Squeaky Brake Pedal (Causes and Fixes)

Squeaky Brake Pedal

Do you have squeaky brake pedals? There are chances that you've noticed that your brakes squeak anytime you take your foot off the pedals. You might even notice the squeaking even when the brakes are not pressed down or when you just got new brakes. It shouldn't be so.

Having a squeaky brake pedal is not a good sign. It indicates that your brake needs some fluid, the brake pads are worn out, and dirty brake discs or the brake rotors and calipers need some maintenance or replacement.

However, no matter what the reason is, or the cause of the squeaky brake pedals, there's always a solution. The solution to brake pedal squeaks depends on the cause. You can either decide to replace the worn-out parts, refill brake fluids, clean dirty parts, or do regular maintenance.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about squeaky brake pedals and how to fix them.

What Causes Squeaky Brake Pedals?

A squeaky brake pedal is a sign that your car's brake or its components have a problem. The actual cause of the problem can range from a list of possible scenarios.

You must understand that your chances of fixing a squeaky brake pedal lie in your ability to trace and find out the exact of the squeaking.

Some of the common causes of brake pedal squeaking include worn-out brake pads, low fluid, rusty lines, loose calipers, wet or rusted rotors, dirty discs, dry joints, worn-out or dried-out pivots, or your brake shoes could be worn out or just needs some lubrication.

Let's dive deep into discussing some of the reasons why you have squeaky brake pedals whenever you release or step on your brakes.

1. Worn-Out Brake Pads

One of the commonest causes of squeaky brake pads is worn-out brake pads. With constant usage, piling up of mileage, and from effects of your driving conditions and habits, your brake pads will wear.

Sometimes, wearing out brake pads is also caused by poor maintenance habits. From your inability to flush brake lines, inappropriate use of gears, sudden and hard braking, and mounting excess weight on your car, there are lots of factors that can easily wear out your brake pads.

Whatever the case may be, you just need to understand that a worn-out brake can cause a squeaky brake pedal. This is because when your brake pads get old or wear out, they start making noise when you press them or when they run against your rotors.

2. Lack of Lubrication

Aside from having worn-out brake pedals, one common cause of a squeaky brake pedal is a lack of lubrication. Sometimes, all you need to stop or prevent your brake pedals from squeaking is just a few drops of oil on the pivot points located in the pedal box.

Your brake pedal has a pivot point that works like your door hinge. These components are prone to squeak when they are not properly lubricated, or there's a build-up of dirt and dust. Your brake pedals will squeak if you have a dry joint in your brake pedal system.

Lack of lubrication can cause a build-up of rust in your brake components, like the rotors and calipers. The bolts on the caliper might have corroded, and this isn't a good sign for your brake pedals.

Lack of lubrication can cause blockages in the brake lines which can prevent the free flow of brake fluids to the required parts.

3. Wet and Rusty Brake Rotors

Your brake pads will squeak if your brake rotors are rusty, dirty, or worn out due to constant friction.

Sometimes, the problem goes beyond rust and dirt. There are chances that there's a build-up of moisture around your rotors.

This can happen with rain, snow, or an overnight spike in humidity. As the moisture settles on your brake system, tiny layers of rust start building up. You might not notice this immediately, but if it’s left unresolved, it will cause squeaks as you hit the brake pedals.

4. Loose Brake Calipers

You'll have squeaky brake pads if your brake calipers are loose. Sometimes, the loosening of your brake calipers could be coming from the corrosion of the bolts. In extreme cases, the brake pads will not only squeak, but you'll hear grinding and screeching noises when you hit the brakes.

Prolonged cases of loose brake calipers unevenly wear down your brake pads and even cause constant brake fluid leakages in your car. You must proceed to diagnose your brake assembly to confirm if there are other underlying issues.

5. Dirty Brake Discs

Dirt and poorly greased brake components are some of the major reasons why your brake pads squeak. This is also applicable to brake discs.

When the brake discs are dirty, the brake pads won't grip properly and will cause squeaking anytime you match them.

6. Rusty Worn-out Brake Shoes/Drum Brakes

Brake shoes and drum brakes are always misinterpreted as the same components, but they aren't. Brake shoes are simply part of the drum brake system. However, issues with any of these components/systems can affect the other.

Your brake pedals will squeak if the lubrication between your brake's webbing (metal backing) and plate dries up or is completely washed off. At this point, there will be excess frictional effects on these components.

Bad brake shoes can cause complicated issues in your car, to the tune of making it hard for your car to stop quickly after hitting the brakes.

7. Stuck Brake Pedals

Your brake pedal will squeak if it takes so much time to return to its original position after you release the brakes.

This situation keeps your brake pads in constant contact with the rotor. While there are certainties that it will wear down your brake pads, it will also cause them to make a lot of noise.

There are other common causes of squeaky brake pads, like low brake fluid. When your brake fluid level is low, your car will be unable to transmit enough force from the brake pedals to the pads. This will cause squeaky noises in the system.

7 Quick Fixes To Squeaky Brake Pads

Here's a list of quick solutions and practical things you can do if you have a squeaky brake pad.

  1. Lubricate your brake components: brake pedals, brake shoes, brake rotors, and calipers.
  2. Change worn-out brake pads.
  3. Refill your brake fluid if empty.
  4. Amend all corroded points.
  5. Tighten your loose caliper bolts.
  6. Clean dirty brake components, brake rotors, and brake discs.
  7. Change brake shoes if the need arises, and rectify issues in the drum brakes.

Should I Be Worried If My Brakes Are Squeaking?

Yes, you should be worried if your brakes are squeaking. Squeaky brakes are indicators that there's something wrong with your brake system, but the good news is that those problems can be fixed.

So you have to decide if a lack of lubrication causes the squeaking or if you need to change the rotors or any component of your brake system.

Is It Ok To Drive With Squeaky Brakes?

No, it is not Ok to drive with squeaky brakes. We strongly advise against driving with squeaky brakes, and we hope that you don't attempt to drive a car with squeaky brakes.

Squeaky brakes are indicators that your brake components need urgent attention, maybe worn-out brake pads, loose caliper bolts, or lack of lubrication. It's important that you address the issues immediately, as soon as you discover them.


Brakes are delicate components of your car. So important that they can determine your safety and overall protection on the road.

It's important that you do not neglect any signs from your brake components, no matter how small the signs are. You should not forget that choosing the right way to fix a squeaky brake depends on the initial cause.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can squeaky brakes fix themselves?

No. Squeaky brakes can't fix themselves. You'll need to trace the cause of the squeaking and effect repairs or maintenance. You can fix the squeaky brakes by either changing your brake pads, replacing the rotors, lubricating dried-out parts, or getting new sets of worn-out components.

Does brake cleaner help squeaky brakes?

Yes. A brake cleaner can help squeaky brakes, but this depends on the initial cause of the squeaking. If the cause of the squeaking is just dirty brake components or rusty parts, then it will help address the problems. But for complex cases that need replacements, a brake cleaner can't help you.

Do squeaky brakes mean I need brake fluid?

Yes. In some cases, squeaky brakes mean that your brakes need some brake fluid. However, this is not a universal solution to all squeaky brake problems. Your squeaky brakes will only need brake fluids if the brake fluid level is low or if it has lost viscosity.

Do squeaky brakes need to be changed?

Yes. In some cases, squeaky brakes indicate that you need to change some of your brake components. But this depends on the initial cause of the squeak. You must first confirm if the squeaking is caused by worn-out parts or loss of lubrication. This will help you decide on the best step to take.