How to Put a Stop to Squeaky Brakes

July 25th, 2018 by

Whether you’re taking a road trip or simply tackling the morning commute, nothing ruins an otherwise pleasant journey like squeaky brakes. Luckily enough, this is a relatively easy automotive woe to put right! Here we’ll cover:

  • Why Brakes Squeak
  • Whether or Not Squeaking Brakes Are a Problem
  • How to Stop Brake Squeaking

 

Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?

Modern brakes fit a cast-iron disc between two brake pads lined with friction material. When the disc, pads, and caliper come together under certain conditions, they can start to vibrate, and those vibrations often create an unpleasant squeaking sound. You’ll likely find your brakes squeaking at the same frequency, but the speed of the vehicle and how hard you press down on the brake pedal will change the volume of that noise.

The good news is that this isn’t a serious automotive issue. Squeaking brakes work just as well as silent ones – it’s when you start hearing grinding sounds that there’s a problem.

Mechanic fitting brake pads

 

How to Stop Brakes from Squeaking

Fixing your squeaking brakes is something you can take care of at home, but most people will find it easier to visit a professional. They’ll be able to dampen or remove the noise with ease, usually by taking one of the following steps:

  • Changing the Pads: OEM brake pads should do a great job, but sometimes switching to a premium metallic or ceramic pad changes the interaction between components enough to affect the resonant frequency of the pad and disc.
  • Using a Shim: If changing the pad material isn’t going to work, a shim made from Teflon might just do the job. These can be slipped between the pad and the caliper’s hydraulic piston.
  • Moving the Backing Plate: By sticking the backing plate to the piston or caliper housing, you make its mass far larger. This will usually move the resonant frequency out of the squeaking range.
Mechanic fixing brake rotor

 

Don’t Put Up with Squeaking Brakes

No driver should have to deal with the annoyance and embarrassment of squeaky brakes, so take heed of the above tips, and enjoy a ride that’s nice and silent. For further car maintenance advice, a wide selection of used vehicles, and more, look to your local CarHop location!