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Why are my brakes squeaking?

Friday 22nd May 2020

what are anti lock brakes

Car brakes squeaking?

When listening out for noises from your brakes, it’s likely that they will never be completely silent – you’ll always hear some level of noise from them. However, there are some noises that you should keep an ear out for – as it could indicate that there are problems with your brake pads.

One of the noises to watch out for is hearing a high-pitched squeak, or squeal, from your car’s brakes. This is not uncommon – and there are a number of reasons why your brakes could be squeaking. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Worn brake pads – worn pads, or thinning pads, are one of the most common causes of squeaky brakes. This could indicate that your brake pads may be thin and they need to be replaced.
  • Glazed pads and discs – if brake calipers stick, this could cause the brake to stay partially applied – which results in excessive friction and heat, leading to the brake pads hardening and glazing. Glazed brakes reduce the braking action – which then leads to the high pitched screeching sound.
  • High metal content of brake pads – typically, the cheaper the brake pads you buy, the higher the metal content. This means that cheaper brakes can lead to larger pieces of metal on the brake pad surface, which drag on the brake disc, causing squeaky brakes.

How to get brakes to stop squeaking

It’s difficult to determine how you can stop your brakes from squeaking when you are unsure of the problem. If your brake pads are worn or thinning, it’s likely you will need to replace them in order for the squeaking to stop. However, in other instances, you may not need to have your brakes replaced.

The best way of knowing for sure how to stop squeaky brakes is by booking yourself in for a free brake check at your local Formula One Autocentre. Here, our team of experts can help diagnose the problems with your brakes – if any – and whether they need to be replaced. Simply search for your nearest centre using your postcode.

Do your brakes need replacing?

In some cases, such as if your pads are worn or thinned, squeaky brakes may indicate that your brake pads need replacing. As well as squeaky brake pads, you may also experience pulling – if you feel the steering wheel pulling your vehicle in different directions; vibrations – typically from a vibrating brake pedal, which indicates warped brake discs; or unusual brake movement – especially if the brake pad feels ‘mushy’, or goes to the floor before engaging in the brakes. Unsure if you need new brakes? Learn how to tell if you need new brakes from our informative guide.

Find out more about if your brakes are working effectively and what brake repair work you could require from our car brakes section. Simply locate your nearest Formula One Autocentre, or contact a member of our team for more information why your car brakes are squeaking.

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