How to Diagnose and Deal With Squealing Brakes

  • Nov 24, 2015
  • Resources & Tips

Most people have a pretty good idea what their vehicle sounds like when everything is running well. Fortunately, our vehicles also have a way of telling us when something isn’t right. Case in point: squealing brakes.

Often, that annoying squealing sound we hear is simply the result of vibration between the brake pad and rotor. Other times, these sounds indicate something more serious. Brakes aren’t designed to be silent, but any distracting noise is definitely worth investigating.

Our advice? Take note when the sound occurs most frequently. Does it happen when your foot is on, or off the brake? Is it common only in the morning? Brake pads can be subject to rust, even overnight. The squeal you occasionally hear when you first use your car could be the sound of rust accumulation being worn off. This is normal.

There are two other common occurrences for squealing brakes.

Are the Brake Pads Old?

Brake pads grind and squeal as they near the end of their capacity. This sound serves to alert the driver. Once you become aware of an issue involving a potentially worn braking system, have it looked at ASAP. If there is adequate padding still left, other problems might include insufficient lubrication or debris caught within the rotor. Certified mechanics can verify the issue and suggest the best course of action to take.

Are the Brakes Brand New?

Recently installed brake pads are prone to squealing for a period of time, regardless of their cost. However, if the noise continues to be a hindrance after the first few hundred miles, you should bring your vehicle back for a quick inspection.

If you are in the market to replace your brakes, it’s not advisable to select the cheapest option. New brake pads aren’t overly expensive to begin with. Discount pads often contain an abundance of metal flakes within their composition, which tends to prolong the squealing well past the typical breaking in period.

There is a variety of products on the market you can spend your money on to help reduce noise levels, such as anti-squeal compounds and damper pads. Unless you know what you’re doing, we suggest getting a professional appraisal first.

You’ve got a lot riding on your brakes. Don’t be misled into financial oblivion. It’s worth a visit to a trusted mechanic to make sure you get the right solution.

At Warrenton Auto Service, we provide you with honest advice and the best repair options for your particular vehicle. After all, we are your friendly neighborhood mechanics and auto body experts. Call us today to set up your next appointment.

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