Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?
Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?
Listening to your brakes squeaking, big deal or mild annoyance? Learn what brake noises say about the health of your vehicle.
Brakes can squeak for many different reasons. Recognizing which are serious concerns is an important skill to develop. Here is a list of the common causes of brake noises and what to do about them:
Cause: Your car has been sitting overnight and now your breaks are squeaking
- What’s happening: This is not uncommon and typically caused by moisture from rain or dew that collects on the surface of rotors and creates a thin layer of rust to form on their surface. The brake pads scrape this rust as the rotors turn and it gets stuck and embedded on the leading edge of the brake pad, causing a squeak. The noise should go away after several brake applications.
- How to prevent: This squeaking can be prevented by keeping your vehicle in a garage or climate-controlled environment.
Cause: Thinning brake pads
- What’s happening: Your vehicle is equipped with brake wear indicators. These little metal tabs made of hammered steel are designed to hit the rotor before the brake pad completely wears out, making a high-pitched squeal and alerting you that your brake pad is thin and needs to be replaced
- How to treat: As soon as you hear the squealing, bring your vehicle in to your trusted mechanic. If you wait, it will soon become a metal on metal situation, which can create ineffective braking and damage the rotor’s surface.
Cause: An unevenly worn rotor or pad
- What’s happening: A warped, or unevenly worn, rotor prevents the brake pad from pressing flat against they rotor when the brake is applied, resulting in vibrations that cause noise. Similarly, an unevenly worn pad won’t press tightly against the rotor, causing a chirping noise.
- How to treat: Have these noises checked out by your mechanic to identify the exact cause and course of action.
Cause: Inexpensive brake pads
- What’s happening: Certain cheap brake pads are made with extremely high metal content where large chunks of metal are pressed into the pad material. These metal chunks drag on the rotor and result in a high-pitched squeak.
- How to prevent/treat: The squeak will continue throughout the life of the brake pad, making replacement the only way to treat it. To prevent this squeak, invest in brake pads with high content of organic brake material. Better quality brake pads will not only eliminate the sound, they will also improve your brake’s effectiveness. If your brakes are squeaking and the noise doesn’t subside after a few brake applications, it is time to bring it in and have it checked out by a professional. The ability to brake effectively is too important to your safety.
Griffin Auto Care, Inc.is a full-service automotive repair and body shop located in West Palm Beach, Florida. From routine maintenance to complete collision repair to custom fabrication & accessories, we service all brands and will treat your car with the utmost care and professionalism. To make an appointment for your car, please contact Griffin Auto Care call 561-659-0765.