The most obvious indicator your brakes need replacing is the squeaking sound you can hear when you apply the brakes. This noise usually indicates that the brake pads have worn down. Don’t be alarmed, the repairs are not too expensive at this early stage. If you wait too long, you may need to have the rotor or the drums replaced. A serious brake failure or repair may occur when the pads make contact with the metal drums causing metal on metal friction.
Check to see if you have a service light in your car. Some cars with disc brake pads have sensors that trigger the service light on the dash board. When the service light comes on this is a warning that your car needs to be serviced as soon as possible. However, do not panic as the service light is very sensitive so the problem will be caught early. This will usually just involve having your rear brakes checked and possibly repaired. Once the brakes are repaired the light should go out. If the light remains on you may have other problems causing it however your mechanic should be able to identify this.
Check your brake fluid levels. If you press down on your brake pedal and they feel slow and unresponsive, your levels may be low. Adding brake fluid will often solve the problem. If a large amount of fluid had to be replaced there is a good chance you have a leak in one of your front or rear brake lines. Have your vehicle checked by your local mechanic for an oil leak.
Furthermore, when pressing down on your brake pedal, check for resistance against your foot. If the master cylinder has deteriorated, when you press down on the brake pedal, it could go straight to the floor, and the car will take much longer to stop. This could become very dangerous and must be checked by your mechanic preferably a mobile mechanic as soon as possible. The master cylinder is where the brake fluid is stored and sent to each cylinder. The brake fluid is what applies force to the front brakes, rear brakes, and drums. A deteriorated master cylinder would interrupt the fluid’s flow into the cylinders causing the loss of break power.