If you have a spongy pedal that is soft when you press it, you might need brake service. A soft pedal could be caused by air in the brake lines, the piston in your caliper is failing or something else. When you press your brake pedal, it should be firm and start braking once you press it.
When you press your brakes, is there a loud grinding noise? This noise is typically caused by worn brake pads or brake shoes grinding against your rotor. This grinding can and does seriously destroys your rotors. It’s very simple to change brake pads and most DIY experts do this in their driveway in an hour. If your vehicle pulls when you brake, you probably have a warped rotor that was damaged in the past or one side of your vehicle brakes harder than the other side. Some shops can resurface your rotors if they are not damaged beyond repair, otherwise you will need to purchase another set of rotors.
If you vehicle has a vibration at speed, you could have a warped rotor too. Rotors can develop hot spots on them and become deformed at times which creates a slight bow in the rotor causing your pads to hit that spot every rotation of the wheel which causes the vibration.
If you have been using your brakes a lot going down a big hill on a hot day, you might start smelling something horrible, overheated brakes smell really bad and could cause a dangerous accident. Pull off the road immediately and let your brakes cool down or else you could have a brake failure down the road.