What Causes Brakes Squeak When Driving (Stopping Slow or Braking Lightly) and How to Fix It

brakes squeak

There can be several reasons behind squeaky brakes. Whatever be the reason, you should not ignore these sounds because a little ignorance can put your vehicle into danger.

If your brakes squeak when stopping slow, then read this post till the end to know about the causes and also the ways to fix them.


Brakes Squeak When Stopping Slow: Why Does It Happen?

Generally, the squeaky sound is the result of the high-frequency vibrations. These vibrations are caused by rubbing of the rotating disc and the brakes. There can be many things that affect the intensity of this vibration. Some of the most possible reasons include broken and weary discs, damaged shims, dust particles in the brake system, rusting of parts etc. In short, the condition of the braking system influences the vibration level. If the parts are worn-out, squeaking sounds are more likely.

While some issues can be tackled by "quick fixes", some require a thorough check-up and repair. For example: if there is a rock particle stuck in the brakes, you can pressure wash to remove it and other debris. However, if the squeaky sound doesn't stop even after these quick fixes, it is the time to look for the other internal problems.

Main Causes Behind Squeaky Brakes

1. Inadequate Repair

Many times the mechanics perform their job in hassle due to work pressure or any other facts and leave the brake system prone to the squeaky sounds. This is why it is said, visit a trusted mechanic whenever your car needs a repair. A mechanic is like a doctor, he knows the condition of your vehicle better than you. Therefore, choose your mechanics wisely and don't change them frequently.  It is simple, a new mechanic takes time to understand your vehicle and may not be able to grasp the real problem.

2. Brake Materials

Another reason behind the noise can be the type of material used in the brake components.

Some brake parts can be made of different materials and when they rub against the metal surfaces of other parts, squealing sounds are produced.

3. Newly Installed Brakes

Sometimes, this problem arises right after the installation of new brake pads. As  some manufacturers don't care about changing the worn-out rotors while replacing the brakes.

If the noise is getting worse, then the best option is to take your vehicle back to the repair shop or auto parts dealership from where you've replaced your brakes and ask them to fix this issue. The servicing should be done in the right way. If they are not replacing the rotors, they should at least clean them properly to prevent such sounds.

4. Moisture In The Rotors

Sometimes brake rotors collect moisture due to heavy rain or condensation. This results in rust formation on the surface of rotors. When it gets turn-on, the pads scrape off this rust layer and produce these sounds. Squeaking due to moisture generally happens in rain and during mornings. Also, it stops after some time when the brake pads get a little warm-up session.

5. Thinning of Brake Pads

Sometimes the brake pads are usually fitted along with a wear indicator. It produces squeaking sound when the brakes become thin due to excessive friction. This is when you need to replace your brakes.

6. Higher Metal Content Of The Brake Pads

Most of the low quality brake pads have a higher metal content. Sometimes, the larger chunks of metal come on the surface of the brake pad and then the rotor where they make a sharp squeaky noise. The only way to fix this issue is to always buy high-quality brakes. Many people buy these cheap brake pads to save some amount. But you should never make this mistake because brakes are a very important component of a vehicle. The damage in the braking system can be very dangerous to life and the vehicle itself.

7. Glazed Brake Pads

Glazing is another possible culprit behind the squeaky noise. In case the brake callipers stick, the brakes don't apply to the full. Due to this, large amounts of heat and friction is produced which then result in the crystallization or glazing of pads. Glazed pads affect the working of the brakes and cause a high pitched sound when you stop the car. If you have got a little experience, then you can quickly fix this issue by sanding the brake rotors and pads to scrape off this glaze. Moreover, if you can't do it yourself then take the help of your mechanic who can do this for you. He will look up the problem and fix it with callipers.

Also Find out how to know if you need a new flywheel.

So, these were a few things behind the squeaky noise from the brakes. Let's see how you can fix them.

How To Fix The Squeaky Noise From Brakes?

If you think that by securing the pads more tightly to the calipers will stop the squealing sounds then you're wrong. This is not going to help you in any way. You will end up increasing the intensity of this sound.

The best idea is to replace the rotor and the pads if they are worn out. You can determine whether or not these parts are worn out by noticing the brake pad dust on the wheels. Further, changing the brakes is important if they've become thin over time.

If the pads are fine, then also service them and the other components of the braking system to get rid of this squealing noise.

Another way to fix this problem is to change the shims and lubricate the surface between caliper and pads using a high-temperature grease. This will isolate the vibration and reduce the brake noise.

Lastly, don't ignore the noises coming from the brake system and get your vehicle checked immediately.

That's all about it!!

We hope we resolved your problem.


If there is anything you want to know more about these car issues, just post your question below. I’ll be very glad to read them and reply to you as best as I can.


About the Author JamesL Davis

James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.

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