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What Causes Car Brakes To Squeak?

There’s no doubt that if you own a vehicle one of the most annoying things that can happen is to have squeaking car brakes.

This problem typically happens when the brake pads on your vehicle need to be replaced because there is a metal tab that’s attached to your brake pads that are designed to make a noise so that the owner of the vehicle takes their car or truck in for service.

About Squeaky Car Brakes

Did you know that some brake noise is considered to be normal?

Depending on where you live in the United States, your driving conditions can affect brake noise, including severe braking, dusty, sandy conditions, or even humidity.

Although they are alarming, certain high-pitched brake noises happen because the semi-metallic brake pads used on newer cars are harder.

Regardless of your vehicle, every brake manufacturer designs their brake pads and products the same way so that owner of the vehicle knows when it’s time to replace the brakes on their vehicle or have their brakes serviced should they start squeaking or making a noise.

If you never dealt with squeaky car brakes before, this article will provide you with some insight into the different types of break sounds that you should be aware of so that you will know that brake noises are something that you should be dealing with immediately.

Understanding The Squeaks

Squeaky brakes indicate that you have worn brake hardware which should be replaced.

Even if your pads have recently been replaced, the caliper slides that engage the brakes on your vehicle may be dried out, rusted, or stuck.

Squeaky brakes can occur for a variety of reasons. Most brake pads are designed to start making noise when they are worn down to the last 25% of the pad.

The squeaky, or squealing noise, can be an indicator that it is time to have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced especially if you haven’t had your brakes checked out by a professional in a long period of time.

Some of the other common causes of squeaky brakes include:

  • Worn out brake pads
  • Dust on the brake rotors
  • Chronic hard braking
  • Long-life brake pads


Did you know that squeals occur when there’s interference on the brake disk?

If the squeal is consistent, and only goes away when you apply your brakes, this means that the metal tab is being engaged and you should take your vehicle to a mechanic to have your brakes checked out.

Are Your Brakes Grinding?

Grinds are the WORST type of brake damage because they mean that there’s metal-on-metal contact.

This is a very dangerous condition that needs to be looked at by a qualified mechanic immediately because this problem means that your brakes could easily go out on you while you are driving your vehicle and you may be unable to stop.

Can Weather Or Driving Conditions Cause Brakes To Squeak Or Squeal?

Although most brake noises indicate a problem with the brakes, noise can also occur for other reasons:

Moisture – Did you know moisture can cause brake rotors, which are unfinished metal, to rust as quickly as overnight? This is especially common in the Pacific Northwest, a region of the United States that deals with a lot of snow and ice.

Hard Braking – Do you have a habit of stepping on your brakes hard? Hard braking creates heat, which can glaze brake pads and cause a squeaky brake noise. Also, long-life brake pads are harder and can emit noise as part of their normal operation.

Do Your Squeaky Brakes Mean You Have A Serious Problem?

No, most brake sounds do not indicate immediate mechanical problems, but you should still take your car in for a check and tune-up as soon as you hear unexpected sounds.

If the brakes are left to squeal for long, the pads can get worn down to the tissue, the assembly can get damaged and you could find yourself having to pay a lot more money than you imagined to get your brakes repaired.

To determine if your brakes need to be repaired or replaced you should do the following:

  • Track service intervals – This can be done with most smartphone calendar programs so you don’t forget when was the last time you brought your vehicle in for servicing.
  • Stop-and-go vs. highway driving – Especially important if you commute a lot.
  • Visual inspections – Do this anytime you wash your vehicle.
  • Removing rust to see if the problem persists – Take your vehicle to a trained professional to do this.
  • Type of brake pads on your vehicle.

Are You Thinking About Selling Your Older Vehicle?

Did you know that depending on the make, model and damage to your brakes, you could be faced with paying hundreds of dollars if there’s major damage that needs to be repaired or replaced?

If you own an older vehicle, NOW may be the best time for you to junk your car, truck or van and sell it for cash.

At Fred’s Auto Removal we pay TOP DOLLAR for junk vehicles and want to pay you what your vehicle is worth.

Did you know that every junk vehicle is worth more than just a few hundred dollars? That’s right! Your older model vehicle has steel, recyclables, and parts that can be resold and reused?

To learn more about how much your vehicle may be worth contact us today by calling (503) 810-3061 or CLICK HERE to learn more about us.



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