Image of a disc brake system
You are cruising as normal then you find yourself on the red lights. You do the necessary-that is to stop. However, when you apply the brakes, you hear an unfamiliar sound coming from the brakes.
The sound is relatively sharper and not pleasant at all. You decide to continue driving and check the vehicle when you get to your destination.
Does this story sound familiar? The squeaking sound from the brakes is a common scenario that many drivers have experienced.
So, when you hear it, just know that there could be something wrong with your brake system.
Probably the brake pad or brake discs are worn out and need to be replaced. However, this is not always the case. There could be other factors that are causing the brake pad to squeal or squeal.
Car Brake Action
Image of a disc brake system courtesy Unsplash
To know whether the squealing noise is caused by a damaged brake system or it is just an unrelated problem, we are going to have a quick look at the operation of the brake system.
Keep in mind that the brake action of a car starts right at the moment that you step on the brake pedal till the time that the car slows down or stops moving.
Once you step on the pedal, it pressurizes the hydraulic system to push the brake caliper pistons out of the calipers.
The calipers will then contact the brake pads and push them against the rotating brake rotors.
Direct contact between the brake pad and the brake rotors generates the frictional force. This will end u up slowing the vehicle or stopping it from moving.
It is through this sequential brake action that you are likely to hear some squeaking sound. That is if the problem is within the brake system.
The Brake System Wear
Old vs new brake pad image
Under a normal circumstance, the brake pads don’t just stop working all of a sudden. Instead, they start deteriorating in quality with time.
The deterioration is mainly because the friction material on the brake pads wears down hence its thickness reduces.
And guess what happens when the brake lining of the brake pad wears down, the backplate will get into contact with the brake rotor.
However, sometimes it is not the brake pad that will wear down. Instead, it is the brake rotor.
Either way, the squeaking sound will be produced when either the brake pad or the brake rotor is in a bad shape.
Poorly Installed Brake Components
As we have seen the squeaking noise is usually produced when the brake pad or brake rotor wear down.
But do you know that there could be other causes of the squeaking noise that is emanating from the car’s brake system?
One of the problems is the misaligned brake calipers.
If the calipers are not attached correctly into their position, they will likely get into contact with the spinning brake rotor.
The result is you will hear squeaking and squealing sound.
So, if you see that the brake pads and rotor are in a perfect condition yet you are still hearing the squeaking sound, know that the problem is with the caliper.
Another common cause of the squeaking brake is the sticking piston. This happens especially after you are sure that all other disc brake components are in tip-top condition.
In general, a squeaking brake system is not only a nuisance but also causes physical damage. It is something that needs to be attended to as soon as possible.
The good news is there are simple and effective solutions to the squeaking brake problem.
Is the Squeaky Brake Dangerous?
When it comes to the brake system, the only thing that you may be concerned about is whether a faulty system will be dangerous in any way.
The same applies to the squeaky brakes. Are they dangerous in any way?
Although you may continue driving with the squeaking brakes, you will be putting yourself at a very high risk of being involved in accidents.
This is because squeaking brakes signify that everything is not well with your brake pads or brake disc. So, your brake system may not be efficient in the way that it should be.
So we can conclude that squeaking brakes are dangerous and they should be attended to as fast as possible.
How to Stop the Squeaking Brakes
How do I stop the my brakes from squeaking?
You don’t have to tolerate the squeaking brakes for long. In fact, it is not advisable to do so.
You need to act on this problem, whether you are using DIY squeaking solutions or you are hiring a mechanic to do the job.
But, what are the best methods of stopping the squeaking brakes?
Here are some of them:
-Doing brake pad replacement which involves buying new brake pads
-Doing brake rotor replacement
-Adjusting the position of the brake calipers
-Applying the anti-squeal compound on the surface of the brake pads
However, there are certain types of brake pads that will still squeal even when they are brand new.
Brake pads that are dominated with metal compounds cannot just operate quietly. If you don’t want to hear this noise on such brakes, then you will have to replace them with a different type of brake pads.
Extremely high temperatures can also trigger the squealing noise from the brake pads. Here you may be forced to persevere with the noise or buy brake pads that are tolerant to high temperatures.
Where to Buy Quality and Affordable Brake Pads and Brake Rotors
Image of brake pad and rotor
As we have discussed, one of the solutions to the squealing brake system is replacing key brake components.
You can choose to replace either brake pads, brake discs or both of them.
You can only be sure about the quality of the replacement when you buy from a reliable and reputable brand.
Choose the best brake pad and brake rotor manufacturers and you will never regret it.
In addition to getting quality brake components, you are also likely to enjoy affordable brake pads and rotors.