Noisy Brakes: What Causes Them?

Most sounds coming from your car are harmless and normal. However, some aren't. If your brakes are sounding weird or unusual, don't ignore them! They can endanger you and your life by neglecting them.

Every time you push the brakes, a tremendous amount of energy is exerted unto your brake pedal. Your pads can wear out over time, and braking without them can lead to failure of your rotor and caliper.

Therefore, if your brakes sound like a 1990s Internet modem or a creaking hull of a ship, have them checked out ASAP. Or you can figure out what's wrong yourself to save you money on prolonged labor hours.

Reasons for Noisiness from Brakes

  • Not Driving The Car Often Enough: Brakes have a 20,000 miles lifespan. So you'd think not driving nearly enough should prolong their life or at least their brake pads. However, the opposite is instead true. Not using your car will degrade your brake pads as much as driving off-road or in heavy stop-and-go traffic. The weather and idleness will take its toll on your pads in the form of rust and corrosion. You just can't win so you might as well use your car.
  • Rotor Discs Are Worn Out: Worn-out rotor discs are to be expected from a car you've been using for a prolonged period of time. The rotors are protected from wear and tear through the brake pads, but even brake pads can only do so much and sooner or later, your rotor discs and calipers themselves will give out. You know it's the rotor discs that are giving you problems if you're getting loads of vibration when braking on top of metal-scraping noisiness.
  • Faulty Wheel Bearing: As for a faulty wheel bearing, you know that's what you have if the noises you're hearing from your brake goes from quiet to loud. Other noises tend to be more consistent and metallic. In the case of wheel bearings, you know they're damaged or worn-out if you're only hearing the noise sometimes in between quiet portions, since these bearings don't wear out evenly and its worn-out portions are the ones causing the sound.
  • Caliper Bolt Lacking Lubrication: If you lack lubrication in your caliper bolt, then they can make noise. Most motorists would rather just lube the caliper bolts than change their wheel bearing, rotor discs, or brake pads, but unfortunately this rarely occurs. If it's the caliper bolts that are outright damaged, your auto mechanic will tend to automatically replace them during tune-up or repair. They'll just charge it to you as part of the bill unless it's a special bonus service.

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