Cars are giant machines that will make strange noises from time to time. Although some of these sounds are normal, some of them are worth paying attention to. The brakes on your car are an essential part that will keep you safe on the road and ensure you remain in full control of your vehicle. When your brakes start making noise it is important to pay attention. In this article, we will cover typical brake noises and what those sounds mean. This includes grinding, squealing or squeaking. Understanding the meaning behind certain brake noises will help you know when to take your car in for repairs before an unfortunate accident occurs.
Brake Problem Noises and What They Mean
Rattling and Vibrating Sounds
Do you have brakes that are vibrating or rattling? If so, the most likely culprit is a warped or worn-out rotor. When the rotor is worn out the surface becomes uneven. In turn, this prevents the brake from properly maintaining full contact. This is not a problem that can be repaired at home, a trained mechanic will need to evaluate the problem and make the proper repairs.
The Sound of Brake Wear
Do you hear your brakes squeak on a regular basis? If so, chances are your brake pads are worn or are starting to wear out, or they are already completely worn down. Brake pads need to be changed on a regular basis. Therefore, if you have never changed the pads or if it has been a while since your last change, chances are this is the root cause. On just about every vehicle the brake pad wear indicator will be made from steel. As a result, when the rotor hits the steel, a squealing sound will be produced. It is important for your brake pads to be in good working order for passenger and driver safety. Make sure to visit a mechanic if you hear squealing noises from your brakes.
First Use Sounds
Do your car brakes make weird grinding noises at the start of each day? In most cases, light grinding noises the first time you use the car for the day will be benign. Grinding sounds are not normal when they happen all the time, regardless of the time of day. First use grinding noises from car brakes is usually a result of too much moisture building up around the brake pads or in the wheel well. When rust builds up overnight, or over a period of time when the car is not in use, it will result in a light grinding noise when the brakes are used. Avoid rust accumulation by parking in a covered parking area on humid days.
Dusty Squealing Brakes
Using your brakes produces brake dust. When excessive brake dust accumulates, it can result in a strange sound. Dusty squealing is usually the sound that comes from too much brake dust building up on the wheel well. However, preventing this sound is much simpler than you may realize. All you have to do is keep your car clean, including the wheels. Regular maintenance will also ensure there is no excessive brake dust buildup.
The Sound of Fading Brakes
Brakes have a distinct sound that comes from them when they are close to failure. They also have a certain feel. If you notice inconsistent performance while hitting the brake, chances are brake failure is around the corner. When car brakes are subject to excessive heat, they will fade. Although the same sound might happen right after having new rotors or brake pads installed, it is generally not all too common. If you are noticing inconsistent performance from your brakes, it is important to take your car in for brake service as soon as possible.
Junk or Debris Stuck Near Your Brakes
Grinding is not a sound you want to hear from your brakes no matter the situation. Any time you hear your brakes grinding, have your brakes checked to see if there is something stuck between the pads and the rotor. The issue can be something as small as a tiny rock, or it can also be other road-related debris. If there is debris near your brakes, take your car to a mechanic to have it properly removed to prevent further damage to your brake pads.
Additional Reading: Importance of Car Brake Inspection
Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE
Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.
- What to Know When Buying a Classic Car
- A Mechanic’s Used Car Buying Checklist
- Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft
- Is Your Car AC Making Noise?