Top Car & Truck Brake Noises Defined

car brake
car brake

Properly maintained brakes perform reasonably quietly. While the occasional squeak may not be cause for concern, there are some noises that mean it’s time to shop for brakes for cars. Learn more about the common noises you may hear from your truck and car brakes and where to go for affordable, reliable replacement parts.

Squeaking Sounds

Squeaking is one of the most common sounds you’ll hear from your brakes. There are a few situations that may be causing these sounds. First, low-grade brakes tend to squeak as they operate. Poor-quality brake pad materials don’t provide the level of friction you need for a smooth stop, so they will squeak as you press on your brake pedal.

Another issue is debris on your brake pad or rotor. Sand, rocks or other grit can compromise the smooth operation of brake pads and squeak or squeal as they slide across your rotor. It’s important to remove this debris quickly before it damages your rotors and pads.

Finally, squeaking can be caused by worn-out brake pads. This is typically the most common source of squeaking. Remove your brake pads and check their wear level. Most brakes have lines that show when it’s time to pick up new ones. The squeaking is either caused by squealers, which are small pieces of metal designed to warn you that your brakes need to be replaced, or by pads that are so worn that the metal back plate is rubbing against your brake rotors.

Grinding Noises

Grinding, which is a more low-pitch sound than squeaking, is caused by some of the same problems. Most grinding noises are caused by metal-on-metal contact, which means your brake pad friction material is thin or virtually non existent.

A grinding noise can also be caused by a sticking caliper. As you press your brake pedal, the hydraulic system activates the caliper, which presses the brake pad against the rotor. A caliper can freeze open, closed or half-way open. A caliper stuck half-way open or closed will cause grinding sounds as it pushes the brake pad against your rotor as you drive.

Clattering and Rattling

Finally, your car or truck may have a warped rotor or missing hardware. These issues cause clattering and rattling sounds. A warped rotor makes it difficult or impossible for the brake caliper to press the brake pad smoothly against it, so your rotor will wobble and clatter as you hit the brakes.

Missing hardware can cause brake pads, rotors, calipers and other components to vibrate dangerously. Not only could this lead to parts flying off down the road, but it can also cause unusual wear patterns on your rotors and pads.

Replace Your Brakes for Less

Check out your brake system and see if you can spot the signs of one of these issues. If you’re still experiencing unusual brake noises, consider replacing your brake pads. Shop online for affordable pads, custom brake caliper covers and other components that fit your make, model and year of car or truck. Online shopping makes it easy to read reviews and order the best parts to be delivered right to your garage.


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