Causes of Noise when braking at a low speed and how to fix

To ensure road safety, your car’s brakes must be in good condition. However, if you’re hearing some sort of noise when braking at a low speed, it indicates that there’s an issue with your brakes. Numerous problems, including worn brake pads, dirty or damaged brake rotors, and defective or broken brake hardware, could be to blame.

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

Many car owners frequently run into this problem. Whenever your car makes an unusual noise, it’s likely that something is wrong with it. Well, in this article, you’ll get to know the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the reasons why your car makes noise when braking at a low speed?
  • Is it safe to drive a car that makes noise when braking at low speeds?
  • What are the noises that car brakes make when something is wrong?
  • How can you fix car noise when braking at a low speed?

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

Ok, let’s dive in.


What are the reasons why your car makes noise when braking at a low speed?

Here are the most common reasons why your car makes noise when braking at a low speed:

Worn brake pads

The most common reason why your car makes noise when braking at a low speed is worn brake pads. All brake pads eventually degrade, regardless of the materials used to make them (ceramic or metallic matter). The material starts to wear as the brake pads are applied, continuing until they’ve worn down.

You should be aware that noise can be heard before the brakes are entirely worn out. If you let the pads continue to wear after hearing this noise, more damage will emerge. The brake calipers could be damaged, or the brake rotors could warp.

Read more: Brake pad and rotor replacement cost

Damaged or worn brake rotors

Each wheel is connected to a circular disc known as a brake rotor. The pads press against the rotor when the brake pedal is depressed, stopping the wheel’s rotation. When the rotors start to warp, you might notice an odd noise when braking. This noise is different from the usual screeching of worn brakes.

It sounds more like a grinding or rumbling noise instead. The risk to the entire vehicle increases as the condition of the rotors worsens. As you press the pedal, you might feel some vibrations as well.

Read more: Brake rotor replacement cost

Cheap or low-quality brake pads

Another common reason for noise when braking at a low speed is cheap or low-quality brake pads. You can be certain that the noises you are hearing are not the result of worn brake pads if you’ve just fitted them. The brake pads you choose to buy, however, could be the reason for the problem. Cheap, inferior pads have a tendency to squeak as soon as they are opened.

Most people won’t purchase inexpensive brakes due to this obtrusive sound. These might still be a viable option for you if you don’t mind the noise and need to save some money. Just make sure to pay attention to any unusual noises that can be signs of wear.

Read more: Ceramic vs. Organic Brake Pads: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Differences

Dirt or debris Stuck between rotor and pad

It is normal for a bit of dirt or debris from the area where you reside to find its way into your vehicle. So you hear the grinding sound when debris, dirt, tiny rocks, or sand get between the brake pads and the rotor. You might occasionally hear the noise even if you are not applying the brakes. At that point, you realize your car has to be cleaned.

Car Parked For Too Long

If you’ve parked your car for a while now, it may also result in noise when braking at a low speed. Rust will build if your car is left parked for a long time in a wet or moist area. When you apply the brakes, you will usually hear a squealing noise if your rotors are rusted. Rust will gradually clear up since the brake pads scrub the rotors.

Rust has a lot of room to emerge inside the braking system because there are so many metal parts. Wherever the location of the rust, it can impair your car. Rust must first form on your brake rotors for you to hear noises when braking.

Read more: Why does my car shake when i brake

Broken Shims

Even though the brake pad shim is intended to eliminate sound, when there is an issue, it may instead increase it. Shims for the brakes prevent vibration from reaching the pads and rotors. Vibration can emerge when the brake shim is damaged or removed. Even when slowing down, you will begin to hear strange noises.

Read more: Brake caliper sticking: what is it and how to prevent it?

Is it safe to drive a car that makes noise when braking at low speeds?

This is not recommended for two main reasons: First, it’s not safe. Second, driving with noisy brakes will only make the problem worse and increase the cost of repairs. A car should be inspected as soon as possible by a mechanic if it makes noises when slowing down. This could be an indication of a brake system issue.

Driving a car with a braking system issue could be risky and result in an accident. Before you continue driving the vehicle, it is advised that you have it checked out by a qualified mechanic to identify the cause of the noise and make sure the brakes are functioning properly.

Read more:  Understanding friction and regenerative braking system

What are the noises that car brakes make when something is wrong?

Here are the most common types of noises a car brake makes:


One of the worst noises you could hear is this. Grinding noises coming from the brakes always indicate a serious problem. You cannot just ignore this issue and continue to drive. This indicates that the brake pad has worn down and that the caliper and rotor are now in contact with each other on a metal-to-metal basis. Driving should be stopped if you hear grinding noises when braking, especially at low speeds. By checking and fixing this noise as soon as possible, you can reduce the damage.

Read more: Most common reasons why your brakes are grinding


However, squeaking noises are usually the most annoying. Poor-quality brake pads frequently contribute to this. Large metal flakes commonly appear on brake pads of low quality. They make a squeaking or scraping sound when they make contact with the brake rotors. Low-quality brake pads will cause you to experience more problems than just squeaking noises. Therefore, you should check the quality of your brake pads if you hear squeaking noises.

Read more: Common reasons why your new brakes are squeaking


This often happens as a result of rust formation on your brake rotors. If you keep your automobile parked in a moist or wet area for an extended period of time, you may begin to hear a squealing sound when braking slowly. The rotors get covered in rust, which causes this. A squealing sound is produced when rust and metal come into contact. Nevertheless, this is nothing to worry about. The rust will gradually start to disappear as you continuously apply the brakes.

Read more: Why does my steering wheel shake when I brake

How can you fix car noise when braking at a low speed?

Here’s how to fix a car that makes noise when braking at a low speed:

  • Check the brake pads: Make sure the brake pads’ thickness falls within the range recommended by the manufacturer. They must be replaced if they are worn out.
  • Inspect the brake rotor: Look for any wear or damage signs, such as rust, grooves, or warping, on the brake rotor. The rotor must be replaced if it is damaged.
  • Clean the brake components: clean the brake pads, calipers, and rotor using brake cleaner to get rid of any dirt or debris. This will ensure proper brake operation.
  • Check the brake caliper: Check to see if the brake caliper is operating properly and if the brake pads are being worn evenly. The caliper has to be replaced if it is sticking or not working properly.
  • Check for worn or damaged brake lines: Look for any signs of wear or damage on the brake lines. The brake line must be changed if any leaks are discovered.

After trying these fixes, if the noise still persists, it is advised to have a qualified mechanic check the brakes for any other potential problems.


What causes low-speed brake noise?

Brake pads, rotors, or calipers that are worn out or damaged frequently cause low-speed brake noise.

How often should I have my brake pads and rotors inspected?

When brake pads are worn, the friction material is typically thinner than when new pads are being used. There may also be grooves or uneven wear patterns.

How can I tell if my brake pads are worn?

Grooves, warping, or an uneven wear pattern on the brake rotor are signs that it’s time to replace it.

What are the signs that my brake rotors need to be replaced?

It is recommended to get your brake pads and rotors checked at least once a year, or more frequently if you hear any unusual noises or notice any wear.

Will low-speed brake noise affect the performance of my brakes?

Yes, low-speed brake noise may well be a sign of damaged or worn parts, which could affect how well your brakes work.

Can low-speed brake noise be caused by other problems besides worn or damaged components?

Yes, problems with the brake caliper or worn or damaged brake lines can also contribute to low-speed brake noise.

How can I prevent low-speed brake noise?

Low-speed brake noise can be avoided with proper maintenance, such as routine inspections and prompt replacement of worn components.

How can I tell if my brake caliper is sticking?

When the brakes are engaged, a stuck brake caliper may result in spongy brakes or uneven brake pad wear.

Is it safe to drive with low-speed brake noise?

Driving with low-speed brake noise is not advised because it may be a sign of worn or damaged brake parts, which could have an adverse effect on how well your brakes work.

Can I fix low-speed brake noise myself, or do I need a professional mechanic?

Some causes of low-speed brake noise, such as worn brake pads, are easily fixed by changing the pads. However, it is advised to have a qualified mechanic check the brakes if you are unsure of the causes or if the noise continues even after you replace worn-out components.


Finally, it should be noted that noise when braking at low speeds is a common issue with a number of possible reasons, such as brake pad wear, rotor abnormalities, or debris buildup. Regardless of your driving speed, resolving these issues quickly through inspection and maintenance is essential for ensuring safe and silent braking performance, even though it may not necessarily indicate a serious issue.

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

  • What are the reasons why your car makes noise when braking at a low speed?
  • Is it safe to drive a car that makes noise when braking at low speeds?
  • What are the noises that car brakes make when something is wrong?
  • How can you fix car noise when braking at a low speed?

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