You just got new brake pads! A couple of kilometers down the road, however, you start hearing a noise coming from your brakes: sqeeuuaaaaaak! What are the reasons and how to solve?
Why Do Brakes Squeak?
When applying on the brake pedal, the rubbing materials or matter in the brakes create different sounds. That doesn’t mean that your brakes are not working. You just have to figure out and change those conditions.
Common causes of squeaky brakes
- Moisture: When moisture collects on the brake rotors from rain, dew or condensation it causes a thin layer of rust to form on the rotor surface. As the rotor turns the pads scrape the rust off the rotors. This rust can then get caught on the leading edge of the brake pads eventually embedding into the leading edge causing a squeak. Squeaky brakes caused by moisture often occur in the morning and usually stop after a few minutes when the brake pads have had a chance to warm up a little or the thin layer of rust has worn off.
- High Metal Content of Brake Pads: Cheaper brake pads tend to have a higher metal content. The result of this is larger pieces of metal on the brake pad surface. These metal pieces drag on the brake rotor and can cause high pitched squeaky brakes. The only real fix to this would be to always buy the best quality brakes pads recommended for your car. It’s important to remember your brakes are what ensure you stop so it’s important not to try and scrimp and save on them.
- Dust and sand: trapped within the braking mechanism causing an area to rub resulting in a high pitched squeal.
- Heavy loads: can mean a lot more pressure on the brakes, which can squeak as the heat builds and swells the parts.
How do You Fix Squeaking Brakes?
There are a few options for fixing squeaks:
1.Manage your driving: If your brakes only squeal when strained. Braking hard with frequent use, heavy loads, or steep declines will heat up your brakes, causing them to squeal. To overcome, you can do the following:
- Safer driving distances between cars help avoid overusing or slamming on brakes.
- Limit your load weight to reduce pressure on the brakes.
2. Brake Lubricants: Just like you might grease a squeaking door, a lubricant or brake grease is an easy solution. They come in a variety of forms, including tubes, cans, and sprays. Brake lube is especially helpful for people whose brake noise is coming from rust, dust, or sand.