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Why Do My Car Brakes Squeak? 3 Reasons And Fixes To Know

by Scott HuntSeptember 19, 2022
Why Do My Car Brakes Squeak

As modern vehicles have gotten heavier with all the upgrades and additional safety features, their brake pad material has also changed. Car manufacturers now use semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads instead of classic drum brakes to accommodate their ever-increasing weight. 

Despite using the same principle of friction to slow down vehicles, metallics and ceramics are far superior due to their design and working mechanism. Unfortunately, this increased braking performance comes with a price– they are noisier and could even grind a little as you slow down. 

Some pad noise is alright, especially if it goes away after a few brakes. But if the noise persists—it’s best to give your brakes the fix. If you’re unsure what’s causing your brakes to squeak, continue reading to know the common causes.

Squeaky Brakes

Your brakes may be squeaking for many reasons. However, most of the time, a squeaky sound from your car is your brake system calling for help.  Here are three common reasons they may be doing so.

1. Worn Or Thinning Brake Pads

If you’ve been hard braking frequently, then most likely, your vehicle’s brake pads are already worn out. Some brake pads have built-in wear indicators. 

It is a small tab that scratches the rotor as the brake pads wear down and lose their thickness. The squeaking sound serves as a warning that your brake pads require a replacement before they begin to cause damage to the rotor.

2. Dust Or Debris

It is nearly impossible not to get some mud, dust, or other debris on the surface of your brake pads or rotors. They may accumulate on the surfaces of your pads or rotors, which causes your brakes to squeal. Although sometimes, a few brake applications can wipe away the debris.

3. Overnight Moisture

In humid areas that rain or snow frequently, it is possible that moisture would set in on your brakes, especially when your car is parked out in the open. When this happens, a thin layer of rust can quickly build up on the surfaces of your brake pads and rotors, which may cause a screeching noise or a grinding sound. 

How To Stop The Squeaking

Various reasons can cause the squeaking sound, and each can be solved differently. Here are the proven methods to fix squeaky brakes:

Shims

To eliminate any screeching noise, you may install a set of shims. These ensure that your brake pads are attached tightly to the brake calipers and reduce vibrations with rubber.

Anti-squeal adhesive

The Anti-squeal adhesive is an anaerobic product that is applied to the piston. It helps reinforce the brake pad’s backing plate to the piston and caliper, which effectively reduces the noise and vibration your brake pads make.

Trusted Mechanic

When it comes to your vehicle’s brakes, it’s best not to take any chances. If the noise still persists and you can’t accurately pinpoint the cause, it’s best to get your vehicle checked out by a trusted mechanic. 
If you also notice that your braking power has decreased, it’s time to replace some parts of your braking system. If you’re ever wondering how long do car brakes last? You can check out this Keep Driving article to learn more!

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