The brakes are arguably the most important part of a car, and ensuring that they work is essential to the safety of everybody in the vehicle and on the road since them going out completely is one of the most dangerous things that can happen while driving. For that reason, it’s essential to take care of them and make sure that your vehicle is looked at once your brakes start making noises since any sounds coming from them usually means that something – often your brake pads – need to be replaced.
However, do not stress because noise from your brakes – unless it’s grinding – usually doesn’t mean that something is wrong mechanically with that part of your car right now. In other words, the brakes should still work. But it does mean that they should be inspected before serious damage results.
Squeaks coming from your brakes usually mean that some hardware that is used to cause the car to brake is worn out and needs to be replaced. Most of the time, uneven, dirty or low-quality pads are the cause of this noise. It’s also possible that the brake pads are fine, but calipers may be damaged – rusted, dried out or stuck. Regardless, make sure to find out what the issue is. If it’s nothing to be worried about performance-wise, you can spray a specially made product on the back of the pads to stop the squeaking. Softening the hardening by sanding part of the brake pad could work too although this may only help on a temporary basis. Replacing your brake pads with higher-quality ones is most likely the best solution.
Squeals tend to be more serious calls for help from your brakes. Hopefully, squeals just mean that dust or debris has accumulated, and removal will quickly fix the problem. However, more often than not, squealing indicates something more serious. Usually, a wear indicator, which is made of metal, will start touching the rotor after much of the brake pad material has worn away. In other words, squealing is most often a warning. If this step is ignored, the sound generally turns into grinding once the pads have been worn through completely, which is a much more serious situation. Regardless of what is causing it, any squealing coming from your brakes is reason enough to have them looked at.
My brakes are grinding
Grinding is the most serious noise that can ever come from your brakes. This indicates that they’re experiencing full metal-on-metal contact. Not only are your brakes experiencing quite a bit of damage, which will most likely cost a lot of money to fix, but it can also be outright dangerous to drive a vehicle in these conditions as the ability to stop is often diminished or, in worse-case scenarios, eliminated altogether. In fact, most experts recommend that you immediately stop driving if you hear this sound and have your vehicle towed to a service station. If it’s caught soon enough, your pads and rotors may be salvageable, but that will likely not be the case if you’ve been driving with grinding brakes for days.
The bottom line is that hearing any sound whatsoever coming from your brakes should prompt you to get them inspected within the next day or two, a time frame that should be reduced to immediately should that sound be grinding. This is one part of the car that you don’t want to be taking any chances with given how much it may cost you if you ignore the sounds and how dangerous doing so could end up being.
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