What causes a grinding noise when braking (how to stop it)

Why are my brakes grinding (what should i do)

The last thing you want to hear while applying the brake is a grinding noise. Compared to the usual squeaking that happens when the pads are worn, this is frequently more alarming.

Brake grinding can be brought on by worn brake pads, warped rotors, or an obstruction in the calipers. Broken brake pad shims, poor brake pads, and driving inactivity are other potential causes.

What causes a grinding noise when braking (how to stop it)

You will be able to stop the grinding after you have a correct diagnosis. Your brakes may be grinding for a variety of reasons, but regardless of the cause, it’s crucial to address the problem right away to prevent more damage to your car and dangerous occurrences. Well, in this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • Why is your brake grinding when you apply the brakes, driving or come to a sudden stop?
  • What are the reasons for a grinding brake?
  • Is it safe to drive a car with a grinding brake?
  • How to get rid of the grinding noise?

Ok, let’s get to it.


Why is your brake grinding when you apply the brakes, driving or come to a sudden stop?

Brake grinding when you apply the brakes

Your brake pads thickness is probably off if you hear grinding noise when you slow down. The brake pads thickness must be sufficient to provide optimal performance and stopping power. Your brake pads will gradually become worn out as you utilize them over time.

Every time you apply the brake pedal, brake pads that are thinner than the recommended thickness will start to squeal. Brake scrubbing is the unpleasant noise that appears when the brake pads need to be replaced. The brake pads will keep degrading if you ignore this issue, and the squealing sound will eventually turn into grinding.

Brake grinding while driving

There may be rocks or debris stuck between the caliper and the rotor, if you hear brake grinding at a steady speed. You’ll want to get the debris out of the system as soon as you can in this situation. The brake pedal and other performance components may suffer significant damage if immediate action is not taken.

Even while you can remove rocks and other debris from your brakes, it’s better to get a professional, especially if you’re not experienced with car maintenance. A car mechanic should be consulted as soon as you notice any brake grinding noises so they can examine your vehicle.

Brake grinding when you stop suddenly

When you suddenly hit the brakes, your brakes may also make a grinding noise in this situation. The grinding ought to stop when you release the brake pedal or when the car comes to a complete stop. You will hear a grinding sound and feel the brake pedal rumble if you hit the brakes in a panic stop situation.

If your brake pads are thick enough, though, this shouldn’t be a problem. When you stop suddenly, and you hear grinding, your anti-lock braking (ABS) system is probably to blame. The ABS will automatically turn on in a panic stop situation to avoid wheel lockups and skidding.

The brake pedal rumbles and a grinding noise is produced as a result of the system pumping the brakes to maintain stability and control. You should schedule a brake repair right away if your brakes keep grinding, since this can be an indication of worn brake pads.

Read more:  Squeaking Noise While Driving But Not Brakes Applied (what to do)

What are the reasons for a grinding brake?

Here are the most common reason why your brake is grinding:

Brake Pads have Worn Out

The most common cause of your brakes grinding is a worn brake pad. Graphite, steel, copper, and brass are frequently used in the production of brake pads. The metal backing will become visible as the brake pad degrades and becomes thinner. When this occurs, a loud grinding noise will be heard as the metal backing plate underneath the brake pads rubs on the brake rotor.

Your brake pads will frequently make a squealing sound, though, before they begin to grind. It’s time to change the brake pads if you hear this screeching noise, which is known as brake scrubbing. If not changed, the screeching will eventually turn into grinding. Although brake pads typically last between 25,000 and 60,000 miles, the padding will eventually wear out if you don’t replace them.

Read more: Everything you need to know about brake pad thickness

Warped or worn brake Rotor

The shiny disks that your brake calipers squeeze on to slow down your car are called your brake rotors. Due to its closeness to the ground, dirt and water can enter, causing rotors to rust or get warped. Uneven brake rotor disks can cause squeaking, whereas a worn-out rotor disk frequently makes a scraping sound.

A warped rotor will also be noticeable through the steering wheel. When you brake and you notice a lot of vibrations, which you can easily feel through the brake pedal and steering wheel, you’ll then know that you have a worn-out rotor.

Read more: Brake rotor replacement cost

Braking System Needs Lubrication

Your braking system is very complex and has numerous moving parts; with time, these brake parts will require relubrication. If not, it can cause the brakes on your car to grind.

The culprits are usually the caliper bolts. Their responsibility is to guarantee that the brake caliper is securely fastened. However, they could begin to rust, which is what causes the grinding noise.

Caliper bolts are inexpensive to replace, with the parts likely to cost only $10 to $20 plus a certain labor costs. You can enhance their lifespan by lubricating them once a month.

You Haven’t Driven Your Car In A While

Any strange brake noise may be caused by rust if your car has been sitting for several months. However, letting a car idle for too long does have other effects apart from corrosion. Tires might develop flat spots, brake fluid can collect and stale, etc.

Driving your car around once a month can help you prevent this. A short drive around the block will do; it doesn’t need to be far. Additionally, you can take action to stop rust from forming in your braking system. You can do this, for instance, by parking on top of a tarp or use a vehicle cover.

A Faulty Wheel Bearing

Your wheels may spin continually without getting too hot thanks to the wheel bearings. When one or more of these bearings start to wear out or if debris gets inside, you might hear a grinding noise. There are a few symptoms to watch out for if you think your wheel bearing is failing. You can experience vibrations that increase before dropping again.

Uneven tire wear is another sign of a damaged wheel bearing. Fortunately, wheel bearing issues are quite uncommon because they normally last between 75,000 and 100,000 miles. Although, you should expect to pay roughly $700 if you need a replacement.

Low quality Brake Pads

Purchasing inexpensive brake pads typically means they are of lower quality. Although they might offer a short-term cost savings, they often lead to more frequent maintenance or more wear and tear on other braking parts.

Additionally, the amount of metal in cheap brake pads is typically higher, which increases their propensity to produce grinding and scratching noises when braking.

You can keep yourself safe on the roadways by purchasing high-quality brake pads. High quality brake pads can reduce braking distance while providing a smoother braking experience because they are made of superior quality material.

Read more: Reasons why your steering wheel shakes when braking (how to fix the problem)

There’s somthing stuck In the brake Caliper

Even while not applying the brakes, you can have anything stuck in your brake caliper if you frequently hear screeching or grinding. It could be any small object, such as a stone or piece of gravel. The brake disc can sustain serious damage if a foreign object is left in the brake system.

By repeatedly moving your car slowly back and forth in a safe place, you can solve the problem on your own. Your best choice, though, would be to get a qualified mechanic to take a look as soon as possible if this doesn’t work.

Is it safe to drive a car with brakes grinding?

It’s not safe. Driving with your brake grinding only makes the problem worse and raises the cost of repair. The lack of pad material in your brakes is what’s causing the grinding noise they’re making. As a result, the Rotors and Pads contact metal on metal.

The simplest solution if your car’s brakes start to grind is to call a professional to look into it. As we’ve seen, there are many potential causes, therefore before making any repairs, you must identify the precise issue.

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

How to get rid of the grinding noise?

Well, if you’re mechanically inclined and you understand little about your braking system, here’s is a video on how to get rid of grinding noise when braking.

However, you shouldn’t be playing around looking for issues if you don’t understand the brake system. It’s best to let a professional handle the diagnostic and repair.


How do I stop my brakes from grinding when I brake?

The noise is often only heard when you come to a complete stop, but you could also feel it when you step on the brake pedal. The best course of action in this situation is to have your brake pads replaced right away, but you might also need to have the discs or rotors replaced at this point.

How much does it cost to fix brakes that are grinding?

The majority of the braking in your car, typically 70%, is performed by the front brakes. These brake pads frequently overheat, which can cause them to squeak, groan, or grind. The cost of replacing a front brake pad ranges between $115 and $300 on average, which is close to the cost of replacing a rear brake pad.

How long can I drive on grinding brakes?

If your car brakes are grinding, you really shouldn’t continue driving because it’s unsafe and could worsen the issue. Your brakes should be checked as soon as possible by a professional.

Why do my brakes grind but pads good?

The rotors may become warped or uneven over time, which will result in the brake pads grinding against them rather than making smooth contact. Most often, replacing the brake rotors is the sole solution to this issue. Although it may be expensive to repair, doing so is usually less expensive than having the complete brake system replaced.

Can I drive with grinding brake?

Before the car’s brakes stop functioning entirely, you might be able to drive it for a while. It is not safe, which is the main reason this is not advised. Driving while your brakes are grinding simply makes the problem worse and raises the cost of repair. A lack of pad material in your brakes is what’s causing the grinding noise they’re making.

Will replacing brake pads stop grinding?

Debris can still become trapped during the repair procedure even if the pads or rotors have been replaced. As you keep on driving, this ought to fade away. If you’ve only replaced your brake pads and not your rotors, the grinding noise can be coming from your rotors, which are worn out.

Do I need new rotors if my brakes are grinding?

Brake grinding is a sign that your brake pads have completely worn out and are now rubbing against the rotors metal on metal. You will likely need an entirely new set of brake pads and rotors because the damage can be quite severe.

How do I know if my rotors are bad?

Steering wheel vibration. Your rotors may be in jeopardy if you experience pulsation in the brake pedal or vibration in your steering wheel when you slow down. Intermittent screeching, blue coloration, excessive wear over time, and other symptoms.

How do you tell if you need new rotors or just brake pads?

Vibration. Your rotors may be warped if you apply the brakes while traveling at or above 30 mph and feel vibration. If you hear grinding, the rotors are rubbing against one another and the pads are entirely worn out. Pulling, squealing, fading, etc.

How many miles do rotors last?

To keep wear to a minimum, you should generally change your brake pads every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Your rotors are something that you have a little more time with. To maintain the best possible condition of your brakes, you should replace your rotors every 50,000 to 70,000 miles.

How do you check rotors without removing wheels?

You can slide your finger vertically down the friction surface of the brake rotor if your wheel design has open spokes. New brake rotors are required if you can feel and see discernible grooves. You must remove your wheel to inspect your brake rotors if your vehicle has hub caps that cover the rotor.

How many miles should brakes last?

For most everyday drivers, a set of car brakes will last between 25,000 and 60,000 miles, or three to six years. However, for those who practice good habits, certain sets may last even longer.

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

  • Why is your brake grinding when you apply the brakes, driving or come to a sudden stop?
  • What are the reasons for a grinding brake?
  • Is it safe to drive a car with a grinding brake?
  • How to get rid of the grinding noise?

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