Why Does My Car Have Squeaky Brakes?

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The brakes are one of the key components of your car. And, like any other component, the brakes are prone to wear and tear. Drivers may even notice a squealing sound. So we’ll examine exactly what causes squeaky brakes, and whether you should be alarmed.

1. Rust

Some drivers notice squeaky brakes after an overnight rain spell. The water collects in the brake rotors, causing rust to form. When you activate the brakes, the pads scrape against the rust on the rotors. This causes the rust to transfer to the brake pad, causing the squealing. You may also notice a pulsation or thumping noise as you apply the brake pedal.

To prevent rust formation, park the car indoors if you foresee damp weather.

2. Worn Brake Pads

The brake pads gradually begin to thin as the miles rack up. Most modern cars contain wear indicators, which you can locate on the brake pad backing. If the pad completely gives out, expect inefficient braking and a lot of metal-on-metal friction and grinding.

3. Metal Inside the Brake Pads

Most brake pads contain small metal bits. The metal content is a lot higher in lower-grade pads. Larger bits may catch on the rotor and cause a high-pitched squeal. When replacing the pads, aim for high-quality material, such as fiber, resin, or Kevlar. These contain fewer metal shavings.

4. Worn Drum Brakes

Older cars and some rear-wheel drive models still use drum brakes. In this instance, the squeaking is probably an indicator that the backing and shoe plates require lubrication. Also, rust can begin to form as the area dries up.

We Diagnose Squeaky Brakes

Brakes are not supposed to make squeaky noises. Chuck’s Auto Repair can diagnose the underlying cause as part of a routine maintenance. We especially recommend addressing squeaky brakes before embarking on a road trip or lengthy commute.

Brake Diagnosis for all Car Models

Serving commuters in North Seattle and Shoreline

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