At some point in time, all of your car's parts and components will wear down and fail. That's just life. They're actually supposed to do that in light of moving parts getting worn down by friction sooner or later.
However, when you start hearing your brakes grind, it's important to pay attention. You should have your brakes looked at by your mechanic or you should be able to identify the problem behind the noise before things become serious and expensive.
Find the causes of brake noises down below and see if it applies to your specific circumstances.
The Causes of Grinding Noise When Braking
- Worn Brake Pads: You will hear a grinding noise when breaking if your brake pads are worn out. If you've been using your brakes for a long time, the backing plates of your brake pads will naturally lose its material from the constant friction. This will eventually lead to metal touching metal, resulting in a squeaking noise. The metal surface of the caliper can also get scraped by the rotor. Your brakes can get severely broken if you don't replace your pads post-haste. Have a mechanic check your pads for more details. Avoid letting the caliper and backing plate destroy each other by breaking with compromised brake pads.
- Broken Shims: If your brake pads are fine then it might instead of a shim issue. Broken shims can also result in a weird grinding noise from your brakes. Worn-out shims will tend to make contact with parts of your braking system like the rotor or caliper. As per usual, when metal comes into contact with another metal instead of shims then you will hear that familiar and concerning grinding sound that you should get fixed ASAP.
- Solid Objects: There might be solid objects stuck between your caliper and rotor. To be more specific, components can catch grime, dust, dirt, debris, various foreign objects like pieces of rock and asphalt, or all of the above and more. You don't want pebbles or glass shards ending up between your rotor and caliper. This will result in that grinding noise from all that grit regardless of whether you push your brake pedal or not. The friction from such debris can damage your brake system parts to boot.
- Brake Pad Quality: There are those who buy low-quality pads instead of high-quality ones in order to save money. However, this is actually a bad choice. A brake pad that's cheap will break easily. You get what you pay for and all. These pads can also contain metal chunks that can scrape or rub your rotor surface, resulting in damage to the brake system itself. It's one thing to have broken pads you can replace, but replacing brake system parts is another thing altogether. Get something from a well-known and trusted brand instead.