The sound of squealing brakes is undeniably one of the most annoying, and one of the hardest to ignore. For good reason, though! Squealing brakes can sometimes be of no cause for concern – in very few instances, though.
If this happens once in a while, perhaps after you’ve just had your car washed, on a particularly cold/ rainy or frosty night, or when you’re braking lightly on a steep downhill – there is likely little cause for concern. According to gasqcollision, “Moisture can cause brake rotors, which are unfinished metal, to rust as quickly as overnight. This is normal, and can lead to a grinding noise, which will last until the surface rust is removed.”
However, if your brakes squeal more often than not – you should have it seen to far sooner than later.
“Squeaky brakes can occur for many reasons. Most brake pads are designed to start making noise when they are worn down to the last 25%. This squeaky or squealing noise can be an indicator that it is time to have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced.”
There are a few contributing factors leading to your brakes to the point of squeaking, such as Worn out pads rust which may have formed on the discs of your brakes over time, continual or habitual harsh braking and otherwise worn out brake pads or discs. It is advisable to attempt to drive a short distance and see if the brakes are more problematic over a short ride (i.e. – stop and go style driving), and whether they are worse, better or similar when driving in a highway-style setup. In addition, feel for the efficiency of the brakes when they squeal – are they braking as well as they used to or is it taking longer for the car to come to a stop? This will help to indicate whether the noise is caused by a worn brake system or another factor.
Unless you are trained to do so, it’s a good idea (and the quickest way) to take your car into a brake fitment centre. They will be able to assess the state of your brakes by completing a simple and quick inspection of them; they can then advise you as to the root cause of the noise – and what the safest and best remedy may be.
Having your brake pads replaced is not a costly exercise, considering what is at stake if you ignore faulty or damaged brakes. IF need be, the retailer will advise on how to resolve alternative problems such as squealing that only occurs after the car’s brakes have come into contact with water.
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Cover Image Credit: Autoblog