Why Are My Brakes Squealing?
Brakes work when you press the brake, and the calipers squeeze the brake pads against the brake rotors - which are attached to your tires. The friction caused by the rotors and brake pads slows the vehicle down. Naturally, the rubbing of these two materials causes noise under certain circumstances. Let's explore reasons why you may hear squealing.
Why The Brake Noise?
- Dust, Durbis, or Rust: If you notice that your brakes make noise occasionally, it might be due to moisture, dust, or small rocks and debris sitting between the pad and rotor surface. When parking your vehicle outside, moisture or water may allow a thin layer of rust to form on the rotors. Rust can cause a squeal but typically goes away as you begin driving. More often than not, when brake noise is generated by dirt, the sound typically subsides after a few minutes of driving and braking.
- Worn Brake Pads: Brake pads sit less than a millimeter from the rotors when resting. As the brake pads wear down, some manufacturers include a piece of metal that begins to rub on the rotors when the pads have worn down. Once this occurs, the vibrations from the small piece of metal will cause a squealing sound, letting you know it's time to change your brake pads.
- Completely Worn Brake Pads: Once your brake pads have worn sufficiently to cause metal on metal, you will hear and notice a more aggressive grinding noise. You may even feel the vibrations and metal-on-metal grinding as you press your brake. Completely worn brake pads are dangerous as the materials that hold the pads in place are not designed to stop a vehicle.
- Cheap Brake Pads: Lastly, cheap brake pads may cause squeaky brakes. Although you may consider cost when purchasing brake pads, there may be better choices than going with the most affordable option for stopping your vehicle. The noise from cheap brakes is often more annoying and not a sign of a failing brake system. However, still considering the intentional squealing designs when pads become worn, it may be hard to tell if the noise from your brakes is due to cheap brakes or if they need to be changed.
Have Your Brakes Serviced
While changing your brake pads is not an over-complicated process, leaving brake replacements to professional auto mechanics is recommended. You can request an auto service appointment online or call our auto shop directly. Our specially trained auto mechanics are here for you.