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3 Most Common Brake Noises: Causes and How to Fix Them

Updated on January 4, 2017

Brake Noises: Annoying or Dangerous?

“My brakes squeak” is one of the most common complaints about brakes. Brake noises can be annoying, but can also alert us of an upcoming danger. It's best to play it safe and have brake noises checked by a trusted mechanic.

I will cover three of the most common brake noises I encounter on a daily basis and try to shed some light on the repair.

Some of the repair techniques I share with you here are unorthodox and you will never find them in a service manual or Technical Service Bulletin. If you decide to try them please be cautious and safe.

Let’s check out the three most common problems that cause noisy brakes.

Common Brake Noises and Their Causes

Noise
Possible Cause
Grinding
Stop driving! Usually caused by a lack of brake pad.
Thumping from rear
Hard to diagnose, but usually the rear drums.
Squeaking
Either cheap brake pads or break wear indicator is hitting rotor.
Thumping or squealing
If car is parked outdoors, probably caused by rusted rotors.
Scraping
You may have picked up a rock.

1. Grinding Noise When You Apply Your Brakes: A Wake-Up Call

Hearing a grinding noise when you apply your brakes is really like hitting a rumble strip on the edge of the highway; if you hear this, you need to wake up and stop driving. A grinding noise on braking is usually caused by a lack of brake pad material; the pads and rotors are now metal to metal, with no braking material left.

Brake pads are like bars of soap. Eventually they get used up, and you have to replace them and spend a little money.

If you don’t, and your brakes get to the point of grinding, just imagine dollar signs rising into the air every time you step on the brake pedal, even just a little. The grinding noise is just a little voice whispering in your ear saying, ”You’re killing me!” Mechanics have an acronym for this, it’s called CPR (calipers, pads, and rotors). And when you get the bill for your brake job, you will need CPR (cardio-pulmonary rescuscitation).

If your brakes are grinding, stop driving and call a tow truck. It’s worth it in the long run.

What Happens When You Let That Grinding Noise Go on Too Long

You are supposed to replace the pads so they don’t grind your rotors down to a tissue. If you replace your pads on time you can often keep your rotors.

Don't Go Cheap on Your Rotors and Pads! They Can Save Your Life!

FRONT 282 mm Premium OE 5 Lug [2] Brake Disc Rotors + [4] Ceramic Brake Pads
FRONT 282 mm Premium OE 5 Lug [2] Brake Disc Rotors + [4] Ceramic Brake Pads

I have used Callahan rotors and ceramic pads on my kids' cars and on other family members' cars with good results. The quality is almost as good as OEM parts, for a fraction of the price of OEM.

 

2. Thumping Noise From the Rear When Braking

This brake issue is one that will annoy the hell out of the driver, and suck the life out of the technician. It took me months to figure out what caused this thumping noise in the rear of a vehicle when braking. After tearing apart the rear of the vehicle, lubing every bushing, and checking the clearances of every part imaginable, I came to the conclusion that it’s the rear drums that cause the noise.

Many cars have drum brakes in back, where a shoe stops the car by pressing on the inside of a metal drum. Brake drums, like rotors, get resurfaced once in a while. The cutting bit on the brake lathe removes the old braking surface and leaves a nice new mating surface. During this procedure, the cutting bit will create a groove in the brake drum so slight that the naked eye can’t see it; it’s like a groove on a vinyl record that the needle of the record player follows.

When the brake shoes ride on the new surface, they will follow the groove like the needle of your record player follows a track. If the groove is interrupted, the shoes snap back, hitting the backing plate. This phenomenon happens very quickly, causing a thumping noise that will drive you crazy and wondering if your car is falling apart or even safe to drive.

There are several ways to fix this noise. One is to replace the rear drums. A second way, less drastic, is to remove the drums, install them on a lathe, and sand the crap out of the mating surface with coarse sandpaper. The third way I found by trial and error and pure frustration is a quick fix using the emergency brake.

You will not find this procedure in any service manual or car repair manual, not even on car repair talk radio. It can be dangerous if not performed correctly so please be careful. Nevertheless, I have done it on over 100 cars, including family members’ cars, and I would not recommend it if I thought it damaged the vehicle.

How this works is that you get your rear brakes to do 100% of the braking for a few seconds at a time, instead of their usual 30%, and this will cause the brake shoes to polish the grooves out of the drum. For safety reasons, only try this on cars that have an emergency brake handle in the center console; emergency brakes that come up out of the floor can’t be set and released quickly enough.

Drive your car in a remote area with little or no traffic at a speed of about 40 miles an hour. Lightly pull up on the emergency brake handle while holding the release button; this is so the emergency brake handle won’t lock in the braking position, and you can release it quickly. Only hold the emergency brake on for about three seconds because you don’t want to overheat the drums. Do this three to five times, while keeping a steady speed; the noise should disappear, or at least be 90% gone. Then drive the car at normal speeds and use the brakes the way you normally would.

If the noise has not changed, you may have a different thumping noise than what I have described here in this article. Give up on this remedy and try something else.

My sister came to me with this noise after she had her brakes checked at her local garage. They had adjusted her rear brakes so the emergency brake handle had less free play in it, and this is when her troubles began. I took her car out on a test drive for about 10 minutes, performed the procedure described here, and poof, the noise was gone. She was happy because the garage that had caused the noise had no idea how to fix it.

3. "My Brakes Squeak"

A brake squeak can be very annoying, and furthermore might mean something. It may be a sign of danger of some kind, or it may just be a sign of cheap brake pads.

The most common brake squeak is caused by inferior pads. A cheap brake job sounds good when you’re paying for it, but it may come with years of painfully annoying brake squeaks. Cheap brake pads have large metal flakes in the brake material, and when you press the brakes lightly and a flake drags along the rotor, it will squeak. The squeak may go away when that particular flake wears away, but usually there is another metal flake right behind it. The best way to avoid this type of noise is to choose quality brake pads.

If your brakes are squeaking or squealing while driving down the road, but the noise goes away when you press on the brakes, I have a hunch that your brake wear indicator is hitting the rotor and causing the noise. The wear indicator is a small metal tab fastened to the brake pad. When the brake pads are worn down and need replacing, this metal tab starts to drag along the rotor, warning the driver of the potential problem. Don’t ignore the noise too long; the brake pads are thin and need servicing very soon, for safety and to protect the other parts of the braking system.

Brake pad wear indicator:  Metal tab protruding next to pad
Brake pad wear indicator: Metal tab protruding next to pad | Source

Bonus Noise: Thumping or Squealing Caused by Rotors Rusting Overnight

Especially in cars parked outdoors, rust can build up overnight on the rotor around the impression of the pad, causing a thumping or squealing when you drive the car away in the morning.

Noises Caused by Rust on Rotors

A Bonus Noise From the Brake Area

I have one other noise I run into a lot that has nothing to do with the brakes themselves—technically, it has to do with rotors—but I thought it was worth mentioning here because it comes from that area, and a lot of customers assume it's their brakes causing the noise. If your vehicle makes a scraping noise, while driving or when turning a corner, that sounds like something being dragged across a tin plate, it's possible you have picked up a rock from a dirt road or from a freshly repaired pothole: the kind of place where you hear a shower of pebbles hitting the bottom of your car as you drive through. There’s a good possibility that a rock has gotten lodged between the rotor and the backing plate, making an awful noise that is causing your ears to bleed. Just have the rock removed and be on your way.

Or sometimes the backing plate behind the rotor gets bent while the car is being worked on, and it scrapes against the rotor.

A Rock Stuck Next to the Rotor

There's an easier way to remove a rock stuck behind the rotor: bend the backing plate a little, as shown in the video below!

Scraping Noise From Behind Rotor

I sincerely hope that all the information here will help diagnose that noise that seems to be coming from your brakes. I know that some of my methods are a bit out of the box, but it's what we do sometimes to repair vehicles. There is always a better way, but if you don't try new ideas, you'll never discover it. A wise man once said, "If you do the same things over and over, expecting different results, you must be crazy."

For a couple of other common car noises, see the video below.

Three Common Car Noises

The video above describes squeaking from brake pad wear indicators; a clicking in the front end combined with a shaking steering wheel; and a metallic, knocking noise that happens in the front end while turning.

More on Brakes by Eddie Carrara

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    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Erica,

      It sounds like the mechanic may have resurfaced the rotors, if this is the case, sometimes you will hear a light grinding noise when braking because of the new surface of the rotor. If the noise continues, have the mechanic go for a ride with you so you can point out the noise and get their opinion. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • profile image

      Erica 11 days ago

      Hello Eddie, I was told by the dealer I need new brake pads for both axles. I got the back brakes replaced not the front. Now when I gradually press on the brakes to stop I hear a grinding noise that sound like it is coming from the back. Once I release the brakes I no longer hear it. It do not happen when I have to stop suddenly only when I gradually press on brakes to stop. What is it you think?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 13 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kelly,

      That noise is most likely caused by the vacuum brake booster. It may have an internal vacuum leak. Does the brake pedal feel normal or is it hard to push?

    • profile image

      Kelly 2 weeks ago

      Question: when i start to brake I hear this releasing air sound..any idea what it could be

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Inga,

      I recommend having the external engine belt checked first, it may need an adjustment or replacement. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Inga 3 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie, im having an issue with my car while driving or when i accelerate i get a high pitched squealing sound & im not touching my brakes. My brake pads also do need replacing as they also make a high pitched sound when i brake but only sometimes, so i do know about that but i am worried about the high pitched noise while i accelerate and then soon as i slow down and when i put my clutch in it goes away. But this is not constant, it happen sometimes.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alex,

      Most likely you have something stuck between the rotor and backing plate causing the noise, or maybe the backing plate is rusted and is contacting the rotor, either way, figure out which wheel the noise is coming from, remove the wheel and inspect the gap between the rotor and backing plate.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Arthur,

      It's usually the aftermarket pads that cause that noise but keep in mind that if there is any moisture on the rotors when this happens, it could be caused by the moisture, it's almost like taking a wet finger and rubbing it on the rim of a wine glass to make it hum.

    • profile image

      Arthur 3 weeks ago

      Thanks for your reply!

      Calipers are OEM but rotors/pad are aftermarkets.

      PS: the noise happened only at low speed.

    • profile image

      Alex 4 weeks ago

      Hello I have a 2003 Honda accord and my rear passenger side wheel is making a kind of scraping sound like tin cans being dragged on the road. But only when I'm driving at low speeds is when it happens. There is no noise when I'm braking only when I'm driving at low speeds. What do you think it is?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Arthur,

      Have you used OEM brake pads or did you use aftermarket pads?

    • profile image

      Arthur 5 weeks ago

      Hello,

      My 2010 cobalt SS meets a strange problem. In every morning or after parking for a long time, in first few mins, I can always hear significant squeaking noise from rear driver side when I apply brake, but it goes away soon (In 30 secs or 500 meters). I changed all rotors, pads, even calipers and flux lines. All mechanics told me the car is totally safe, but I really do not like such noise. Except this, the brake system works very well.. Any suggestion?

      Sincerely,

      Arthur.C

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Nabeelhk,

      I recommend calling the Nissan Company direct and start a claim. They may be able to recommend another dealer in your area that can assist you. The vehicle is under warranty and should be fixed by an authorized Nissan dealer. I hope this helps.

    • profile image

      nabeelhk 2 months ago

      Hi,

      I am Nissan Pathfinder 2016 base model 2WD(front wheel drive). i changed oil at 2000 kms from that time some vibration started. This vibration was during idle (with A/C on and off ), & running. i requested Nissan to check and they change only the valves of cylinder. Later on again started vibration .complaint many time but no assistance. later at 20k oil chnage they adjust my parking brake and vibration become more worst.I was feeling someone holding the car from behind and my economy was decreased which clearly shows that the rear brake was tighten too much and i can feel the vibration from my steering wheel and by holding the gear handle .it became more worst when suddenly rear part of the car vibrate suddenly,the vibration was high that my car rear part was jumping and high vertical vibration was observed but after stopping the car without engine off again there was no vibration..They skimmed my brakes but no change in vibration.they balanced my wheels but vibration still persist.Complaint again and again to Nissan but no assistance from them.

      May you please help in this regard.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ric,

      Usually, any type of drum noise is caused by pad impressions on the rotor surface, if you have rear drum brakes, they may need to be adjusted or the drum may need to be resurfaced as well. If you have drum brakes in the rear, try pulling up slightly on the e-brake handle while driving, using caution to hold the release button to release the brake easily. If you hear the noise, you know that is where the problem exists. Let me know what you find, thanks.

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      Ric 2 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a Honda 2013 Accord LX. Everything works fine but I have been seeing some problem with the brakes in last few months. Initially I saw that my steering wheel started vibrating when I applied brakes at high speeds so I took it to the service center and they resurfaced the rotor which fixed the problem however now I am seeing a more weird problem. It is hard to explain however I will try my best.

      First of all it does not happen all the time and not at all in city speed limits but when I am on highways it will not start happening atonce however once I have driven for let's say 40-59 miles and after that if I apply brakes, it does make a very weird sound(like someone beating drum slowly), my steering wheel does not vibrate though. I also sometimes feel like my brake might fail however it has not happened yet and hope it does not happen. Any suggestions or expert advice on what could be causing this issue would be highly appreciated. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Marty 2 months ago

      Replaced my pads with medium grade and put new discs on too. Now I have a brake squeal in the rear and I can't tell which side. It only happens after driving 10 km or more. I re bled thinking I had air in the system but it persists. It gets to a point where when you roll to a stop you can tell 1 brake is locked. Buy once I stop and jack it up, then it releases and I can't tell which one. While replacing pads I was able to push the pistons back okay. Thoughts?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Nguyen,

      Did you use original equipment Toyota brake pads? Do you park outside? Do you live in a high humidity area? Let me know, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Selwyn,

      No that is not true, braking to lightly is not a problem. You say the car gets hot? Or do the brakes get hot? Did you use original equipment pads from VW? If not, that could be your issue, not the rotors.

    • profile image

      Selwyn Landman 3 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      I had new brakes put in January 2017, i recently noted that after i have driven a while and car gets hot, there is a squeak (kind of eeee eeeee eeee eeee sound when i brake) this is only heard once the car has driven for a while and stays there till its cooled down.

      I have been told that it is because i brake to gently and this has formed layer on the rotor? is this possible and how do i remove it and also prevent it

      Driving a 2006 vw citi chico (if that makes a differance)

      Thank you

      Regards Selwyn Landman

    • profile image

      Carol 4 months ago

      Hello Eddie,

      I sent in a post today about a new Rav4 2016 car and meant to say that the hmmm... hmmm is more like a howling or drone hummm or on a keyboard the pitch is G below middle C. It occurs when I brake and seems to be in the front and it occurs when driving over 40 mph. It is not continuous. At 60 mph it gets very loud and can change pitch. Thank you.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joanie,

      I think Blondes are awesome, and a lot of so called mechanics have no business working on cars. A faulty brake booster will not cause a low brake pedal, it causes a very stiff brake pedal with no vacuum assist. Control arms and ball joints will not cause a low brake pedal either, so I'm not sure why the mechanic sold you a bill of goods without fixing your original problem first. I have words for these so called mechanics that I can't use here lol. It sounds like you may have a damaged brake line on the side they replaced the hub, maybe it's twisted causing a blockage?

      A hub is just a wheel bearing, but you have to remove the caliper in order to replace the hub, so the original mechanic may not have installed the caliper correctly the first time. I recommend bringing it back to the people who sold you the bill of goods and have them fix your problem at no charge, take them for a road test to point out your issue, then road test is after the repair to verify the problem is fixed correctly, and remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so go back and complain to the manager. Keep me posted on what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kim,

      I'm not really sure what the mechanic meant about the left side? I recommend having it checked just to be sure there are no unsecured brake caliper bolts or something. A single click is normal on some vehicles, it's called pad shift, it's when there is a very little bit of clearance between the brake pads and calipers, when the brakes are applied, the pad will shift once and click against the caliper. Let me know if this helps, and keep me posted on your second opinion, thanks.

    • profile image

      Joanie 4 months ago

      I have brake issues that I never had until the front left hub assembly was replaced. Immediately when I picked it up from shop the brakes started grabbing and pedal goes down. I took it to another shop. Hydraulic brake booster, upper arm controls, ball joints replaced. Back 3x and they still can't figure out the problem. I'm not a mechanic and I am blonde. Does it not make sense that something is wrong with hub assembly?? Also put new tires on it.

    • profile image

      Kim 4 months ago

      Hi

      I keep hearing this clicking sound every time I press the break to come to a stop would you have any idea what that might be. I changed the breaks on my audi a4 quattro wagon in March. Just start it hearing the noise about a week ago after I took it to the mechanic. He said it might be because he put it on the left as to why it's making that noise but I'm not too sure about that

    • profile image

      Mario 4 months ago

      Just wanted to thank you for the information that was very helpful, it solved my brake problem, Thank you again.

    • profile image

      craig 5 months ago

      Spoke too soon. Brake hose didn't fix it but it is definitely an issue of the caliper not retracting fully so I am going to replace that tonight. If that doesn't work, I will replace the pads and rotor AGAIN and if it still isn't right, i'm going to drive it into the river and cash out the insurance ;)

      (not really)

    • profile image

      Craig 5 months ago

      Squeaky brake problem has been solved (so far)

      It was a combination of a slight variations in the rotor (micro warping) and a faulty brake hose. The hose wouldn't allow the caliper to retract fully, leaving the pads pressed lightly against the rotors and the squeak was when the distortion passed the pad.

      No more drive squeak although they still occasionally squeak on a stop.

      hint: never buy organic brake pads, especially for a solid rotor.

    • profile image

      Matt B 5 months ago

      Thank you for posting about the thumping from the rear! I could not figure it out at all. You guys rock!

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zoe,

      If the vehicle has aftermarket pads, this could be your problem, also a lack of lubrication on all contact points is another common problem. If you have aftermarket pads, start by replacing them with OEM pads. Let me know your thoughts, thanks.

    • profile image

      ZoeHaddad 5 months ago

      Hi,

      I purchased a 2014 CRV with 31K miles on it and i noticed it makes a chirping noise like one second before full stop and one second after i move on low speed , i took the car to two mechanics and had the back rotors/pads changed but the noise is still there with no change

      this is driving me crazy , i dont want to spend too much on the car since this is a new car and there should not be issues and noises with it or at least that is what i expected , your thoughts please

      Thanks

      Zoe

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Craig,

      Make sure there is lube on ALL the contacting points where the pads touch the caliper. Also, check the anti-rattle clips, be sure they are not touching the rotor anywhere. Check the rotors for any shiny spots on the edges or face where something may be rubbing. Hope this helps, let me know if I can help in any other way, and keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Craig 5 months ago

      I have an intermittent squeak from the left rear wheel. only hear it while driving and stops when braking. not a long constant squeal, just a "squeak-squeak-squeak" at the rate of the turning wheel.

      Pads are less than 6 months old, rotors are 2 months old, all were replaced because of this same problem which resolved the squeak for a couple months.

      would this be indicative of rotor warping? they are solid, not vented.

      I've been beating my head against the wall on this since it started after I put new pads on last year.

      any help would be appreciated :)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jesse,

      If the brakes were just fixed, then maybe the rear brakes are just out of adjustment, or the brake shoe linings fell off their shoes. The hissing is caused by the brake booster using up all the vacuum stored in the tank because your brake pedal goes so low to the floor. The car is not safe to drive like this and I highly recommend you have someone look at the rear brakes first. If you need to stop in an emergency and you have no brakes, you could seriously hurt or kill someone. Brakes are a lot less expensive than living with the pain of knowing you hurt or killed someone. Hope this helps, and let me know if I can help in any other way.

    • profile image

      Jesse Herrmann 5 months ago

      Hello,

      A few months ago the rear drum brakes on my '96 Chevy Cavalier stopped working over night, & now only the front brakes work. Although the rear drums aren't working, they are still making a loud "thud" noise whenever I take my foot off the break & accelerate at traffic lights. The brake pedal almost goes all the way to the floor before there is any pressure. I can also hear a slight hissing noise, like an air leak, coming from behind the driver side dash. What's odd about that is the harder I press down on the brake, the less I can hear the hissing noise. So, basically just wanted to get your opinion on where I should start to fix this problem. Taking it to a garage to get looked at or fixed just isn't an option for me financially at this time so your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank u so much. (FYI, I got this car from my mother in law who let it sit for well over a year before I got it & its extremely rusted. She also had the entire brake system replaced/fixed about a year ago. Thanks again)

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rosey,

      I recommend having the rear brakes checked ASAP. I'm not sure if you have disc or drum brakes but something is loose and you don't want to lose your brakes. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dan,

      I recommend checking the front sway bar links first, if they look good and are not broken, check the front control arm bushings. What is the year, make, mileage, and model?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sandy,

      How many miles are on the vehicle? Have you ever had any brake work done?

    • profile image

      rosey 5 months ago

      My back left wheel has been making a loud rattling noise when I drive especially when i drive on bumpy terrain but its stop immediately when i brake? do you know what this might be?

    • profile image

      Dan 5 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I went to several shops but haven't went to the dealer yet.. My problem is if I am cruising in fast speed or going down hill and press my brakes.. I hear a 1 clunk and sometimes a really loud clunk looks like I hear it front drivers side or at the center part of the car. It really annoy's me hopefully you can give me an idea where to start checking. Having this for a couple of months now and can't figure out where's it's coming from.

    • profile image

      Sandy 5 months ago

      After i apply the brakes and release them and as the car starts in motion im hearing a squeaking noise from the passenger side front. And the noise comes and goes not a continuous noise. What do you think that is?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Barbara,

      If the brakes got really wet like going through a deep puddle, yes, they can make a grinding noise. Do you still hear the noise now that everything is dry?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      I'm not sure what I did, but you're welcome Beckie :)

    • profile image

      Barbara 6 months ago

      I have a 2012 Chev Malibu and the, other day we had a bad storm including hail. I had taken my car to the dealer a month ago to check the brake pads and they were fine. After the bad storm when I put on brakes I hear a loud grinding noise. Could this be a result of the storm?

      I would like, to know

    • profile image

      Beckie R 6 months ago

      Thank you:)

    • profile image

      Curtis Howard 6 months ago

      I will give it a shot. I am picking it up AGAIN as we speak from a "service center" who has yet again "torn everything apart" and still can't fix the issue

    • eddiecarrara profile image
      Author

      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Curtis,

      Is there any way you can take a video of the noise, upload it to YouTube and send me the link so I can hear it?

    • profile image

      Curtis Howard 6 months ago

      Any thoughts mr Eddie on the rear low end brake noise with light brake pressure under 15mph? "name brand tire shop" has changed pads several times...warped rotar? brake shield contact?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lucky,

      Check out this video, it may help you understand what I'm talking about https://youtu.be/HR8UbHpBfmU

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lucky,

      Check those backing plates, it sounds like one is too close to the rotor and is touching on turns. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Lucky 6 months ago

      Hi, There is this noise that is coming when I brake and swerve to the left slightly. 1 day ago I checked into a workshop and the mechanic told me that the pads were worn out, which was true. I did a service yesterday, had them replaced but when I drove the car this morning the sound, not squeaking but kind of a grinding sound is still there. What could be the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terry,

      What is the year make and model of your vehicle? What type of vibration noise is it? Does it sound like heavy metal, plastic, tin, is it flapping or is it rhymic with the speed of the tires, does it change when you turn? let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Terry Michael 6 months ago

      Hi Eddie

      I got this vibrating noise coming from the back of my car, it only makes the noise on take off, and its so annoying, when the car been having a rest for a while, it doesn't make that vibrating noise, until you drive the car for at least 30sec or more before it starts again. Tried to see whether anything loose under the car, couldn't find any. I hope with your expertise might help me with this annoying problem....Thanks Heaps...Terry Michael.

    • eddiecarrara profile image
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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hana,

      Yikes!!! The reason your brakes didn't work has nothing to do with the vacuum booster. When you compressed the piston back into the caliper and installed the new pads, you created a large gap between the piston, pads, and rotors. Once the brakes are back together, you should start the engine (automatic transmission in park) pump the brake pedal several times until the pedal gets hard, now you know the pads, piston, and rotors are pressed together removing the gap. Hope this helps. Glad no one got hurt :)

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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kelly,

      sorry for the late reply. Yes, your brakes could be worn out already, if your hearing the noise when braking, usually your brake pads are metal to metal. Let me know what you find, thanks.

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      Hana 6 months ago

      For the first time today I decided to change the break pads myself. The pads were installed perfectly, they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The horror started after I tried to pull out of my drive way, the car kept rolling back at full speed. Fight or flight kicked in I stepped on the pedal it didn't work, all the way but nothing, to avoid hitting my neighbors car I switched gears to park and turned the wheel. Eventually the car stopped. It turned out I have to press the pedal few times to creat vacuum. This was worst than wrecking a car... I have wrecked a car before.

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      Curtis Howard 6 months ago

      Hello Eddie,

      PLEASE give me some guidance. 2007 2door wrangler JK. For the past 3 years I have had a inconsistent but still 70% of the time braking noise that only happens with light speed and light brake pedal pressure. Goes away with higher speed and harder braking. Before the squeal or squeak or chirp happens you can hear an almost a pre-sound "hiss" as if you can tell something is almost going to squeal. Have t be brake shops no less than 6 times the past years and all I usually hear is " we replaced the pads and greased things up, don't know what else it could be." I've looked up admire much as I can and it's driving me nuts. I have had the parking brake cable fixed a couple of years ago so my thought could be that or the shoes, or too much contact from the brake plate, or even a bent axel shaft I'm unaware of. I am tired of hearing "pads pads pads" when if it were the pads it would have been fixed by now.

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      Kelly Hughes 6 months ago

      Hello! I have a 2015 Ford Escape with 35,000 miles. All of a sudden I heard scraping from the front left wheel. I notice it is really bad when I hit the brakes. I park in a parking garage so I could really hear it loud. Would my brakes be going out already on a new car?

      Thank you!

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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bill,

      If the brakes feel normal and stop as designed without any grinding noise, it sounds like you may have some brake dust built up inside the drums causing this noise. When was the last time you had them checked or serviced? Drum brakes should be serviced at least once a year to remove any excess brake dust and the shoes should be adjusted.

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      Eddie Carrara 6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Maralea,

      When you have no one in the car, you tend to brake lightly, but with the added weight, you have to apply extra pressure which may cause the brakes to stop squeaking. Believe it or not, 3 extra people could easily add an additional 600lbs.

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      William Hudson 6 months ago

      HI, My wifes car has drums in the back, there is a low pitched grunt when she stops, no grinding just a grunt. IS this a problem.

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      maralea 7 months ago

      I have 2007 Infiniti G35x - I had the breaks replaced last April (a year ago) before leaving Phoenix to move back to Denver at the end of May.

      Almost as soon as I arrived in Colorado, the breaks started to squeak - most particularly at slow speeds (slow traffic, normal stop lights, and while parking) and in reverse.

      I'm a realtor and had three other people in the car with me this week and noticed that with the added weight - no squeaks... I mean, none...

      What's that about?

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sure Francisca,

      What is the year make and model of your vehicle, how many miles are on it and how old are your brake pads? Have you ever had them changed?

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      Francisca 7 months ago

      My kia kia 2007 produce a squeaking sound when I apply the breaks. Can u help me?

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sharlene,

      You need to have the brakes checked ASAP !!! Have it towed back to the shop that replaced the brakes. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Sharlene 7 months ago

      I have a Chevy Aveo LT 2005 model. After changing the brake pads there is a squeaking noise when brake. Also when gearing down and stopping in 1st and 2nd gear there is a grinding noise and I am unable to stop. It feels as if something metal is under brake pad preventing braking. Scary. Help

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Juan,

      It's possible the backing plate is too close to the rotor and is rubbing the rotor when braking, or maybe even an anti rattle clip on the caliper is too close. I recommend checking the caliper area on the side that is grinding. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Juan Alonso 7 months ago

      I changed the breaks on my 2012 malibu and now when I break a grinding noise happens, not all the time. The rotors were in good shape, so I didn't shave them. Please let me know what you think.

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      Eddie Carrara 7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom,

      Check the wheel speed sensor and pickup ring for any debris or damage, it's the most likely cause, and who ever replaced the brakes had to be very close to both of these parts. Let me know what you find, thanks. Check out this video https://youtu.be/ZG9W91Sk4YQ

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      Tom 7 months ago

      I replaced the pads and rotors when you come to a stop it make a noise like the anti lock brakes kicks in. Only on passenger side. What could cause this? It's on a 2011 Volkswagen Routan.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Nancy,

      The type of rust I have written about in the above article is surface rust and will usually wear off within the first few steps on the brakes. If the noise continues, I recommend having them checked just to be safe. Let me know if you have more questions, and keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Nancy 8 months ago

      Hello. I drove my 2012 Hyundai Elantra from New England to Florida with no brake problems. I then washed the car upon arriving in FL and it sat overnight. I drove the car the next day and the brakes sounded awful with grinding, etc. and the sound won't go away after a couple days of driving around town. Brakes are high and seem good (had a full brake replacement about a year ago). Just read the article above about rust developing overnight after washing the vehicle. Will this sound go away with driving and how much driving? Your help and advice would be appreciated!

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eryka,

      Is there any way you could take a video of the noise, post it to YouTube and post the link here so I can hear it? It sounds like you're describing caliper creek. Is the noise inside the car or outside the car? Front or rear? Let me know, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for the feedback, it's nice to know people understand my articles ;)

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      Eryka 8 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a '98 Chevy Cavalier. I got the front brakes done in June of 2016, but my car has always had a cricket sounding noise coming from the front left wheel. I have noticed the noise before, maybe one or so years ago and never thought of it because I wasn't having any trouble with the car and the noise wasn't that consistent. I've taken my car in multiple times to have it serviced for other things since then, brake replacements, oil changes, replaced engine mount, new serpentine belt and pulley, and no one has mentioned anything about it. But now the sound is getting a little louder and more frequent. When I accelerate and hit about 30mph the noise is consistent and carries a rhythm with whether I speed up or slow down. It's not a grinding sound or a scrapping sound, and it's not really a squeal either. It sounds like a cricket. The noise slows down when I brake, and speeds up when I accelerate. It almost sounds like something is loose- it's like a higher-pitched rattle. I was just wondering if you had any inkling on what that might be? I'm not sure if it's brakes or maybe something else. Any guidance/insight is appreciated!! Thanks!

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      steve barnes 8 months ago

      very good info thanks

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      I understand Michelle,

      Do you know if the used factory brake pads? Usually squeaks start once a mechanic installs aftermarket brake pads and the only solution is to install OEM pads. Hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Barbara,

      It's possible the emergency brake is making a squeak noise. Did the mechanic give you a quote on wow much it would cost to remedy the noise?

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      Michelle C. 8 months ago

      Hi, I had my breaks replaced a year ago, they were not making any noises but I had nearly 60K miles on my vehicle. Ever since they replaced them, they make a squeaking noise right at the end of the breaking when I'm nearly stopped. It is very irritating as I don't like the fact they are making noise at all when I just had them replaced. I contacted the garage on 2 occassions about it and they recommended backing up at 15 mph and then hitting the breaks. I have tried that several times, but a year later they are still making the noise and I feel like it's getting progressively worse. Any suggestions or thoughts as to the problem. I certainly did not get my brakes replaced only to have them start making noise?

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      Barbara O'Hara 8 months ago

      Please tell me--I am 70 yrs and my Dad raught me to drive and always put the emergency brake on when putting the car in park. I have never had a problem until my husband (80) listened to a mechanic say that it is the emergency brake that is causing the brakes to squeak. Is this true. I don't want to quit using the emergency brake. I drive a 2000 Buick Century. Thank you.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Stephanie,

      I highly recommend bringing the vehicle back to the shop who replaced the brakes. You should not hear any grinding, and the brake dust shod not be collecting this soon. It sounds to me like you have a frozen caliper or something. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sang,

      That's great!!! Thank you for the feedback, it's people like you who keep me going :)

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      Stephanie 8 months ago

      I got my brake pads, rotor and caliper done on my car about two weeks ago and when I brake I hear grinding noise and the brake pad dust builds up on my wheels a LOT. Any ideas?

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      Sang 8 months ago

      Hello Eddie,

      Your article has answered my problem.

      Much appreciated.

      It sound like the wear indicator tab is rubbing against the rotor.

      Thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi David,

      Most likely there is debris or something next to the caliper, when you apply the brakes the caliper piston moves the caliper and whet ever is touching the rotor moves as well. It most likely has something to do with the metal rotor backing plate and too little clearance.

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rick,

      To remedy that noise you'll probably need to replace the rotors or drums. Usually that noise is cause by pad impression, but I recommend having them checked out just in case it's something more serious. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

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      Rick 9 months ago

      On my rear break whenever I break very hard I hear a very small thumping noise from the back but when I break lightly it there is no noise. What is the problem?

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      You are absolutely correct Tansy.

      Some people want to go cheap on brakes and tires, I say go for the good stuff, these are the systems that that keep you car in control in emergency situations, so never go cheap. Thanks for your comment :)

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      Tansy Samuel 9 months ago

      Thanks to the author for giving information about changing brakes.Before traveling to any place we must check our car properly so that we can know the problem and can give it for repairing. Car brakes are there to measure the speed and force of brake application to determine of attempting an urgent stop. If there is an emergency then we apply additional pressure to take full advantage of anti lock braking system which prevents wheel lock up. Car brakes like disc brakes, hand brake lever, front disc brake, handbrake likeage and brake pedal must be handled carefully.

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      nicolas Navarro 9 months ago

      thank u for the tips u provide on wat scraping noises can be.i solved my noise problem thanks to yu guys

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      Daisy G 9 months ago

      My brakes "froze", would not release, so I drove home about six miles, took the wheel off, and the pads and rotor look almost brand new.

      Do you think it would be okay to just replace that caliper.

      The fairly new tire got pretty scuffed, too. $$$$

      Thanks.

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi James, thanks.

      Do your brakes only squeak when applied? Do you have aftermarket brake pads?

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      James 9 months ago

      Hi, very good page. My brakes start to squeak when braking after driving for a short while. Maybe 5 to 10 minutes.

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Carmen,

      Are you talking about the ABS system engaging? It's possible you have a problem with the system. Does the ABS light come on at any time?

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Harrison,

      It sounds like debris is getting inside the drums because you say the noise goes away after 5 min of driving. I recommend getting them checked tho, just to be sure it's not a more serious problem. Keep me posted, thanks.

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      Carmen 9 months ago

      Have a 2005 Chevy Equinox last night while driving why it felt like the auto track was on while braking not wet or anything on the ground. Wondering why??

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      Harrison 9 months ago

      Hello,

      I have a Peugeot Partner van 2008 1.6hdi, the rear drums seem to make a grinding noise when setting off after its been sitting (overnight or all day) and then goes away after about 5mins of driving. The power of the brakes also seems normal. I have been driving in heavy rain a lot and didn't know if this could be down to moisture, grit etc getting in or whether my shoes could do with a replacement. The reason I didn't think it would be the shoes as when I bought the van it had full MOT and apparently its rear brakes sorted (unless this was a lie or dodgy). Any ideas???

      cheers,

      Harrison

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ernie,

      Have a brake check done on your vehicle, check both inner and outer pads. The wear indicator may be just starting to hit the rotor, so who ever does the brake inspection, tell them to pull all the pads from the calipers and check for uneven wear. Keep me posted on what you find Ernie, thanks.

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      ernie 9 months ago

      hi,

      i got myself a Seat Ibiza 2002 1.9tdi i also have a problem with my breaks butttt i dont know what it could be its not as common as i think i only get that high pitch in reverse and when im breaking from 30mph to 0 quickly

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      Eddie Carrara 9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dan,

      Sounds to me like the brake rotor is warped or some debris is caught near the caliper possible hitting the backing plate or rotor. I recommend removing the wheel where you hear the noise and look at all moving and stationary parts to see if you notice any rub or wear marks anywhere. Let me know what you find, thanks.