Squeaky or grinding brakes are always tale-tells that something isn’t quite right with your brakes. If you think the best course of action is to buy a replacement if the brakes are worn out, you’re on the right track. However, it’s understandable to worry suppose you just got new brakes and they still squeak like the old ones. Well, that’s because deterioration is not the only reason brakes squeak.
The presence of brake dust between the caliper and rotor, a habit of braking hard, foreign objects, moisture, and other factors could be responsible for the squeaky noises your brake is making. So, if your brakes still squeak after replacing them, chances are it’s one or more of the issues I just listed. Now, let’s take a quick look at these issues.
1. Excessive Brake Dust
After a brake replacement, a professional mechanic should spray brake cleaner liberally on the calipers and rotor. This will help get rid of brake dust stuck between the caliper and rotor. If the mechanic skips this process or fails to do it thoroughly, the brake dust will remain trapped between the new brake pad and rotor.
In that condition, your brakes will squeak when it heats up coupled with the dust still trapped between the rotor and caliper. So, if your new brakes still squeak, you might be dealing with excessive brake dust stuck between the brake pad and rotor.
2. Braking Hard
Try not to form a habit of hard braking unless you’re Walter White breaking bad and braking hard on Junior’s Dodge Challenger. Hard braking, among other things, can harm your brakes since brakes essentially work by increasing friction between the brake pads and the wheel axles. Thus, slamming hard on the brakes creates inordinate heat and friction than is appropriate, leaving the pad with a glossy smooth surface and prone to inordinate wear.
If you notice inordinate wear on your brake pad, enlist your mechanic to remove the brake pads and sand them. This will help get rid of the glossy smooth surface and prevent your brakes from squeaking. And remember, constant hard braking can unduly trigger the ABS (anti-lock brake system), submitting the system to undue, premature stress. Plus, “burning rubber” may be fun as long as you don’t mind replacing your tires frequently due to lost tire traction.
3. Worn-Out Shims
New brake pads will not stop your brakes from squeaking if your shims are worn out. These worn-out shims will still come in contact with the rotor and other braking parts, causing a squeaking sound. When you are considering brake replacements, have the shims examined to find out if they need to be replaced as well.
4. Wrong Installation
I’m all for DIYing, especially when it saves you a bit of money. However, your car’s braking system is too important a safety feature to tinker with if you don’t know what you’re doing. Attempting to replace your brakes yourself could cause further damage to your car if you are not the professional we all wish we are.
Little mistakes here and there can affect your braking system in a wider margin. An experienced automobile technician is less likely to forget little stuff like sanding and coating the pads with anti-seize before installation. Besides the “major” installation steps, the little details are just as important. Properly installed brakes won’t squeak or make grinding noises, all things considered.
5. Trapped Debris/Foreign Objects
Foreign objects like stones, gravel, dirt, and debris could get stuck between the caliper and the rotor. These foreign bodies will then cause squeaking noises. If not removed, trapped debris will, in the long run, cause your brake pads to wear out. If you have difficulty locating or reaching trapped debris, enlist the help of your auto mechanic to get it removed as soon as possible.
It’s not uncommon to hear your brakes squeal or make noises once in a while. However, don’t place issues concerning your braking system at the bottom of your to-do list. Your safety and the safety of other road users may depend on your prompt action. Also, avoid low-quality braking products. Choose original products from trusted dealers even if you have to pay a slightly higher price.
Routine maintenance practices like lubricating the contact points in the brake system can help prolong its health and efficiency. As much as you can help it, avoid hard braking and double-tapping on the brakes. Don’t forget to confirm with your technician after brake replacements that the brake pad bedding or break-in process was done before you take your car home.