What’s That Awful Noise From My Brakes?
So you step on the brake pedal and hear a loud, high-pitched groan or squeal. That means you’re headed for auto repair and your brakes are about to need replacement, right? Not necessarily.
If…and this is a big, important “if”…your brakes are performing normally and you don’t seem to be experiencing any loss in braking power, that obnoxious noise might be nothing to worry about. The friction material on brake pads is a very hard, dense compound of semi-metallic fibers or ceramic; sometimes, that noise can just be caused by the pads themselves vibrating while brakes are applied. That will also make the brake rotor vibrate, and between the two assemblies, you’ll hear a loud squealing or ringing sound, sometimes only as the car is just coming to a complete stop. It’s also pretty common with newly-installed brakes, which require some time to “bed” properly. What’s more, some brands of brake pads and some brake friction materials are more prone to squeal than others. There could be other problems at play, such as a sticky brake caliper piston, loose or worn wheel bearings or a warped rotor, but more often than not it’s the pads themselves.
“Nothing to worry about,” however, doesn’t mean that it’s something you want to hear every time you step on the brake pedal. Brake pads are designed with an anti-rattle plate on the back, and brake techs can use gels and polymer-based sprays that are designed to dampen vibration and prevent squeal. At Joe’s Tires and Service, we’ve paid attention to auto repair trade publications and customer feedback and are careful to use the right brands of brake pads and anti-squeal products so that irritating noise won’t be a problem.
Now…if your brakes are not performing properly, i.e. you’re noticing a “spongy” brake pedal, longer stopping distances, more brake pedal travel or a vibration, and you’re hearing a squeal or metallic grinding noise, that’s a different story altogether. That usually means that your brake pads are worn down to their steel backing plate and rivets; the grinding means that the rivets are digging into the smooth steel surface of the rotor and cutting grooves into it. If that’s what you’re experiencing, you’d be wise to get your car in for brake service right away, so that the next noise you hear isn’t a loud crash!
Regardless of what sound you’re hearing when you apply the brakes on your car, it’s not something you want to live with and hope that it just gets better on its own. Make an appointment with us at Joe’s Tires and Service in New Martinsville, WV and we’ll get you fixed up and on your way again with expert brake work and auto repair.
|What’s That Awful Noise From My Brakes? was written by Clarke Jamison of Joes Tires and Service|