Why do car brakes squeak and how to get rid of it?

The appearance of any unusual sound in a car should not be ignored. Especially if it’s the squeaking of the pads when braking. Some sounds may indicate a dangerous defect, while others may indicate a minor problem that can be corrected with your own hands. According to experts, every driver should be able to distinguish squeaks in order to be able to take action in time.

Natural causes of squeaking pads

There are several main reasons why brakes start squealing or making other noises. Knowing them is useful for every driver.

When the pads are pressed against the brake disc, vibration begins. The acoustics created by the arches enhance it. As a result, a characteristic sound appears. The tighter the pads are, the more vibration and louder the squeak. To eliminate it, manufacturers install special pads on the pads, the task of which is to suppress such phenomena. However, over time, these parts become unusable, so the sounds when braking become louder.

Natural wear of the linings is not a serious problem. Therefore, it can be eliminated on its own. To do this, you need to make several slots on the part that is pressed against the disk. The contact area will become smaller, the resonance will be eliminated, and with it the creaking.

Wear indicator activation

Many manufacturers install anti-squeak plates on the pads. This small metal part protrudes from the base of the pad to a certain height and serves as an indicator of wear. When the pad wears down to this mark over time, the plate comes into contact with the disc, causing a grinding noise. A sharp sound is a signal that the pads need to be changed urgently.

Another squeak may appear if the plate itself is damaged. For example, it rusted or collapsed and therefore ceased to perform its function. Or it was initially of poor quality due to the fact that the manufacturer saved on material.

It also happens that car service workers “forget” to install the plates when replacing the pads. Thus, they force the driver to come to the workshop again and spend money.

Low quality pads

Most often, low-quality parts produce squeaking noise. The pads may be asymmetrical and therefore begin to jam immediately after installation. Or they are made of a material whose composition will provoke unpleasant sounds or wear unevenly.
In this case, the only solution is to replace the pads. It’s best to buy products from a trusted brand or manufacturer.

Grinding in new pads

Creaking is not always a sign of a problem. Newly installed pads can also make sounds. In production, they are coated with a protective agent, which provokes sounds.

Usually the squeak lasts a couple of days until the factory layer is erased. After this, the noise disappears by itself. Although if the pads are of low quality, they will creak much longer.

If there is no desire to endure and wait for the natural disappearance of sounds, then you can arrange an accelerated burning of the product. To do this, you need to perform emergency braking several times in a safe place. As a result, the protective layer will burn out and the source of the unpleasant sound will disappear.

Dirt on surfaces

Creaking after an off-road trip is a fairly common occurrence. It occurs due to sand or dirt getting into the grooves. While driving, solid particles come into contact with the disc, producing an unpleasant grinding noise.

The same effect can happen if a stone gets into the gap between the disc and the brake flap. Or antifreeze or brake fluid has spilled onto the work surface.
In any of these cases, it is enough to remove the dirt or remove foreign objects so that the cause of the squeak disappears.

High humidity

Rain, snow or heavy fog can also cause squeaking. Due to increased humidity, a large accumulation of condensation forms on the disks, which provokes sounds. Usually the noise disappears after the pads warm up.

Brake pedal

If everything is fine with the pads, but a squeak appears when you press the pedal, then the pedal itself may be the cause. In this case, fixing the problem is quite simple. It is necessary to clean and lubricate the brake mechanism: guides and boots. It also wouldn’t hurt to treat the outer sides of the pads and anti-squeak plates.

Incompatible parts

Creaking may occur if discs and pads from different manufacturers are used. Therefore, experts recommend installing products of the same brand, since such elements are guaranteed to combine well. Then there will be no conflict of materials, and the parts will not produce unpleasant sounds.

Disk overheating

The combination of constant physical activity and extremely high operating temperatures causes overheating, resulting in changes in the geometry of the disc. When a deformed element comes into contact with other parts during braking, an unpleasant creaking or even grinding sound occurs. Only replacing the disks will solve the problem. Moreover, in this case it is better not to delay the visit to the automaton.

Related components

If the brake system is in good working order, but the squeaks do not disappear, then it is necessary to check the condition of other elements that interact with the brakes. First of all – steering and suspension. Components are closely related to each other, so a malfunction or defect in one part increases the load on the adjacent ones. Because of this, their wear and tear and failure is accelerated.

In this case, squeaking can cause malfunctions in the steering rods, silent blocks. And also the cause of unpleasant sounds can be too tightened nuts on the wheels.

Incorrect assembly and weak fasteners

If the brake mechanism was assembled by a person without proper experience, then mistakes can be made. For example, the pads are installed crookedly. Or the guides and caliper are not properly cleaned or lubricated. Or the fasteners are poorly tightened. Any of these mistakes can result in squeaks or other unpleasant sounds.

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