Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

How Do I Know When to Replace My Brakes?

Posted by Master Power Brakes Team on Oct 20, 2021 2:03:00 PM


Rallye Series Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit

Have you noticed the brakes on your classic car are slow to respond? Does it take longer to stop than it used to? Do you feel the car drifting to one side of the road when you push the pedal? 

Answering questions like these can help you decide when it’s time for an upgrade.

Here are signs that you need to replace the brakes on your classic car and why it’s a good idea to make this conversion.

How Do I Know It’s Time to Convert from Drum to Disc Brakes? 

Disc brakes improve braking performance. They have fewer moving parts and dissipate heat more effectively, which means they last longer. The car brakes smoother because the self-adjusting calipers eliminate unequal braking. Performance is also less likely to be hindered by dirt, water, or rust.

Consider the era in which workers built your classic car with drum brakes. There wasn’t as much traffic on the road as today. Automakers now make as many cars in a month as they used to make in a year. More drivers on the road mean more stopping, which makes drum brakes wear down quicker.

How Can I Tell Whether I Need to Replace My Brakes?

You can use your senses to know whether you need to replace your brakes. 


Start by inspecting your brake pads. If the brake pads are less than ¼ inch thick, it’s time to change them. In a modern car, a brake warning light will tell you the brake pads are wearing down. However, don’t wait for that light in a classic car. It likely means you’ve lost pressure, and you’re about to push the brake pedal to the floor.


If you have squeaky brakes, you may need to get service. Rust on the brake rotors could cause the squeak due to wet or humid conditions and may go away once you start driving. If the noise lingers, you should check it out. A grinding noise indicates you have worn out brake pads, and you need new ones.


When you notice your brake pedal, steering wheel, or whole car is vibrating, this could mean you have warped brake rotors. If your brake pedal feels loose, you may have air in the brake line or a brake fluid leak. Your car pulling to the left or right when you hit the brakes is another indication of brake trouble. 

How Do I Know When It’s Time to Upgrade to Bigger Brakes?

If you have a modern car, there may come a time when you want to upgrade to bigger brakes. It depends on your driving habits. 

When using the car to drive to work, get groceries, and attend soccer games, your brakes are sufficient. But if you take things up a notch with performance driving, you might consider making a change. That’s because you’re taking the car past its capabilities of what the manufacturer intended it to do.

Legend Series Rear Disc Brake Conversion Kit

How to Know When to Replace Your Brakes

Now you know how to tell if you need to replace your brakes and why adding the project to your list of classic car upgrades is a good idea.

Automakers didn’t build vintage rides for the hustle and bustle on today’s roads. Converting from drum to disc brakes will help your car stop smoother and safer.

Maintaining your braking system will help you enjoy your classic car longer.

Let us know what the experts at Master Power Brakes can do to help.

Topics: How To Series, Brake Pads, Brake Maintenance

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