How to Tell If Your Brake Pads Are Glazed

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Brake pads press up against your car's brake rotors, located on the inner wheels, to make the car stop. Glazed brake pads can negatively affect your car's braking efficiency by increasing its braking distance. You can determine if your car's brake pads are glazed with a few basic steps. The most common resolution to this issue is to simply get new brake pads.

  • Examine the brake pads visually. You can tell if the pads are glazed if you can run your finger over the surface and it's smooth. A shiny or crystallized look to the brake pad is also an indication that it has glazed over.

  • Listen for a squeaking or squealing sound when you press down on the brakes. This is one of the most common signs that the brakes are smooth due to overheating and have become glazed.

  • Listen for a continuous scratching or squeaking sound even when you don't press on the brakes. In this case, the brake pad may be consistently dragging across the rotor while you're driving. This continuous friction causes overheating that results in a glazed brake pad.

  • Test your vehicle's stopping power, when driving, in a safe location, such as an empty parking lot. If you experience difficulty with stopping the car, such as a delay in slowing down the vehicle or vibrations coming from the wheels, this could be a sign of glazed pads.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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