Noisy Brakes and What they Mean

By April 10, 2017Brakes

We love our cars. Most of us spend several hours per week (sometimes even per day!) in our cars. We rely on them to get us from A to B. As much as we love our cars, we sometimes take for granted that they keep us safe. They take us and our precious cargo to and fro, safely. Our cars need to be taken care of, so they can continue to take care of us and our loved ones.

When it comes to your car, don’t mess around with safety. One of the things you definitely don’t want to neglect is the brake system. Your brakes fail you on the road, and you’re in big trouble.

Fortunately, our cars have a tendency to let us know when something’s wrong. Your brakes are no exception. Noisy, squeaky brakes are a sure sign that your car needs a little TLC from a trusted mechanic. As long as you take a proactive approach and listen to your car, taking it in to the shop for regular inspections and maintenance, the likelihood that something catastrophic will happen without any warning is very low.

Noisy Brakes and What they Mean

There are a few reasons your car’s brakes might be “complaining.”

Grinding Noise

A metallic grinding noise when braking could mean there’s no brake pad left (they’ve worn out completely) and/or your brake rotors are being damaged. Stop driving and get your car towed to the shop right away. Your brake pads probably need replacing, but if you don’t address it right away, it could very well be worse.

What are brake rotors? When you push the brake pedal, calipers press the brake pad against the wall of the rotor, causing friction. This friction slows the car down and allows it to come to a smooth stop. Eventually, the friction will cause the brake pads to wear down. Typical front brake pads last about 30,000 miles, and rear brake pads about twice that long.

Thumping/Squealing Noise

This noise could be caused from rusted brake rotors. Moisture gets in there (particularly when you park outside) and the rotors can rust pretty quickly.

Squeaking Noise

A squeaking noise when braking is usually indicative of cheap or worn out brake pads. Additionally, if your car pulls to one side when you’re braking, your brake pads may be wearing unevenly, or there may be contaminants in your brake fluid.

Note: Some level of noise is expected from longer-wear brake pads because harder, semi-metallic brake pads are being used on a lot of cars these days. Squeaks are often heard during the first few stops in the morning when the brakes are cold and damp, and squeaks heard during the last few feet of coming to a stop are usually nothing to worry about.

How to Fix Noisy Brakes

When it comes to your brakes, prevention is key. Take your car in for regular inspections. Your tires should be rotated about every 5,000 miles, and that’s a perfect time for your brake pads to be visually inspected for wear and tear.

Does the noise happen every time you brake? If your brakes are squeaky after a rainy day and it happens just a few times, then it could be due to rusty rotors. Once the rust wears off (or is taken off by your mechanic), you should be good to go. However, if your brakes squeak every time you apply the brake, your brake pads likely need replacing.

Note: If your brake rotors are bad, putting new brake pads over them will not fix the problem. In fact, it could make it worse. It’s not worth trying to save money here.

Get your noisy brakes into JL Motorworks for a diagnosis today! Call to schedule your appointment. 

Noisy Brakes and What they Mean | JL Motorworks