Are your brakes making noise? Do they make a squeaking or grinding noise? It’s true, not all brake noises are the same. In this article, we’ll show you how to identify the noises that matter.
What noises do brakes make?
Brakes make a variety of noises when something is wrong. When it comes to slowing your car down and reaching a stop, it’s clear the brake system plays the most important part.
Your brakes can emit a grinding sound, a squeal or squeak, or sometimes even a rattling sound. There are other types of noises that may occur, but these are the ones most likely to signal a problem with your brakes and braking system.
Why do my brakes make a grinding noise?
If you hear a grinding noise, you may want to take a closer look at your brakes. A grinding noise often means that your brake pads are completely worn out (or close to it), and the brake system is now grinding against metal.
This also means your brakes have less traction than normal, making you more susceptible to brake malfunction. If you hear a grinding sound while driving, we recommend maintaining a safe cruising speed. Slow down, drive carefully, and have your brakes checked and replaced as soon as possible.
The good news is that among the various noises listed in this article, this has the easiest solution. All you have to do is replace the brake pad (or pads). You should replace your brake pads every 25,000 to 65,000 miles.
Why do my brakes squeal?
The sound of brakes squealing is caused by high-frequency vibrations between the braking system parts. It could be due to missing springs or anti-rattle clips that should be on the caliper or pad, loose nuts and bolts, or even improperly tightened lug nuts.
If your car is newer, however, the squealing may be caused by the brake pad material. The new semi-metallic material commonly used in brake pads often creates this noise due to the materials grinding against each other.
To lessen the squealing your brakes make, you may want to have your brake system fully inspected by a brake specialist. Have them go through the break-in procedure, or purchase chamfered brake pads from the R1 Concepts store.
Why do my brakes rattle?
Do you hear a rattling noise when you release your brake pedal? It sounds similar to the sound a spray paint can makes when you shake it. If you do, don’t worry.
“Brake rattling” can happen when your brake pads expand due to the heat. It’s a fairly common occurrence, so you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you simply can’t stand the noise, you can always replace your brake pads. You may also want to install them with anti-rattle shims. These help prevent the effects of heat expansion.
If you hear a consistent rattling sound when you drive, see a mechanic right away to play it safe.
Your brakes can make many different sounds depending on their material. Understanding what these sounds mean can help you prevent a more serious problem. Make sure to do visual inspections from time to time so you can identify potential problems that may arise.
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