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

Are you hearing squeaking noise while driving but brakes are not applied? Even though the brakes are not being applied, the squeaking sound most likely originates from them. Many components of your car can squeak while you’re driving.

Occasionally, but not always, these squeaks might not actually be dangerous. There are a number of factors, some of which may or may not be related to the brakes, that might cause your automobile to squeak while you are driving but without the brakes being applied.

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

It’s possible that the problem with the brake pad, calipers, rotors, or steering system is what’s causing the squeaking noise. Other potential causes include debris, inclement weather, an overheated engine, or uneven tread wear.

The dust that has gathered might make your brakes make a loud noise as they clamp down on the rotors. Another possibility is a stuck brake caliper. A suspension or steering component fluid leak or poor alignment are other potential issues with the vehicle.

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the most common causes of squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?
  • Can you drive with squeaky brakes?
  • What are some other noises brakes can make?
  • How do you fix squeaking noise while driving when brakes are not applied?

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

OK then, let’s get down to business.


What are the most common causes of squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?

Here are the most common causes for squeaking noise while driving but brakes are not applied:

Old Brake Pads

You need to replace your brake pads if they squeak while you’re driving but no brakes are applied. The brake wear indicator, a metal clamp that fastens to the brake pads, usually comes with your brake pads when you buy them. These pads deteriorate over time, which forces them to grind against the rotors. Driving generates a squeaky sound as a result of this operation. Despite the fact that it might not be risky, never drive for an extended period of time without replacing your brake pads. A typical method to stop or prevent your car from squeaking is to replace your brake pads with better grip materials.

Read more: Brake pads change: how often & signs that its time


Your vehicle may be screeching when it is moving without braking because of excess moisture. The humidity causes rust to form on your rotors, which causes your pads to squeal. You should have a professional clean or replace your rotors.

Sticks & Stones

Several factors might cause the brakes to squeak. Your tires frequently gather debris such as an acorn, a small rock, a tree branch, etc. Even if no brakes are applied, this actually generates squeaking noises when driving. This is common in rural places with lots of sand, boulders, and stones on the roads. In this case, you should look for foreign objects lodged between your brake pads and rotors. If it’s anything soft, like a branch, it will break right away and pose no additional issues.

Brake Pad Material

Ceramic is now a material commonly used by many automakers to make brake pads since it works well and lasts a long time. Metal rotors, sadly, produce a lot of noise. You can use a little knife to make shallow scrapes on your ceramic platter. An immediate squeaking sound will be audible. Have your technician install semi-metallic pads if your current ceramic pads are very loud. Be aware that there can be an additional cost.

Read more: What’s the ideal brake pad thickness and how to check it

Glazed Or Grooved Rotors

The rotors are another typical factor in vehicles making squeaky noises when driving without brakes. Your car’s rotors and discs start to show glazes, grooves, or uneven abrasion when the brake pads wear out. Ask your mechanic to remove your brake rotors and inspect them for any glaze or groove after changing your brake pads. Your rotors and discs should either be cleaned or replaced, depending on how bad the condition is. This guarantees the quietest, smoothest rides possible.


If there is a mechanical error, your car could scream as it travels without braking. Your car can still make that squeaky sound, for instance, if the auto repair fails to lubricate your brake pins or sprays anti-seize on your brake pads after changing your rotors. Inform your mechanic to lubricate or replace the “anti-rattle” brackets or pins to lessen brake pad noise! We could see a number of problems with the brake, like wear on the brake pads or a brake light that won’t turn off. All of these warning indicators call for extreme caution. If you can’t do it yourself, it’s best to have a skilled professional assist you!

Can you continue to drive a car with squeaking noise but brakes are not applied?

Can you continue to drive a car with squeaking noise but brakes are not applied?

Most of the time, squeaking noises made when driving without brakes applied are not dangerous, but they are quite unpleasant to the ears. Hence, it’s best to take care of the issue right away for the benefit of both you and others around you. You may only have a brief window of opportunity to fix brakes when they first start to squeal. We caution against driving for too long, though, as this might cause the rotors to start warping and shorten stopping distances. Instead, act as soon as you notice brake wear and repair the issue.

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

What are some other noises brakes can make?

Here are some other noises brakes can make:


It is important to make grinding noise seriously. If you hear grinding, go to the repair shop straight away. Grinding frequently takes place when the brake pad has worn to the point that metal-to-metal contact is occurring. This kind of driving makes it more likely for serious damage to occur and makes it harder for the car to stop.

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Read more: Most common reasons why your brakes are grinding


This brake problem will drive the crap out of the motorist and drain the technician’s life. At first, it took me several months to identify the source of a car’s rear-end thumping. I determined that the rear drums were making the noise after completely disassembling the vehicle’s rear, lubricating every bushing, and verifying the clearances of every component possible.


Though it can be annoying, squealing typically doesn’t indicate anything dangerous. Actually, when the brakes get dirty, screeching often occurs. Whether you left the car sitting for a long time or the brakes got dirty, a little drive can be all that’s necessary to stop the squeal. With only a short amount of braking, the noise ought to end.

How do you fix squeaking noise while driving when brakes are not applied?

Here’s how to fix squeaking noise while driving but brakes are not applied

Drive Forward and Backward a Couple of Times

The problem can be resolved most quickly by repeatedly moving the car forward and backward. This might be sufficient to pry something out if it’s stuck in the wheels or the brakes. You can try to clear the debris manually if it is still there after some driving around. But be careful not to over-force any of the priceless parts because you don’t want to do any further harm.

Inspect the Brakes

It’s time to conduct a thorough brake inspection if debris isn’t the problem. To see if the calipers are seized, inspect them. If so, this repair must be made right away. Also, check the brake pads and rotors for corrosion and rust. If so, go ahead and swap them out for a pair of high-quality shoes.

Inspect the Engine for Noises

You are prepared to check the engine after completing the previous diagnostics. When the engine is running, pay close attention to the sound to determine its source. The squeaking is most likely originating from a belt. If you see that, you should replace it right away to prevent further damage.

Inspect Transmission

You ought to examine the gearbox when you have finished your check. Finding trans issues requires a lot of equipment and experience because they are hard to find. Yet you may examine the fluid. Fill it up if necessary before continuing to drive the car. Moreover, it needs to be replaced if it appears worn out or burned.

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


What causes squealing noise when driving not when braking?

The most common squeaks, aside from those coming from your brakes, are typically connected to your car’s suspension. When metal-on-metal wear occurs in connections like the tie-rods, suspension joints, and steering linkage, the squeaky suspension parts are sometimes attributed to a lack of lubrication.

Why is my car squeaking but when I brake it stops?

Most likely, the brake rotors and wear sensors for the brake pads are just making contact. When the brakes are used, this will produce a loud squealing noise that may change in pitch or cease altogether. As soon as possible, have a qualified technician check the brakes for noise.

Why is my car making a squeaking sound while driving?

The road’s imperfections, such as potholes and bumps, are dampened and reduced by the suspension system. The ride is usually smooth, but a squealing sound could be a sign of worn shock absorbers or springs. Get a skilled mechanic to take a look if possible.

Is it safe to drive a squeaky car?

Even while a squeaking sound may not instantly warrant caution, it is advisable to act right away rather than postpone action and wait. Noises like squeaking, knocking, or thumping is typically early signs that something is amiss with a car’s moving parts.

How do you diagnose a squeaky car?

One major reason why cars squeal is because of loose or worn belts. Squealing sounds can be produced by an aged or failed alternator. The steering system is likely to blame if your automobile squeaks or squeals as you turn the steering wheel. Brakes squeaking is their polite way of alerting you that it’s time for maintenance.

How do you lubricate car squeaks?

Spray-on lithium grease can be applied to the problematic area to silence it temporarily. With assistance, you can bounce the vehicle while searching for the source of the squeak. Spraying silicone is preferable if the source of the noise is a rubber suspension bushing.

What is the best lubricant for car squeaks?

You must lubricate the squeak once you have found the source. The use of oil or other products derived from petroleum should be avoided as they will cause the rubber to swell and eventually fall apart. The sprays WD-40, Boeshield, and many more are petroleum-based lubricants.

Do shock absorbers squeak?

Every bump and blip you encounter on the road is audible because of the squeak from your shocks. The shock is probably the source of the noise, however, it could also be a damaged ball joint or bushing.

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

  • What are the most common causes of squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?
  • Can you drive with squeaky brakes?
  • What are some other noises brakes can make?
  • How do you fix squeaking noise while driving when brakes are not applied?

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