Keeping your vehicle in good condition is important -- this is not only to help prevent the need for more costly repairs, but it's also to keep you safe. One of the most important parts of your car to keep in good condition is your brake system -- obviously, you can't drive safely without it.

This means that you should know the signs that it's time to have your brakes replaced, so keep these things in mind. If you do, you can watch out for the need for new brakes while you're driving, and you can replace your brake pads on time -- before more serious brake repairs are needed or you and your passengers' safety is put at risk.

A Squealing Sound

Your braking system includes a sensor that causes a high-pitched squealing noise to emit when your brakes are being used and your brake pads are in need of replacing. This is why it's important to turn the radio down every now and then so that you can listen for this sound. If you hear it, it's important to schedule an appointment to have your brakes inspected immediately.

A Grinding Sound

If you have somehow managed to miss or ignore the squealing sound coming from your brake system, then there's a chance that you will now hear a harsh grinding sound when you apply the brakes. Don't ignore this sound; it means that your brake pads are completely worn down. Continuing to drive without brake repair can put you in serious danger; plus, you could damage the more costly parts of your braking system, which can make for much more expensive repairs.

Your Brake Pedal Vibrates

Your brake pedal shouldn't vibrate when you use it or rest your foot on it. If it does, it's a solid indication that your brake pads are warped or overworn.

Your Brake Pedal Goes All the Way to the Floor

If your car has a good braking system, then it should begin to stop when you apply the brake pedal very gently. If you find that your pedal goes down much farther than usual or must be pressed much harder than usual to get a similar slowing and stopping effect, then there is obviously something very wrong with your braking system. The problem could be as simple as brake pads, so you may be able to have the issue resolved quickly if you take your car to a good mechanic.

You don't have to know how to inspect your brakes in order to tell that your brake pads need changing. Instead, watch out for these signs while you're on the road. Click here for more information.