Visually inspect your brakes condition at least every six months. Here are some things to look for when checking your brakes. Listen for noises such as brake grinding noise, brake squeaking noise, or brake squealing noise coming from any of the wheels. These noises could be a sign of a brake problem. Many times these noises are a sign of wearing brake pads or brake rotors. Not all wheel noise indicates a brake problem. Some automobile brake systems are simply noisier than others due to brake materials used and design. A squeaking noise may be caused by brake dust or dirt on the brakes, loose brake pads vibrating when applied or worn brake pads. A rhythmic brake noise usually has a pulsating feel. In some cases, the brake pedal will also pulsate underfoot. This brake problem may be caused by a warped brake rotor.
Inspect your wheel rims for signs of possible brake problems. If you notice an unusual accumulation of brake dust on your hubcaps / rims especially on the rear wheels, it may be a sign that your brakes and / or rotors need attention. Most vehicles have a front brake bias, meaning that the front brakes play a larger part than the back brakes, so it's common to see some brake dust on the front wheels.