Are squeaking brakes distracting you on the road?

When your brakes are squeaking, this can signal that something is wrong with your vehicle’s braking system.

Read on and find out why your car brakes are squeaky, the types of brake sounds you might hear and how to stop your brakes from squeaking. 


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Front Brakes (Pads)


What Causes Squeaky Brakes?

Your car brakes could be squeaking for several reasons, including the following:

  • Worn brake pads
  • Glazed brake pads
  • Sticky calipers
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Heavy loads
  • Moisture
  • Build-up of debris
  • Poor installation

Modern vehicles have brake wear indicators that can signal when the brakes need to be replaced.

When brake pads wear down, the indicator will rub against the rotor.

Squeaking brake pads let you know that they need to be replaced. 

If cold weather conditions or moisture are causing a layer of rust to build up on your brakes, you may hear a squeaking or grinding noise.

Likewise, if your vehicle tends to sit idle for extended periods, then dust and debris may accumulate between the brake pads and rotor.

This can cause friction and a squeaking noise when you brake.

If you have noticed an illuminated brake warning light on your dashboard, then your vehicle could be experiencing a serious problem that a mechanic needs to fix.

Proper lubrication of the brake components is essential, too.

Please note that squeaking brakes are normal in new cars – they just need bedding in.


How to Stop Squeaky Brakes

How you stop your brakes from squeaking can vary depending on the exact cause.

If heavy loads are the problem, consider emptying your vehicle of any excess weight.

The squeaking may disappear with time, but you should visit a professional garage if you notice a real difference when braking.

If your brake pads have worn out, you should replace them immediately.

Delaying a replacement can cause further damage to the braking system and compromise your safety on the road.

Cleaning any debris stuck between the rotor and pad could stop the squeaking.

A professional mechanic will be able to tell you what is causing the squeaking and recommend any necessary repairs.


Types of Squeaking Brake Sounds

The squeaking sound you hear may vary depending on the issue affecting your brakes.

You are more likely to hear your car brakes squeak when driving at low speeds in a lower gear.



A high-pitched squeak may be heard briefly early in the morning, as your brakes may be clearing a thin layer of rust or dirt that has accumulated overnight.

As long as these noises are infrequent and come and go quickly, you shouldn’t worry about your squeaking brakes.



A squealing noise can signal that your brake pads have worn out.

Your brake discs are mounted on either side of a pad that is lined with material designed to create friction.

When friction is generated, this creates heat.

The heat causes the pads to press against the discs, thereby slowing the car down to an eventual stop.

When the brake pads wear out, the heat won’t be as easily dissipated.

The squealing sound can be attributed to the brake system overheating.

If you hear this noise more regularly, you should book a brake pad replacement soon.



Your brakes use mounting hardware to stay in place – such as anti-rattle clips or caliper slide pins.

These can wear out over time, causing the brakes to rattle when you press on or release the brake pedal.

This can result in overheating and vibration, meaning the lifespan of your brake pads will dramatically decrease.


Brake Fade

You may also hear a brake fade if your vehicle loses its braking power.

This happens when the pads and rotors overheat and can’t generate the friction needed to slow down the car.

You may experience this in heavy traffic when you are using your brakes more often than usual, or on hot summer days.

Your brakes may also feel spongy if your brake fluid has boiled due to overheating.

If your brakes feel spongy or your stopping distance has increased, you should book a brake fluid change.


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Brake Fluid Replacement



If a layer of rust has built-up on the brake pads overnight, you may hear a grinding noise.

If the sound is unusually loud, then the pads may have worn out or dirt and debris may be lodged in the brake system.

If your wheel hub bearing is faulty, there could be excessive vibration.

This could be causing your car to pull to one side when you use the brakes.

A grinding noise coming from your brakes should not be ignored for long.

You should book an appointment at a local garage so that they can diagnose and fix the problem for you.


Can You Drive with Squeaky Brakes?

You should not ignore squeaking brakes for long.

If you have just noticed your brakes are squeaking, you may be able to keep driving for a day or two more until you can get the brakes replaced.

Even so, this can be dangerous as your brakes won’t be able to produce the friction needed to slow your car down.

Minor squeaking that you notice first thing in the morning could be caused by moisture collecting on the rotors overnight and should go away after a few minutes driving.

If it doesn’t, be sure to have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.


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Front Brakes (Pads)


Worn brake pads can lead to MOT failure, so make sure you have brake issues resolved promptly. 



Which Brakes Are Making the Noise?

What Are Glazed Brake Pads?

Why Do My Car Brakes Squeak When Stopping?