New Brakes Squeaking (What To Do About It)
When it comes to brake pads, most people think of worn ones. However, this is not the only issue that can cause a squealing or squeaking sound.
Sometimes, it's caused by a combination of factors, such as a dirty rotor or a new set of pads that's not used to the same settings.
Sometimes, it's a minor issue caused by your brake pads. However, if it persists, it could be a severe problem, such as a mechanical issue with your brake system.
If the squealing continues, it's essential to get your car's brakes checked by a mechanic.
Let’s discuss everything about new brakes squeaking and what to do about it.
Table of Contents
- Why Is My New Brakes Squeaking?
- What To Do If You Have Squeaky Brakes
- When To Change Your Brake Pads
- How Long Does It Take To Bed-In New Brakes?
- What Happens If You Don’t Break in Your Breaks?
- How Often Should You Inspect Your Brake Pads?
- Can You Replace Brake Pads without Replacing Rotors?
- Best Car Deals by Category
Why Is My New Brakes Squeaking?
There are several reasons why new brakes squeak. They range from worn brake pads to dust or debris.
These are the reasons why brakes squeak:
1. Worn-Out Brake Pads
Probably the most common cause of brake squealing is worn pads. These pads have a metal indicator that sounds like a high-pitched warning when they reach their minimum thickness.
Although a thin layer of rust can make a similar sound, this usually goes away after a few applications.
However, if the noise persists, it could be a serious issue caused by your brake system.
Therefore, you should immediately get your car's brakes checked out. If you let the problem continue, it could lead to the need for new rotors.
2. Overnight Moisture
It could be expected if you hear a strange-sounding noise when you first wake up. However, if it persists, it could be a serious issue caused by your brake system.
The moisture build-up on your car's surface can cause a thin layer of rust to build up on the brake pads.
The overnight moisture could cause a squealing or a grinding sound. Fortunately, you can fix this by regularly applying the brakes.
3. Debris Between Your Brake Pads
Mud, dust, and other debris can build up on the surface of your brake pads or rotors, which can cause a squealing or rolling sound.
If this happens frequently, it could be caused by a dirty rotor or your car sitting for a long time.
Fortunately, a quick spray or a combination of cleaning and sand can eliminate this issue.
4. Metallic Brake Pads
Sometimes, the issue is caused by the outer surface of the brake pads. There are three types of brake pads: ceramic, organic, and semi-metallic.
Semi-metallic pads are typically the most common type on the market, and they have a high level of metallic elements such as steel, copper, and iron.
If the outer surface of the brake pads rubs up against the rotor, it could cause a slight squealing or a rolling sound.
The sound usually stops once the pads wear down past the outer surface layer. If the noise bothers you, you might want to replace the pads with less metal.
Organic pads are typically the cheapest alternative, but they offer poor quality and are prone to dust build-up.
Ceramic brake pads are the best choice if you're looking for the most reliable brake pads. They're also the longest-lasting and of the highest quality.
5. Your Braking Style
The excessive heat generated by fast and hard braking can cause a complex and smooth glaze on the brake pads' surface.
This could be caused by the constant friction riding on the brakes, leading to a temperature spike.
If these pads become glazed, they won't be able to generate the necessary force to stop the car, and they might even break.
If the hydraulic or mechanical failure in the brake system causes the pads to rub against the rotor, this could be a sign of glazing.
This is considered the most challenging issue, as it can happen without the driver's knowledge.
To check for glazing, you can feel the pad's smooth and glassy surface by running your finger along the pad's surface.
You'll need to thoroughly clean and resurface the rotors and hydraulic system. If the issue persists, you might need to alter your braking style.
6. No Lubrication
If you have drum brakes, you might have a problem with the lubrication between the shoes and the drum.
Without lubrication, the drums will start to scrape against the support plate, causing a squealing. You can diagnose this issue by looking for signs of this scraping.
Repairing this issue using brake grease can help prevent it from happening in the first place.
What To Do If You Have Squeaky Brakes
If you have squeaky brakes, you might have a severe issue with your hydraulics or brake pads. This could be caused by a moisture issue or a significant component issue.
If the problem persists for more than a day, you must get your car checked out by a professional.
A minor issue could become a costly brake repair if it persists for more than a day.
If a decrease in power accompanies the noise from the pads, this could signal that something serious is happening.
You can contact a professional for a free diagnosis and estimate on brake repairs.
When To Change Your Brake Pads
It's time to change your brake pads if you observe any of the following:
1. Grinding Noises When You Brake
If you hear many grinding noises while you're braking, this could signify that the pads have worn down. So, in addition to replacing the pads, you might also need to replace the rotors.
2. Brake Warning Light
The dashboard light will turn on whenever the brake indicator indicates a low hydraulic fluid level.
If the level of brake fluid is low, it could be a sign that the car's braking system is not working correctly.
Before you start to suspect something is wrong with your vehicle, make sure to contact a professional.
3. Shaky Steering Wheel
If the steering wheel or brake pedal is moving when you're braking, it could be a sign that the brake rotors have been damaged.
Warped rotors can be made to look like they're turned, but replacing them is generally better for your vehicle's safety.
4. Screeching Noises
If you hear loud screeching while you're braking, it could signify that the brake pads are starting to wear down.
You should consult a mechanic if you suspect that the pads need to be replaced.
How Long Does It Take To Bed-In New Brakes?
All new brake pads and rotors should be "bedded-in." This process, which is usually performed over a set distance, is designed to increase the life of the pads and improve their braking performance.
Although it can vary depending on the manufacturer, bedding-in usually involves multiple manual applications, gradually increasing the heat build-up in the pads and the rotors.
If you fail to bed in your brake pads, the film on the rotors will accumulate unevenly, which could cause a vibration that can be felt through your steering wheel and suspension.
This issue could also cause the pads to lose contact with the rotor as they rotate.
The process of bedding-in new rotors and pads should be done slowly and carefully.
Doing so will allow the compounds to develop and even transfer film deposits on the rotors, which can take up to 400 miles.
Before installing new pads and rotors, ensure the hub mounting surface is clean of debris, scale, and rust.
If the rotor has excessive run-out, it should be replaced. Since the manufacturer of the brake pads will not cover the cost of replacing a defective rotor, you should not drive or install it.
What Happens If You Don’t Break in Your Breaks?
If you don't bed in your new brake pads properly, you could experience issues with your vehicle's braking system. These could include uneven pads, noise brakes, and distorted rotors.
The bedding-in process should be done slowly to ensure that the compounds will not develop transfer film deposits.
Most brake pads can take up to 400 miles to remove the film from the rotors entirely.
How Often Should You Inspect Your Brake Pads?
Your vehicle's manufacturer's guidelines will give you a proper suggestion, or you should have your brake pads inspected every 5,000 miles or five months.
Contact a reliable auto-mechanic if you hear squealing, grinding, or other noises.
Can You Replace Brake Pads without Replacing Rotors?
Your mechanic will inspect both of your vehicle's brake pads and rotors to determine the type of repairs that need to be made.
If your vehicle's rotors show signs of wear or corrosion, they might recommend replacing them with your pads. If they're still ok, they will be left alone.