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How to Tell When Diesel Trucks Need New Brakes

Replacing the brakes on your diesel truck at the right time is important for safety and performance. Here’s how to tell when diesel trucks need new brakes.

Cruising down the highway is great, but when it’s time to hit the brakes, they should work.

You know that over time, brake pads wear out, brake fluid gets low and you need to fix it. But do you know the signs that can indicate this in diesel trucks?

There are many ways to tell, but to catch it before it gets worse, you have to know what to look for. Keep reading and we’ll tell you all about the signs that you need to get into a repair shop.

What Can Affect the Life Span of Your Brakes?

Your brake pads are an important part of your truck. That’s why they’re a part that you should have serviced regularly.

The average lifespan of your brake pads is 50,000 miles. You should have them replaced around this time.

Depending on a few other factors, your brake pads can either last longer or shorter than this.

The way you use your brakes has a lot to with how long they last. If you press the brakes hard, they’re going to wear down much faster than if you gradually push down on them.

It can also come down to where you’re driving your diesel truck. If you’re cruising down long highways where the brakes are rarely used, then they’ll last for a longer time. If you drive in a place where you hit every red light, you’ll find that they wear down quicker.

Keeping these factors in mind, you should watch out for the following signs that you need new brakes.

Signs You Need New Brakes

When you come across any of the signs mentioned here, you should plan to get your brakes serviced. They can be indicators of minor problems or even more serious issues.

To be on the safe side and keep your truck in top shape, you should always keep an eye on them.

Your Brake Pedal Isn’t as Effective

Have you pushed on your brake pedal only to find that it takes more pressure than usual to stop? If so, you could be dealing with one of a few different brake problems.

Leaks are known to cause this issue, so having your diesel truck checked for this can be helpful.

You might also notice that your truck takes longer to stop. This is another way to tell that there’s something wrong with your brakes.

What’s That Sound?

No one wants to hear screeching or squealing when driving. But if you do, it’s a big sign that there’s an issue with the brakes.

It could be a number of different noises that can indicate this issue. Sometimes, your brakes will make a grinding noise. This can tell you that there’s a problem with the rotors being ground. It’s an issue that needs fixing as soon as possible.

If you notice any noise at all, you should get your truck in to get the brakes checked.

Who Turned on the Lights?

The lights in your truck are helpful in many ways. They can alert you to issues before they happen.

There are warning lights in some diesel trucks specifically for the brakes. You should always pay attention to this as they can tell you there’s a problem long before it gets any worse.

If the warning lights for your brakes are coming on, you should have your truck looked at.


When driving, have you ever felt your truck veering to one side? While this could be indicative of other issues, it’s a big sign that you need new brakes.

Often, it shows signs that the brake fluid is low. This is an easy fix, but one that you should be fixing as soon as possible.

Bad Vibrations

Vibrations can be felt on the brake pedal, or throughout the vehicle. You’ll know this one when you feel it.

The reason you feel vibrations is usually due to the rotors wearing out. The rotors and brake pads work together to bring your truck to a stop. If there’s nothing to grab onto, they’ll have a harder time doing this.

If you happen to feel these vibrations, you should be changing your brakes.

What Parts of the Brakes Can Cause Problems?

There are many parts to your brake system that can cause issues.

Leaks of brake fluid or air from hoses can cause issues. If it’s a case of brake fluid leaking, you might notice small puddles underneath your truck when it’s parked.

Brake pads are also a common issue within the brake system. As they wear down, they start to become less effective. However, this is one of the easier fixes.

If you have an anti-lock braking system, the wiring can become damaged. This stops it from doing its job.

Your rotors can cause a few different problems also. They may need to be resurfaced at times, but if they’re really worn, they might need a total replacement.

When Should I Change My Brakes?

By a rule of thumb, you should change your brake pads every 50,000 miles. But if you start to notice these warning signs before that, you shouldn’t wait.

The safety of you and everyone else on the road depends on your brakes. Without it, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

Even if you don’t notice any warning signs, you should still have your diesel truck checked up on now and then. This way, you can rest assured that everything is functioning properly, including your brakes.

Your truck is important and taking good care of it now will pay off.

Keep Your Diesel Trucks Brakes in Top Shape

Diesel trucks, like any vehicle, need to be taken care of. The brakes are just one important part, but your truck can also benefit from regular servicing.

At Diesel Performance Specialist, we can get your brake issues fixed up and good as new. You’ll be back on the road with confidence that your brakes will hit a full-stop.

Are you looking to have your diesel truck brakes serviced? Give us a call today to book an appointment!