WHY ARE MY CAR BRAKES SQUEAKING?

Shambhavi Singh
Est. Reading Time 5 mins



Hearing a squealing or squeaking sound coming from the brakes? Then it’s time to take a close look. Squeaky car brake pads are often annoying to hear, but it’s not always a cause for panic. Some common reasons behind the squealing sound are a bit of rust on your rotors, dirt accumulated in the brake pads. If the squeal goes away after a few brake applications, it is probably not a significant issue, but if it continues, it is best not to ignore it.
Here are a few reasons brakes might squeal and how to address the issues.


HERE IS WHAT CAUSES CAR BRAKES SQUEAKING


Brake pads create heat when they apply friction to slow down the vehicle. Constantly repeating the same action causes brakes to produce weird sounds like a squeal, grind or hiss. So, if you are facing the same issue, consider the following reasons.


1. POOR INSTALLATION


One of the primary reasons behind brake squeals is the improper installation of calipers or the use of poor parts. The caliper encloses pistons and brake pads to create friction with the rotors to slow down the vehicle. But a poorly lubricated caliper ends up sticking and reduces braking ability, causing the car to drag as it rubs against the rotor. As a result, it wears the brake pad down, leading to loud scraping sounds.


2. BRAKES NEED TO ‘WARM UP’


Another common cause behind brake squealing is mud, dew, rust, and other accumulated debris. It can happen due to rainy mornings or if your car sits for an extended period. A quick cleaner spray or sanding down of the surface material will take care of the issue. Also, this should go away after several brake applications and once the brake pads scrap the rust off the disc, allowing friction to wipe out the debris.


3. MODERN BRAKE MATERIALS


The popularity of advanced safety features and upgraded parts has led to heavier cars over the years. This has given rise to the use of metallic and ceramic materials on brake pads. While these brakes are better at slowing down vehicles, they also make a squealing noise, which is not something to worry about.


4. WORN OR THINNING BRAKE PADS


Worn brake pads are the common reason for brake squealing. The brake pads are
intentionally designed with a metal indicator that shows a high-pitched warning when they come at their minimum thickness. This is the time for replacing car brake pads. This irritating screech usually goes away after several brake applications. But make sure to get your brakes inspected right away if the persistent squeaking turns into grinding.


5. OVERNIGHT MOISTURE


If your vehicle has been exposed to humidity overnight, it can set moisture in your brakes and build a thin layer of rust on the rotors, causing a grinding or squealing sound while applying brakes. Fortunately, everyday driving and a few brake applications can remedy the rust build-up and reduce the squealing sound.
Read More: How to protect your car in wet weather?


6. YOUR BRAKING STYLE


Hard and fast braking can generate excessive heat and form a smooth, hard glaze on the surface of your brake pads. Glazing can also result from riding down hills. Once the pads become glazed, they fail to generate the friction needed to slow down the vehicle or also might crack, leading to replacement. If it becomes a repeated problem, it is time to change your braking style.


7. METALLIC BRAKE PADS


There are mainly three types of car brakes pads: organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic. Whileorganic pads are the cheapest option, they offer inferior quality and durability. Semi-metallic is the most common type of brake pads that consists of 30% to 65% metallic elements like copper, iron, graphite, and steel.
Ceramic pads are third and the best of the three in terms of performance and quality. Though these pads are costly, they are sturdy and quietest and ensure long-lasting performance.


8. TIME TO REPLACE CAR BRAKES


Brakes pads have what is called a "wear indicator." It's a metal tab that scrapes the disc once the brake pad is worn and needs to be replaced. A squeak is one thing. But scraping may mean the brake pads need to be replaced.

9. LACK OF LUBRICATION ON DRUM BRAKES


If you use drum brakes, a lack of lubrication at a certain point between the shoe and drum may cause squealing. The shoes start to scrape against the backing plate without enough lubrication and cause a squeal. You can repair and prevent squeaky drum brakes rather than applying brake grease to the backing plate where the shoes meet the piston.
Read More: Why is timely servicing of your car necessary?


HOW TO STOP CAR BRAKES FROM SQUEAKING


Squeaky brakes are a common phenomenon while driving a car. But it may not be good to neglect the issue for a long time. If the noise persists for more than one or two days, you can call a local service provider and get your brake system checked. Otherwise, a minor squealing issue can turn into a more expensive brake repair. It is a sign of brake failure if you hear more than merely a squealing sound accompanied by reduced braking power. In such scenarios, replacing the system is better than repairing it.


1. NEW CAR BRAKES SQUEAKING?


A squealing sound is pretty normal after a brake pad replacement. It can result from moisture, rain, or heavy vehicle use. You can resolve the problem by gently braking or avoiding slamming on the brakes. Also, avoid doing two-foot pedals; if you keep one pedal on the gas pedal and one on the brake pedal, it can lead you to accidentally tap your brake often, ending up with worn brake pads over time.


2. DOES INSURANCE COVER BRAKE PADS?


Maintenance of worn brake pads is not covered by insurance, but damages caused to them in road accidents are. It depends on the policy you choose for your vehicle.

If you want to maximize coverage, consider mechanical breakdown insurance, which could cover certain wear and tear. Otherwise, you would only be lightening your wallet in the longer run.

We hope the above information can help you take good care of your car’s brake pads. If you have any doubts, let us know in the comments at CARS24!


FAQs


How much does it cost for a car brake service in UAE?
If your brakes squeal or grind, causing an annoying sound, it may be time for brake servicing. The cost of quality brake pads in the UAE ranges from AED 125 to AED 250 per front and rear brake service.


Is it okay to drive with squeaky brakes?
If your car brake pads are squeaking due to accumulated rust or mud, it will go away after certain brake applications. But if the sound persists and you neglect it, you may impose more damage, leading to repair expenses.


How often should you get your brakes checked?
To be on safe side, check your car brakes once every six months. Some systems will need inspection after 25,000 miles. The best way to check your brakes is when your car tire is rotated.

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