Neglecting your braking system can lead to increased repair costs, or worse, no brakes at all. Fortunately, paying attention to some of the signs of brake wear can keep you on top of stopping maintenance, saving you some money.

The indicator that your vehicle's brakes need attention is an incredibly high pitched squeal when you come to a stop. Brake pad manufacturers include a little piece of metal called an indicator on the pad itself. When the material wears down to the point where less than ¼ inch is left, the metal piece begins to touch the vehicle's rotor, doing a pretty good impression of fingernails on a chalkboard. Depending on how hard you drive, that usually means you should replace your brake pads within the month.