Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?

Have you ever had a driving experience like 1A Auto President Mike Green did when he drove a truck with brakes so worn it was dangerous to drive?

Why are my brake pads squeaking?

Worn brake pads

He describes the terrible brake noise as something “I never want to experience with brakes” and that brakes should never get to that point. This kind of squealing or squeaking sound could indicate that a vehicle’s brake pads need to be replaced.

squeaking brakes problem, brake disc and brake pads

If the brakes squeak or squeal when your vehicle is in reverse or at a low speed, the brake pads likely need to be replaced. The squeaking noise in this case is coming from the vehicle’s wear indicator tabs, which contact the rotor as the brake pads thin.

In this video, Green shows an example of a brake pad that was used longer than it should. He explains that allowing brake pads to get to this point not only makes for ineffective braking, but is also dangerous and that it’s time to check them.

Additionally, he recommends checking brakes at regular intervals to avoid brake pad wear and that awful squealing sound. Green suggests checking brakes every 10,000 or 15,000 miles.

Corroded hardware

If your brakes are squeaking but you know the brake pads aren’t worn out, another cause could be corroded or stuck caliper slides and abutment hardware. The caliper is responsible for pressing the brake pads against the rotor to create friction that slows the vehicle’s motion. Squeaking noises can be from uneven contact between the brake pad and rotor. In this case, cleaning and re-greasing the caliper slides and abutment may solve it.

Contaminated brake pad material

Brakes could also be squeaking because the brake pad material has been contaminated with grease, dirt or another foreign substance during or after brake pad installation.

Need to replace your brake pads?


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Check out our selection of brake pads. We offer the highest quality auto parts and how-to videos with expert mechanics so you can replace your own brake pads. To find videos specific to your year, make and model, visit our how-to video library.

Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brake_pads.JPG


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