Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?

July 12, 2019 5:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Squeaky brakes are annoying, to be sure, but the problems can extend far beyond being a mere nuisance and quickly become hazardous for your vehicle. Issues with squealing brakes should be resolved as soon as possible so you can be completely certain your vehicle is safe to operate.

But how do you know exactly what’s causing your brakes to squeak? Here’s some information from a team of technicians specializing in brake repair about several different kinds of brake squeaks and the issues at the root of them.

Disc brakes squeaking

It is not at all uncommon for brakes to squeak a bit after they’ve been sitting overnight, because they’ll collect moisture from dew or condensation. If you’re able to store your vehicle in a climate-controlled garage, then that’s great, especially if you’re able to run a dehumidifier in the space. For most people, though, this isn’t an option, and it’s also not necessarily something you need to spend much time worrying about.

That being said, there are some circumstances in which moisture buildup can actually begin to result in rust formation, and if rust gets embedded in a rotor, that could cause some problems. You might also notice unpleasant noises coming from the rotor. In that situation, you should see if you’re able to use a rust removal product or method to restore the rotors to their prior condition.

Worn-out brake pads

The squealing you hear in your brakes could well be a result of worn-out, thinning brake pads. This sound is actually designed to happen so it can give you some warning that you need to replace your brake pads. There are wear indicators built into the brakes that are generally made of a hardened steel, either welded on, riveted on or attached with a clip.

If you hear a sound that seems as though it’s coming from the brakes, there’s a good chance it’s your brake wear indicator, and you should have your brake pads replaced as soon as possible to prevent potential damage to the rotor or other components of the brake.

Lack of lubrication

A third common cause of squealing brakes is a lack of lubrication in drum brakes. There needs to be at least a minimal level of lubrication at the shoe-to-backing plate contact point. If there’s not enough lubrication, the metal in that area will begin to rust, which will result in a scraping of the shoes against the backing plate and a frequent squeaking noise that occurs while the wheels rotate.

This isn’t an issue as frequently with newer cars, which are more likely to have disc brakes on all four wheels. However, there are still some vehicles that use drum brakes on the rear wheels, so it’s an important possibility to consider when trying to determine the root cause of your brake squealing. If you know you have drum brakes, make sure you keep them lubricated at all times to prevent this issue from occurring.

For more information about squeaking brakes or to schedule brake repair, contact the experts at J.H.T. Service & Repair, LLC today.

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