Grinding Noise While Braking But Pads Are Fine: Common Causes and Consequence

grinding noise braking

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Undoubtedly, brakes are the fundamental part of any vehicle. Hence, every driver should pay special attention to taking good care of them.

When your car is making grinding noise while braking, it is the sign that tells something is wrong with it. It can be the faulty brakes or the rotors.

Many drivers tend to ignore these signs which result in making the condition of their cars even worse. Never make such mistakes otherwise you will end up paying a huge amount in the future.

So, let's begin by understanding the common causes and consequences behind this groan and moan of your car.

It's common for vehicles to make different types of noises. These are completely normal and fine. However, if these sounds become persistent you should not turn into a deaf driver especially when the sounds come while braking. It can risk your safety!

Generally, when you hit the brake, the car has to generate a lot of heat energy due to friction. Over time, this results in wearing brake pads and thereby damaging the rotor, caliper, and causing the brakes to fail.

This is a major issue because the failed brakes can result in deadly accidents that can even take your life. Therefore, it becomes very important to know about the causes of the rubbing sounds and fix them as soon as possible.


Having said that, here we are narrowing down some of the most common reasons the metal scraping sounds when driving.

Common Causes Behind Brakes Making Grinding Noise

1. Your Brake Pads May Be Worn-out

The most common cause behind the grinding noise when braking is the worn-out brake pads.

If the brake pads haven't replaced for a long time, chances are their backing plates have lost the material. This causes friction between the metals which results in scraping sound. Apart from it, the caliper and the rotor may also run against each other, resulting in scraping the surface. There is only one way to prevent the brakes from further damage is to take them for repair as soon as you can.

2. May Be Your Brake Pads Are Of Poor-Quality

If you're hearing a grinding noise when braking but the pads are fine, It could be the poor quality pads. Sometimes, car owners compromise on the quality of brake pads for saving a few bucks. However, it is not at all a good idea. The low quality brake pads may contain the metal pieces which can scrape the surface of the rotor, resulting in worse damages.

So, always buy high quality and branded brake pads even if they cost a little more. This little investment can save you from future risks.

3. There Might Be Solid Particles Between The Rotor And Caliper

While it is completely normal for the components to collect debris and dirt, sometimes solid stone and rock particles come between the rotor and the caliper. These are responsible for making such noises when you push the brake paddle. Moreover, these particles create high friction which can further result in causing damages to internal parts.

4. The Shims May Be Broken

Broken shims could make grinding noise while braking. The particles of broken shims sometimes come in contact with the braking components like rotors and rub against each other. Rubbing of these metal surfaces creates various sounds in the braking system.

So, in order to prevent this get your shims replaced carefully. Make sure the mechanic has done his job perfectly.

5. You Don't Drive Very Often / Your Car Is New

Another possible reason could be the non-frequent use of the vehicle. Also, if your car is new, it will make such noises.

When your car sits idle for several days, the integral parts get jammed and can form rust.

This rust can spread to the other parts if not taken care of. So, make sure you drive your car regularly to avoid this issue.

6. Weary Rotor Discs Can Be The Culprit

Many times worn-out rotor discs that are not flat create a lot of vibrations and scraping sounds. You can easily feel these vibrations from the brake pedals. When the rotor discs become very old, they lose their material and when come in contact with the other metal surfaces, produce a squeaky noise.

7. The Wheel Bearing Might Be Damaged

If the grinding sounds are coming from the wheels, know that the bearings might be faulty. They can also result in vibrations in the braking system. So, get the wheel bearing checked and replace them if they're worn-out.

8. Caliper Bolts May Need Oiling / Lubrication

When the caliper bolts are not lubricated properly they create squeaky sounds. This may be a very small issue but can be equally responsible for the noises from the braking system. So, get them checked and lubricated.

9. Brake Pads Are New

Lastly, if you've just replaced your brake pads they can create squeaky noises due to lack of lubrication and tightness. So, if the new brakes make grinding noise at low speed, you don't need to worry much. Just drive your car regularly and they will lose out a little and will work smoothly.

So, these were the most common causes and consequence behind the grinding noise from your brake system. Don't ignore any of these issues and get your vehicle repaired at the earliest. Also, don't go with the cheap auto-parts to save some bucks. Always buy high-quality supplies from a trusted brand and get your car repaired from a known mechanic to avoid poor repair.

The brake system repair may cost you about $300 to $800 depending upon the severity of the damage and the replacements. It is totally worth investing in these replacements, so don't hesitate in spending a little more.

At last, never drive your car if the braking system is damaged. You never know when it could result in complete brake failure. So, avoid risking your life and putting your vehicle in danger. 


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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