the wet metal of the pads and rotors pushing against each other, and this noise should go away once the brakes dry off. If the sound continues, however, this often means that the brake pads are worn down and are grinding against the rotors instead of closing smoothly around them, and they then need replacing.
What causes the car to lag after new brakes are installed?
If you just had new brake pads installed and you notice that your car seems to lag when you release the brake pedal, this could be the result of worn calipers; these are clips that actually squeeze brake pads. If the calipers are worn, they may not release those pads, so the car drags, even if the pads are new. The pads may also be undersized, which can cause them to continue to squeeze against the rotors, which commonly happens with very cheap brake pads.