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Tech Talk

To Fix Squeaky Brakes, First Learn Some Possible Causes

Part of knowing how to fix squeaky brakes is understanding what causes them in the first place.

Left alone, brake squeak can lead to more serious problems, including loss of stopping power.  So here’s a look at the major causes of this common problem:

1. New pads – when new brake pads are installed they need a break-in period to adjust to the surface of the rotors.  During this time you may notice some squeaking or squealing.  This is usually no cause for worry, so long as your control of the car isn’t affected.  However, if the noise persists beyond the first few days after brake work, you should contact a mechanic right away.

2. Dirty, dusty, wet, or oily brakes – Occasionally road surface material can blow up into the brake components, especially if the vehicle has been driven on unpaved roads or though water puddles.  When this happens you’re likely to hear a grinding or squeaking noise when you brake.  The solution is to see a qualified brake mechanic right away to have the problem corrected, before the contaminants cause more problems.

3. Worn springs – your braking system uses springs at several points, and these wear over time.  This is a potentially severe problem, as it can prevent the brakes from working properly.

4. Rough, worn, or pitted rotors – Rotors are large, circular metal discs that your pads make contact with to stop your vehicle.  They can become scarred or warped by dirt or excess heat, such as during prolonged braking while driving downhill.  This can cause them to not make full contact with the pads, leading to reduced braking power.

Squeaking brakes are never something to take chances with.  If you hear any unusual sounds when coming to a stop, then bring your car or truck into a Brake Works location right away. Our skilled technicians have the tools and the knowledge to diagnose and fix squeaky brakes, getting you back on the road safely without breaking your budget.