Why are my Brakes Squealing?

  • Apr 21, 2016
  • Resources & Tips

Most people dislike the sound of brakes squealing, whether it’s on your car or someone else’s. But squealing brakes aren’t always a bad thing. So why does the squeak happen?

The most common causes of squeak

Some amount of brake noise is considered normal. Depending on the driving conditions, age and material of your brakes, or dusty / sandy conditions there are several different kinds of squeak that can be caused.

Newer model cars often experience a high-pitched brake noise that can happen because the composite brake pads used on new cars are harder. Once you’ve been driving for half an hour or longer, if you notice the sound diminish or disappear it’s likely because the brakes have warmed up and are grabbing better.

For small, compact cars that same high-pitched squeal that happens when you first start your car – and through the first few stops – often happens because your brakes are ceramic and are damp or also haven’t warmed up yet.

In some cars, the metal rotor that the brake pads squeeze together can sometimes vibrate, causing an intermittent squeaking noise, particularly if you’re turning or on unevenly surfaced road.

Many brakes are also equipped with a small, curved or flat piece of metal called a ‘brake wear indicator’. The purpose of this piece of metal is to squeak when your brake pads start to wear too low. If you’ve had your brakes on your car for longer than a year, it’s a good idea to bring your car in for an inspection if they’ve suddenly started to squeak.

If you’re uncertain why your brakes are squeaking, bring your vehicle in and we can give it a look.

What if it’s a bad squeak?

Brakes are a vital part of your car and it’s important to make sure they’re performing as expected. Bringing your car into one of our specialists will give you the peace of mind of knowing whether or not they need replacing, and about how long they’re expected to last. We can also take a look at when your brakes were last replaced and help you to determine if your typical driving patterns are leading to premature wear-and-tear on your brakes.

The last thing you want is to have your brakes fail when you need them most.

It’s very possible that something completely different than your brakes is causing the squeal, and in this case it could be a sign of much greater damage or wear. In these circumstances, we’ll investigate, present you with your options, and help you to make a decision which will ensure you are safe on the road.

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