The most common and possible causes of brake noise

Unusual noises coming from your brake system can compromise the effectiveness of your brakes and endanger your safety while driving. To fix these noisy brakes, always seek professional help if you’re worried! You want to be sure that when you depress the brake pedal, you have the stopping power required to prevent a collision. Brake noise, however, always raises questions about whether the system is functioning or not.

The most common and possible causes of brake noise

However, squeaky brakes are the most annoying. You feel embarrassed and want to slouch down in your seat since it draws everyone’s attention to you. The noise can be eliminated from your brakes without having to replace them if they are new or still in good condition. Well, in this article, we will get to discuss the answers to the following questions:

  • What causes brake noise?
  • Can you drive a car with brake noise issues?
  • What are the types of brake noise?
  • How do I fix the issue with brake noise?

Read more: New brakes squeaking: possible causes & what to do

Ok, let’s get down to business.


What causes brake noise?

Here are the most common reasons for brake noise:

worn out brake pads

Brake noise is typically caused by worn-out brake pads. The pad’s material is more likely to make noise as it becomes thinner, especially if it hits the wear indicator. When the material is getting thinner, the wear indicators are designed to produce noise. With this warning, you can replace the pads before more problems arise.

Worn Rotors

The metal begins contacting the metal on the rotors if you allow the brake pad to sink too low. When you press the brake pedal, this will not only make a grinding noise, but it may also wear out the rotor’s surface. You will likely spend a lot more money if the rotors and pads need to be changed.

Therefore, it’s crucial to replace the brake pads as soon as they begin to show signs of wear. When braking, the pads frequently form an edge around the brake disc if the rotors are worn, which produces a squeaking noise. This edge might only need to be resurfaced.

Low-quality brake pads

The quality of the brake pads you choose could be responsible for the brake noise if you recently installed new brake pads. Different materials, some considerably less expensive than others, are used to make brake pads. Cheap brake pads are made of noisy, inferior materials. If you use aftermarket brake pads that fall short of OEM requirements, you can also run into difficulty.


The brakes will glaze over as a result of the heat. This may happen if the car is driven too hard or if the drum brakes are not calibrated correctly. Replace the brakes if they are worn out or if the incorrect braking material was utilized.

Broken Shims

Another possible reason for brake noise may well be broken shims. A thin rubber or metal material, or both, is used to make the brake pad shim. It is positioned between the brake pad and caliper to close up any gaps that may otherwise produce noise. The shim can, however, allow for movement that can result in a grinding noise as it ages. When you apply the brakes at reduced speeds, you can also hear knocking.

Brake Contamination

The brake components may get dirty or contaminated if you drive in an unclean or dusty environment. Consequently, it may result in brake noise. Even when you aren’t applying the brakes, you might hear grinding if the pollutants are larger, like tiny rocks. Regular car washing can lessen the buildup of dust and debris on the braking system. Driving might occasionally also help to lessen contamination.

Damaged Calipers

Despite the fact that brake calipers are intended to last long, they can still develop problems, which can cause brake noise. You might hear a grinding sound if a caliper jams or isn’t functioning properly. Both when you brake and when you are not attempting to stop, this noise may be heard. Other signs, like pulling to one side, will also develop. Additionally, it’s possible that the caliper screws aren’t adequately lubricated. It’s crucial to have any of these issues examined right away.

Car parked for too long

You can hear some odd brake noises when you immediately start driving your car if it has been parked for a while. If the vehicle has been parked in bad weather, this problem is more likely to occur. The brakes may rust and corrode as a result of water vapor. If your car won’t be driven, it’s crucial to park it in a garage.

Read more: Noise when braking at a low speed (causes & how to fix)

Can you drive a car with brake noise issues?

Yes, you can drive a car with brake noise issues, but it’s generally not recommended. In order to ensure that your brakes are in good working order, it’s crucial to have them checked by a qualified mechanic if you hear any noises that could indicate worn brakes or other brake issues. Driving a car with bad brakes can be risky and can affect how quickly you can stop the car in an emergency situation.

Read more:  Understanding drum brake

What are the types of brake noise?

Here are the types of brake noises you might be hearing:


Squealing isn’t usually a sign of anything serious, despite the fact that it can be annoying. In actuality, squealing frequently happens when the brakes get dirty. A short drive could be all that’s required to stop the squeal, regardless of whether you left the car sitting for a long period of time or the brakes became dirty. The noise ought to stop after just a small bit of braking.


Any grinding noise needs to be taken seriously. Visit the repair shop right away if you hear a grinding noise. When the brake pad has worn down to the point where metal-to-metal contact is being made, grinding frequently happens. Driving in this manner further increases the risk of severe damage and reduces the vehicle’s ability to stop.

Read more: Most common reasons why your brakes are grinding


The first indicator of deterioration is frequently the squeaking of the brakes. When you press the brakes, you will hear squeaking as the brake pad begins to wear and come into contact with the rotor. However, if you buy inexpensive brake pads, squeaking might also happen. When you press on the brake pedal, odd brake noises are more likely to be heard due to the inferior materials.

How do I fix the issue with brake noise?

Here’s how to fix brake noise:

  • Replace brake pads
  • Change Brake Rotors
  • Drive the vehicle around for a while
  • Inspect the entire system.
  • Tighten Loose Parts

Replace brake pads

Check the state of the brake pads by looking at them. The brake pads should be replaced immediately if they show signs of wear. Make sure to take action as soon as you notice wear. If not, you might also need to replace the rotors.

Change Brake Rotors

It is necessary to replace brake rotors if they are worn out or damaged. The brake pads will only start to wear down earlier if you keep using fresh brake pads on a damaged rotor. In specific cases, the rotor may need to be resurfaced. This easy step allows you to prolong the life of the current equipment and is less expensive than replacing it.

Drive the vehicle around for a while

You should try driving for a short while to check if the noises stop if they started after you had the car parked for a while. The same remains true if the car was simply parked under a roof. Sometimes all that is required to remove the moisture is to brake. If there is contamination or dirt instead, a little braking should help enhance the condition of the pads.

Why does my car shake when i brake

Inspect the entire system

You should do a thorough inspection if the noise isn’t brought on by moisture or brake contaminants. To figure out what’s wrong, examine the pads, rotors, hardware, and every component of the system. It’s a good idea to check the brake fluid at this point as well. Even though it’s doubtful that this is the root of your problems, you should still make sure that the fluid is full and appears clean.

Tighten Loose Parts

To ensure a tight fit, tighten the hardware if the caliper, pads, or rotor are wobbling. It may even be necessary to replace a missing bolt or clip. You could also detect vibration along with the brake noise when hardware is to blame. However, all that is required to get the brakes back to regular operation is a fast replacement.

Read more: Why does my steering wheel shakes when i brake


What causes brake noise?

Uneven brake pad fitting, dirty rotors, loose hardware, or worn brake pads are all possible causes for brake noise.

What does brake noise sound like?

Squealing, grinding, or growling noises are all brake noise sounds.

What is the difference between a brake squeal and a brake grind?

When the brake pads vibrate against the rotors, a loud noise called a “brake squeal” is produced. When the brake pads have worn all the way to the metal and are grinding on the rotors, a low-pitched noise is made, known as brake grind.

What causes brake squeal?

Incorrect brake pad fit, worn brake pads, or contamination on the brake rotors are the most common causes of brake squeal.

Can brake noise damage the brake system?

Brake grinding happens when the brake pads are grinding against the rotors because they are worn down to the metal.

What causes brake grinding?

Continued brake noise may be a sign of worn brake pads or other brake parts, and if these problems are not immediately fixed, damage may result.

How can I fix brake noise?

Cleaning the brake rotors, tightening loose hardware, checking for worn brake pads, and ensuring that the brake pads are properly fitted and lubricated are common steps in the process of repairing brake noise.

Can I fix the brake noise by myself?

A DIYer can complete activities like checking the brake pads and cleaning the brake rotors. However, some repairs, including tightening loose hardware or replacing worn brake parts, might need to be done by a qualified mechanic.

How often should I replace my brake pads?

The need for brake pad replacement depends on a number of factors, such as driving habits, road conditions, vehicle weight, and brake pad type. Brake pads should normally be changed every 50,000 to 70,000 miles.

What happens if I ignore the brake noise?

Ignoring brake noise can result in worn brake rotors, contaminated brake pads, and decreased braking performance, among other damages to the brake system. To stop more damage and keep your car safe, you should address brake noise as soon as you hear it.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following questions:

  • What causes brake noise?
  • Can you drive a car with brake noise issues?
  • What are the types of brake noise?
  • How do I fix the issue with brake noise?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!