It’s unnerving and embarrassing to have to drive with squealing brakes. You can try to ignore the issue, but chances are you are not only annoying yourself with the sound but others as well. It’s also risky to ignore this common car issue. Take action immediately to resolve brake squeal as soon as you start experiencing the issue. If you’re not familiar with how to change or fix your brake system, hire a mechanic-this is not a task you should try if you’re not a professional.
1. Understand the various elements of a common brake system. The three main components are the brake pads, rotors, and calipers. The rotor is a disc that sits inside of the wheel. The pads press up against the rotor to stop the car. The brake caliper is a tool that moves closer to the rotor as the brake pads wear down and eventually starts pressing up against the rotor.
2. Replace your brake pads to resolve brake squeal. One common reason why your brakes make that squealing sound is due to worn down brake pads (also called “shoes”). Also, if the brakes become glazed, meaning they are very smooth due to constant contact with the rotors, this also causes the squealing sound. Some auto parts stores also sell squeal eliminating products that can reduce squealing noises on your current set of pads.
3. Ask a mechanic to adjust the position of your brake pads to fix brake squeal. In some cases, the pads create a sound if they aren’t properly installed or loose.
4. Use ceramic brakes instead of standard metallic brakes the next time around to reduce issues with squealing. The material is more durable and resistant to glazing. Ceramic brakes are sometimes called quiet stop brakes for this reason.
5. Ask a mechanic to replace your brake rotors to resolve the squealing issue. If the rotor becomes glazed (smooth), especially at the same time as the pads, this situation also creates an annoying squeaking sound. Some mechanics can cut the rotors, meaning that they remove some of the metal on the surface to extend the useful life of each rotor, to reduce or eliminate squealing.
6. Hire a mechanic to adjust or replace the brake calipers to get rid of brake squeal. Sometimes poorly positioned or loose calipers can rub up against the rotors before the pads wear out, causing a pre-mature squeaking sound.