From the diver’s perspective, the brakes work when the brake pedal is pushed. Which, is true when your brakes are in good condition. Have you ever noticed times that you had to push your pedal harder or further in to stop than normal? To understand why this happens its important to know a little bit about your brake system.
Here is the big picture: When you press on the pedal of your car, it compresses your brake fluid. This compression creates a pressure which transfers the force from your foot through your brake assembly. Your brake assembly then transfers this force and pressure onto a piston which compresses onto a brake disc. As the brake pads clamp around the brake disc, they create a friction which slows down your car.
If you are low on brake fluid, then the transfer of force from your foot to the brake disc isn’t efficient, so you have to press harder. If your brake pads are wearing down, then you might hear a high pitched scraping noise, or if the pad has worn completely through, a grinding sound. It is important to have your pads changed before this happens because it can cause many problems that are much more expensive than simply replacing your brake pads.