So, you’re driving along and when you step on the brakes to slow, all of a sudden…. SQUEEEEAK. What the heck! Right? That noise wasn’t there before! What’s going on? Didn’t I just have the car in for service not too long ago? Why is this happening? Everyone is looking at me! Well, there could be a number of reasons why your brakes are noisy. It might be time for a Brake Repair.
Even if you just had the car serviced, the best thing to do is have your mechanic inspect it again. If you haven’t had the car looked at for a while, now is a good time to bring it in for a complete inspection.
When the technician removes the wheels, the first thing he will look at is how worn the brake pads are. Brakes will start to make noise when the friction material is significantly worn. We usually measure in millimeters. 3mm is pretty worn and should be replaced soon. 2mm’s means get it done now before it gets worse. 1mm and you’re lucky the rotors aren’t damaged yet. Some cars have wear sensors that will alert you with either a dash warning light or a loud obnoxious squeal.
If you hear a grinding noise, it may be too late. This usually means the brake pads have worn through to the metal backing plate. The grind you hear is the sound of metal on metal and the brake rotors may need to be replaced too. If the rotors are worn unevenly and are not smooth, this could also cause noise. If you experience a vibration in the steering or brake pedal when applying the brakes at or near freeway speeds, that usually means the brake rotors are warped. In this case, the best option is replacement.
Another cause of noise is using the incorrect brake pads. And what I mean by that is using the cheapest pads you could find. It’s the friction material that’s causing the noise. Here at Tri-Valley Automotive, we only use brake pads with a ceramic formulation. This is what the manufacturers use.
Older cars may have other parts in brake system that are starting to fail that will cause noise. If the calipers are starting to stick, this could put constant pressure on the pads. This causes the pads to get a hardened layer on the surface which could cause noise.
If you are hearing things, bring your car down to Tri-Valley Automotive for a no-charge Courtesy Inspection. We will inspect the complete car for you and send that report to your email or text it to you. This report includes pictures of any failing parts and animated explanations. Now you can see what we see.
Click here for a $20.00 off coupon for Brake Repair.