Squeaky car brakes can scare the hell out of a driver. This is because brakes are also one of the most important safety features of a vehicle. A squeak could mean two things. It could be that something is not okay or mean there is nothing to worry about.
When is the squeaking normal?
Different driving conditions can get your car brakes reacting and making noise. This is very true when you are driving in humid or dusty conditions or even require severe braking. If the squeak is highly pitched then it could be that the semi metallic brake pads are still hard especially if it is a car that recently left the dealership shop.
If you are the proud owner of a compact car then well you have nothing much to worry about. High pitched squeals come as an accompaniment with small sized vehicles. This is especially true when the brakes are cold.
What to do when the squeaking is something you can deal with
There are several ways to handle the squeaking problem if it is something manageable. If you know your way around cars then you can apply the following solutions:
- Spray some cream, lotion or milk on the back of the braking pads.
- Using sandpaper, sand off the area of contact between the pad and shoe surface.
- Change brands. It could be the pad brands you are using are not as effective as others.
When to get worried
If every time you apply the car brakes and the squeaking sounds are produced, you could be dealing with something major. This also means that working on it will cost a bit more. The high pitched noises while driving are an indication that you need to get new pads since there is wear and tear.
Not every squeak can be diagnosed. You will have to get a professional to inspect and give the correct diagnosis. It could be that there are new parts needed, or you could need to have some cleaning done. Cleaning is usually followed by lubrication and at times adjustment. These of course are solutions to wear and tear problems for instance a warped rotor. This is where the brake pads do not press flat whenever you apply brakes. Because the pads cannot press as required against the rotor they may chip and vibrations are also produced.
You could have bought the wrong pads
According to vehicle experts, the quality of pads a vehicle has could be the reason why there is squeaking. If you bought your pads at a bargain auto dealership shop then do not be surprised that they are making noise. It is even worse when the pads have sticking calipers or are loose. Always go for high quality brake pads, cheap is expensive.
You should always remember that brakes were designed to warn as when things were going wrong. It is better to hear a squeal and do something about than not hear anything only to find out that you cannot stop. Get an expert to check your braking system today.
Because there are several possibilities, and because brakes are a crucial safety feature, it is best to have a pro diagnose noise.
A grinding sound usually means that the pads have worn away, and now the backing plates on which they were mounted are being squeezed against the rotor. This metal-to-metal contact means that you will need to replace the rotor as well — and that you probably ignored some earlier warning signs of brake wear.