Why Do I Have Squeaky Brakes?

Sneakered foot pressing down on car's brake pedalFingernails on a chalkboard. A train scraping on its tracks. Squeaky car brakes. Cringing yet? We are. As far as unpleasant noises go, these guys top the list. While we may not be able to help with the first two, our technicians are pros at putting a stop to the ear-piercing and worrisome sound of squealing brakes. Here’s a rundown of what could be causing that racket and how we can help bring the noise to a not-so screeching halt!

Your squeaky brakes could be a sign of…

1. Worn out brake pads.

This is the most common reason brakes squeak. As annoying as the noise can be, it actually serves a purpose. It occurs when a metal wear indicator is exposed on the brake pads. When the wear indicator is exposed, it produces a squealing sound to let you know that your brake pads need attention or replacing. Since your brake pads aren’t something you can regularly visually check, like your oil or windshield wiper fluid, it’s important to pay attention when they start talking.

2. Loose parts.

Your car’s braking system consists of many components. There’s the disc (or drum) brake as well as rotors, calipers, and hoses. If these pieces become loose, they can vibrate and produce a squeaky sound. A part may simply need cleaning, lubrication, or adjustment. Stop by for a free brake inspection to see if loose parts are the cause of your squeaky brakes.

3. Weather or road conditions.

Rain, snow, and humidity can also cause your brakes to squeak. This is usually due to condensation collecting on the rotors. Under such conditions, the noise shouldn’t last long once the brake pads have warmed up. To prevent weather-related squealing, put your car in the garage at night or store it in a climate-controlled area, like an enclosed parking garage.
Again, if wet weather or road conditions are causing your brakes to squeak then the noise shouldn’t linger.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time,” says automotive instructor Calvin Feist, “your brakes shouldn’t make any noise.” He confirmed that water, dust, grit, sand, and dirt can cause some noise “but it shouldn’t last for long.” If the sound is consistent, it’s time to pay the pros a visit.

Where’s the best brake service near me?

When it comes to your car’s most important safety feature, don’t forget to stop, look, and listen! Save your ears and your brakes with a trip to your local Firestone Complete Auto Care. Our technicians are pros at fixing squeaky brakes (and almost any strange car noise). Bring your car by or make an appointment online for a brake service and inspection before those squeals become ear deafening or unsafe. Many locations are open late and on the weekends for your convenience!

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