Why are my brakes squeaking? It’s a question that many drivers ask themselves when they are driving or are in the process of maintaining their vehicles. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious why brakes are making a peculiar noise, but in this blog we break down the most common causes of squeaking brakes, and what you can do to get your brakes back on track and prevent damage from occurring to the rest of your braking system.


Moisture or Dirt Collected on Your Rotors

Sometimes when you first start your car in the morning or after a bout of rain or snow, you’ll hear a squeaking noise in your brakes as you back out of the driveway. Often this is just the sound of rust being scraped off of the rotors, but goes away after a few squeezes of the brake pedal. The same is true for a buildup of moisture or dirt on the rotor, which should also go away as you continue on your morning commute.

If the noise doesn’t go away, however, and you hear a squealing, squeaking, or grinding noise every time you press the brakes, it’s a sign something more serious is happening and you may need to schedule a trip to your closest brake repair shop.


Brake Repair Service

Your Brake Pads are Worn Out

A very common reason why a driver may hear a squeaking sound when braking is because of worn down brake pads. When you step on your brakes, brake pads are what slow down the car to ensure it doesn’t keep moving. The pads are mounted on backing plates, and when the brakes are pressed, the plates are squeezed against the rotor, creating friction that makes the car come to a stop. When a brake pad wears down, a small, metal wear indicator will make contact with the rotor, resulting in the squealing noise that warns you it’s time for new pads.

The brake pads on your car are designed to wear out over time. The only way they will not do this is if you never use the brakes, but we’d hope that’s not the case! But when they get too worn down, you’ll start to hear this very distinct squeaking or squealing sound that serves as a warning you need to get your brake pads replaced.

When you hear a grinding sound, however, that’s an indication that your brake pads have now completely worn away, and the backing plates are being squeezed against the rotors, creating a metal-on-metal grinding noise that is not only annoying, but potentially dangerous. If it gets to this point, you’ve likely ignored earlier warning signs that your brakes were wearing out, and will also likely have to replace damaged rotors when you get new brake pads installed.


Your Rotors are Warped (Or Other Brake System Issues)

Most of the time, a squealing or squeaking noise coming from your brakes is an indication that there are worn or loose parts in your brake system that need to be addressed. If your brake pads are not the problem, it likely will take the guidance of a mechanic to figure out and fix the issue.

Often, an unevenly worn or warped rotor will create noise because the shape of the rotor is not allowing the brake pads to press flat against the rotor each time you brake. In the same way, an unevenly worn brake pad won’t be able to press as tightly against a rotor as it should, creating a squeaking sound.

Other causes of noisy brakes include low-quality parts, bargain brake pads, and poor installation of other parts and pieces of your braking system.


Get Your Brakes Inspected by the Professionals at Brakes 4 Less

Brakes are perhaps the most crucial safety feature of any vehicle, so it’s important that you not allow a brake issue to go unchecked. Even if you think the issue is mild or assume you can go a few hundred more miles before replacing a brake pad or topping off your brake fluid, it’s always better to catch issues early to save both time and money, and to keep your car operating as safely as possible.

There are also many potential causes of squeaky brakes, and unless you are a trained mechanic, you might not be able to spot or fix the issue yourself. That’s why it’s best to have a professional brake mechanic inspect the cause of the noise and work on a solution. At brakes 4 less, all we do is brakes, so our mechanics are well-versed in all things related to squeaking, squealing brakes and how to get you back on the road in minimal time. For more information about a brake job or to set up an appointment for a free inspection, give us a call today: 866-588-7867

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