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

Updated on January 27, 2019
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

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 the brake pad being worn down to nothing.
Thumping from rear
Hard to diagnose, but usually the rear drums.
Squeaking
Either cheap brake pads, or the brake wear indicator is hitting the 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!

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 three noises: 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.

Car Brake Noises

What Noises Do Brakes Make: FAQs

How Do I Get My Brakes to Stop Squeaking?

The most common way to stop brakes from squeaking is to remove all the brake pads, disassemble the calipers, and lubricate all moving caliper parts with high temperature grease and all caliper-to-brake pad contact points with brake pad lube.

There are other methods out there, like sanding the brake pad surface or shaving the leading edge of the brake pads, but the repair above has the best results by far.

Why Are My Brand New Brakes Squealing?

The most likely cause for new brake pads squeaking is lack of lubrication on the caliper-to-pad contact points, most likely from an inexperienced mechanic.

Some aftermarket brake pads have a high content of "bimetal" material which can cause new brakes to squeak as well.

What Can Cause a Grinding Noise in the Braking System?

A grinding noise can be heard in a brake system when the pad's life is exhausted, that is, when it's worn out.

Another cause of grinding in a brake system is moisture on the rotor after sitting over night, but this will usually disappear after applying the brake a few times.

Another common grinding noise from brakes happens when small pebbles get caught between the rotor and rotor backing plate, or the backing plate is touching the rotor after a brake service was just done or the wheels were just removed from the vehicle.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Brake Job?

Brake jobs can range between $150 to $650 per axle depending on what is wrong and what needs to be replaced. If your vehicle need to have the rotor and pads replaced, this is when the brake job becomes more pricey.

If you hear that the rotors need to be replaced, ask the mechanic if they can resurface them to save a few bucks. Resurfacing them, if he can do it, could actually save you about $100 - $150.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix Squeaky Brakes?

The cost to fix squeaky brakes can vary depending on the labor rate and on what the mechanic needs to do to stop the squeak. It will cost about one hour of labor per axle to disassemble the brake calipers and lube all moving parts and pads.

Why Do My Brakes Squeak First Thing in the Morning?

The main reason brakes squeak first thing in the morning, or after the car has been sitting in a humid area, is moisture on the brake rotors. Usually this type of brake squeak will disappear after applying the brakes a few times.

Can Your Brakes Squeal When Not Applied?

Your brakes can squeal when they are not applied. Usually this is because the brake pad wear indicator is touching the rotor. If the wear indicator is touching the rotor, sometimes the noise disappears when you apply the brakes, and returns when your foot comes off the pedal.

If you hear this type of noise when you're not applying the brakes, have a mechanic do a brake inspection just to be on the safe side. The wear indicator may be warning you that your brake pads are getting low and need to be replaced soon.

Do You Have to Break in New Brake Pads?

You should not have to break in new brake pads; you should be able to drive normally as soon as the brake pads are installed.

What is the Grinding Noise When I Drive?

If you're hearing a grinding noise when you drive, and you're not applying the brakes, it could be that the brake pads are worn metal to metal. They should be inspected ASAP! Your brakes may be worn away to nothing.

How Do You Check Your Rotors?

Rotors are inspected visually and with measuring tools like a micrometer or a Verner caliper. The visual inspection checks for flaking rust on the braking surface, score marks on the braking surface, heat cracks, and hot spots.

Measuring the rotor thickness is important when doing the brake inspection. If the rotor is too thin, the rotor could crack or fall apart when braking under severe conditions. Another reason to measure rotor thickness is to verify there is enough material to resurface the rotors.

How Long Do Brakes on a Car Last?

It all depends on driving habits and conditions. If you drive on the highway all the time, your brakes could last up to 100,000 miles. But if you use your vehicle to make deliveries in the city, you could find yourself replacing brakes every 15,000 miles.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Brake Job?

A typical brake job takes about one to two hours. If they are replacing rotors and pads, it will take about an hour per axle. If they are machining or resurfacing the rotors, it will take a bit longer.

How Often Do You Need to Change Brake Pads?

It all depends on driving habits and conditions. If you drive on the highway all the time, your brakes could last up to 100,000 miles; but if you use your vehicle to make deliveries in the city, you could find yourself replacing brakes every 15,000 miles

Another thing to consider is the type of brake pad you're installing. Some aftermarket pads are very cheap and will not last long. Cheap pads also tend to be very squeaky.

What Causes Brake Noise

More on Brakes by Eddie Carrara

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I am driving a Toyota Camry, and recently I replaced the brake pads. The problem I have now is that there is a grinding noise from the rear left wheel only. The noise can be heard when the car starts moving, and when in a traffic jam, when the car moves very slowly. The mechanic has checked the wheel bearing and the pads, but can't find the problem. What could be the issue here?

    The rotor backing plate is probably bent, and is touching the rotor. Or the anti-rattle clip could be off center and touching the rotor. Something is touching the rotor, and your mechanic cannot find it. It should be very simple to find the source of this noise.

  • I had my tires rotated and now my one rotor is warped. Is it possible they tightened the lugnuts too tight?

    If the lug nuts were not torqued evenly or if they are over tightened, it is possible to warp the rotor, but how do you prove it? It would be tough to prove that the mechanic wrapped the rotor.

  • I have a Honda City. The car is in new condition, and driven for only 7000 km. In the last few weeks, whenever I start the car, (after an hour or two), I'm getting a noise from my front brake whenever I punch brake. I only hear the sound for 1-2 km. After driving for a few minutes, it works normally. Could you please tell me what exactly the problem is?

    If the noise is only when braking lightly in the morning, it's possible that you have moisture on the brake pads, and it wears off after applying the brakes a couple of times. I recommend keeping an ear on it, and make sure the noise doesn't get worse. If it does get worse, have someone check out the brakes just to be safe.

  • At random times, I feel something with the gas pedal, almost like something is trying to catch a gear and spinning. I drive 30kms every day, and it only happens maybe once a week. This morning, I felt it when I applied the brakes; the same vibration. Any thoughts on what it may be?

    I would check the temperature of each wheel when it happens; you may have a sticking caliper. Vibrations can be caused by warped rotors, and usually cause braking, but I'm not sure if this is your problem because of your description.

Comments

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Carrie,

      Your brakes can seem and be at minimum spec. I recommend having them checked just to be on the safe side. Let me know if you have more questions.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tony,

      It's possible you have some debris caught between the rotor and backing plate. Uneven ride height is usually caused by a broken spring or torsion bar.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Diedre,

      I recommend having the rear brakes checked to verify they are OK as well.

    • profile image

      Diedre Yarbrough 

      7 days ago

      I have a Buick Regal..When driving it for about 20 min it starts making this loud piercing noise but when I brake it stops..I had the front brake pads changed but it still does it what could it be

    • profile image

      tony 

      10 days ago

      yes when i make a right turn(right turn only)in my 2001 chevy S10 4x4 pickup with 50,000 miles, and when i hit the brakes at low speed i hear this slight scraping like sound ,a little higher pitch, sometimes it will do it and at times not but more then not!!I had complete brake job done last year! Also what cause the chevy lean?My left side is higher than my right side or passenger side? Any help will be appreciated

    • profile image

      Carrie 

      11 days ago

      Hi, I’ve had an incident on 3 separate occasions when I get in my car and start driving , I start having a dragging or scraping sound After a few minutes it stops. My brakes seem to be working fine. 3 times in approx 1 month. Any ideas?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Vinnie,

      And what?

    • profile image

      Vinnie 

      2 weeks ago

      When l apply my brakes I get rubbing sound and

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi James,

      Something is touching the rotor, you'll need to figure out what it is. usually, it's one of the anti-rattle clips is not centered in the caliper holder. If it only happens when braking, most likely the problem is on the caliper.

    • profile image

      James 

      3 weeks ago

      I replaced my brakes pads and rotors on my 2014 jeep overland and when I apply the brakes I hear squeaking. Driving me crazy what can it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tatti,

      Sometimes it's the water or moisture that causes the noise so the only alternative is to try factory OE brake pads.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Shannell,

      Can you describe the noise? Is it a squealing, scraping, grinding, etc?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Charmaine,

      Thank you very much for the feedback

    • profile image

      Charmaine Squires 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie... Wow, I've been reading thru these auto trouble shooting threads on your site and feel like I'm now enrolled in Beginner Auto Repair. The questions and answers are very informative and helpful. However, I think I stayed on brake issues too long looking for something related to my specific problem because it doesn't seem to be brake-related at all. Brakes are good, actually.

      When I start up my '09 Honda Fit and begin to drive and when I'm slowing down, there is this rhythmic flapping swish swish swish or pssh pssh sound in my right rear tire. The sound is consistent and much more noticable at those slower speeds. The faster the tire rotations, the less noticable. It sounds like something touching against or rubbing the tire at a certain point in every revolution. The sound speeds up as I go faster and then virtually unnoticeable because the wheels are spinning too fast for it to be heard, but as I slow right down, (e.g. approaching a traffic light) it again becomes increasingly more noticable.

      I hope you can make sense of my babbling description and might have some ideas as to possible causes. I would very much appreciate any help you might offer.

      Thanks for what you do, and btw, nice to "meet" you. I'm a fan already!

    • profile image

      Tatti 

      5 weeks ago

      I hear a loud squeak noise when it rains or when is cold out and I hit the brakes only for a few mins then it goes away. My breaks are new. How can I fix this??

    • profile image

      SHANNELL 

      5 weeks ago

      My breaks makes a nose when i press on my breaks to stop not all the time. What could be cause?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kayla,

      Does the noise get louder the faster you drive or the faster the engine is revving?

    • profile image

      Kayla 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a 2017 ford fusion and i've had my brakes changed but there is a high pitch sqealing noise coming from my tires when i drive. What could this be? It gets louder as i accelerate.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marie,

      The rotors are probably rusted and have pad impressions causing the noise. Pad impressions are not dangerous just noisy, but it may be a good time to have it checked just to be safe.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eddie,

      If you remove the clip and the noise subsided, most likely the clip was the problem. Is the rust built up in the area on the rotor where the clip is located? If so, it may be the rust causing the issue.

    • profile image

      Marie 

      7 weeks ago

      Good morning,

      Everytime i use my breakes( the front divers wheel) makes this loud thumpinp noise, it sounds and feels like i have a flat tire, what is the problem

      Please help me

    • profile image

      Eddie Cardenas 

      7 weeks ago

      Eddie, been hearing a grinding ,.seems to be at LF wheel. Today, removed caliper, rotate and noise still present. Pads are good, took the off, rotate noise still there. Took pad clips.off bracket and noise ceased, normal axle sounds...could it be, clips worn and moving to rub rotor? This has been ghosting me.. I changed the PAX side axle and had no joy, sound came back.

      2007 Honda Accord 300K..original calipers

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gerald,

      Watch this video, it may answer your question https://youtu.be/escgMjdzk6A

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Karen,

      Watch this video, it may have the answer you're looking for. https://youtu.be/HR8UbHpBfmU

    • profile image

      Karen 

      8 weeks ago

      I have new disc and pads put on the front of my car but when driving there is a loud scrapping noise and screeching noise as well .. any ideas

    • profile image

      Gerald 

      8 weeks ago

      I just had my braks pads replaced and in the morning when i leave they start to squeck abd when i slow down only when i press them gentle they sqeack but after briven for a while they stop unless im going slow

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bobby,

      What is the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicle?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you Frank, I appreciate the feedback :)

    • profile image

      Frank D. 

      2 months ago

      Very thorough, even for a beginner like me!

    • profile image

      Bobby 

      2 months ago

      The noise we here is only when the brakes are applied,it is a whistling sound

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tina, When do you hear it? What are the road conditions when you hear it? Are you using the brakes at the time when you hear it?

    • profile image

      Tina 

      2 months ago

      Why do I hear a popping noise under my brake pedal

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bee,

      Bring it back to the mechanic and take them for a short test drive to point out your concern. Most likely the mechanic has something misaligned and it is touching the rotor causing it to squeal. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Bee Jones 

      3 months ago

      I have a squealing noise when I drive. My mechanic replaced my back brakes and said my front brakes still had 50% of their pad and were in good condition. The squealing is still happening when I drive and goes away when I break or I am in park.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ryan,

      Did you replace all brakes or just the front or rear? If all the brakes are new, it's possible one of your anti-rattle clips or a pad shim is off center. You'll need to find the wheel that is making noise and have it inspected for these issues. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jim,

      It's probably time to have your brakes checked. There are a lot of things that can cause that type of noise.

    • profile image

      Jim 

      4 months ago

      My RAV 4 brakes make a scraping sound when the brake pedal is lightly pressed. It goes away when I press the brakes harder. Also, I don't hear it I press the pedal harder when first starting to brake.

    • profile image

      Ryan Abreese 

      4 months ago

      Hi, I had this problem.. changed out my brakes on a Chevy Silverado 2013. However, the noise continues to happen. Any ideas? Because no ones else seems to know. Thank you!

      “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.“

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brianna,

      It sounds like brakes to me, like the second mechanic said," a bent wheel would not make noise". I recommend having someone do a thorough brake inspection, if the brake pads are not releasing and are rubbing on the rotors intermittently it will cause a grinding noise so have the rakes inspected first, and make sure the mechanic removes the pads, checks the slide pins, and compresses the pistons. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Brianna Goodale 

      5 months ago

      I have a 2009 Hyundai Elantra.

      A few weeks ago, my car began making a grinding noise on the front passenger side. It started as more of a rattling, but over time became more of a consistent grinding sound. The catch is that it only makes the sound intermittently, usually doesn't do anything after I've been driving for 15-20 minutes, and stops when I brake. The car has started pulling to the right, as well, inconsistently.

      My brother thought it may be a wheel bearing going bad, so I took it into a shop. They said it was not a wheel bearing, but a bent wheel, causing my tires to feather, and an alignment issue. They recommended I take it to a tire shop.

      When I took it to the tire shop and explained the situation, the guy said it couldn't be a bent wheel because the sound would not be intermittent. He took it around the block and said he does not believe anything is wrong with the tires, but that my brake pads look worn and to try replacing my brakes first.

      My brother and husband are not convinced the brakes need to be replaced. My husband says to him it sounds like the brakes are not disengaging when I let off the brake, hence the grinding sound, but I'm not sure what would need to be fixed if that is the case.

      We are stumped.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danicia,

      The rattle sound may be sway bar links that are worn, the squeaking may be aftermarket brake pads, even if you're not using the brakes when you hear the noise. I recommend having the sway bar links and bushings checked for wear, if they are ok, check for any other loose or worn suspension parts.

    • profile image

      Danicia 

      5 months ago

      Hi Eddie. I have a 2014 Hyundai i10 gls/fluid auto and it has been a few weeks now that I am experiencing sqeaking noises from the front end of the car (I have new brakes installed for a few months now). This noise happens when I am not braking. However, it does not happen every day and when it does occur it is on a straight even surface road. Also, there is a lot of rattling in the car when driving over uneven road surfaces, does this have something to do with anti-rattle clips? Thanks in advance.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Walter,

      I recommend you get your brakes checked very soon. What you're hearing most likely is the pads getting very low causing the noise. Better to be safe than sorry.

    • profile image

      walter 

      5 months ago

      i have a question My car started making a grinding sound when i apply the brakes. it's not a high pitched whiny grinding sound but it's a low 2 large rocks rubbing together sound. and i started to notice brake dust recently

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kathy,

      I recommend bringing back to the mechanic who did the brake job and have them road test the vehicle with you so you can point out the noise and they can give you their opinion. It's the best way to figure out if this noise is normal or is a problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alvaro,

      I'm not sure what you are hearing so I can give you my opinion. Maybe with more info I can help?

    • profile image

      Alvaro funes 

      6 months ago

      What does it mean when I push the break pedal it sounds like something is stretching, like a metal wire stretching.

      I have a 2008 Ford Focus

    • profile image

      Kathy 

      6 months ago

      I just had brakes replaced on Jaguar XJ8L. Now I hear a groaning noise coming from right front. It stops when I apply brake.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mauricio,

      A wheel bearing would make noise above 20 mph hot and cold and it will usually make a humming noise not grinding, but everyones interpretation is different. It's possible you have loose or broke spring inside the drum or maybe a hold down spring is broken.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brent,

      Sorry for the late reply, She need to have them rechecked if the vehicle wasn't doing it before the check. Also have the lug nuts checked, make sure they are not loose. Usually a brake pulsation is caused by warped rotors and a thumping noise is usually pad impressions on the rotors from sitting in a high moisture area over night or for a few days and rust builds up around the brake pads. I highly recommend having them check by the same mechanic so they can check their workmanship. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rosanna,

      I recommend you bring it back to the garage that did the MOT and ask the to check the noise, the may have bent the rotor backing plate and now it is hitting the rotor under certain conditions. If the backing plate looks ok, have them check the inner pads, some mechanic neglect to check all 8 brake pads during the inspection, I'm not sure why, but it happens. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lawrence,

      You may have a small rock or pebble stuck between the caliper and backing plate causing the noise, so you may have to take the wheel off or have it checked. Another problem could be that your inner brake pad could be getting low and you're hearing the brake pad wear indicator. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      lawrence 

      7 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I believe that my backing plate is rubbing agents my rotor, I pushed it away with a screwdriver and it sound fine until I hit my brakes again. when I pulled over again it was back to touching the rotor, what does this mean and how could I fix this back plate issue?

    • profile image

      Rosanna 

      7 months ago

      Hi Eddie.

      I have had a terrible squealing/screaming noise when I drive straight which goes when I apply the brakes or turn the wheels left/right - so reading the thread I assume this is the break wear indicator

      HOWEVER - I had my MOT two days ago and they say I have about 40% left on my break pads? Should I get them changed now or could it be something else. its highly embarrassing as its constant high pitched even at slow speeds.

    • profile image

      Brent 

      7 months ago

      Hi Eddie. My daughter had her brakes inspected yesterday before getting on the road to college. The brake guys said she still had plenty of pad. And all they recommended was a $20 clean and “adjustment”. Now today at highway speeds a thumping sound and shaky steering wheel. I have a video if you think you could help.

    • profile image

      Mauricio 

      7 months ago

      I have drum brakes and my 1968 is making a grinding noise from the left-rear driver-side tire, after driving it for about 20 minutes. I am told it might not be the wheel bearings because the noise starts after 20 minutes of driving it. I was told if it was the wheel bearings, the noise would be ever present. What could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Raymond,

      Do you have disc or drum brakes? If you have drum, are the shoes installed properly? The shoes should be different sizes (front / rear shoe)

    • profile image

      Raymond Rodhi 

      8 months ago

      I just replaced the rear break pads but drivers side drum keeps sticking what would be the problem thanks in advance

    • profile image

      Flor 

      8 months ago

      My question is when i step on the break there’s a noise like hek hek hek but after running again the noise gone, i already change the rotors & the break & pads. Pls.help me thank you.

    • profile image

      Gevalia 

      9 months ago

      Thank you for the info. Very helpful.

    • profile image

      Yeasin Arafat 

      9 months ago

      Great post! Very informative and the videos were great supplemental pieces to the post

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks for the feedback Ando :)

    • profile image

      Ando_79 

      9 months ago

      Great post! Very informative and the videos were great supplemental pieces to the post.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Clarisa,

      I recommend getting a second opinion, hubs don't usually make noise when braking.

    • profile image

      Clarisa Aguilar 

      9 months ago

      Hi I recently when to get my brakes inspected because it had makeing a really bad noise when stopping but they said that their fine and it’s the hub ?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Justin,

      Can you make a video of the noise and post it to YouTube then send me the link?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brendan,

      If you are positive the rotor is not touching the backing plate and there is no debris between the rotor and backing plate then check the anti rattle clips in the caliper mounting brackets, sometimes the are off center in the caliper and can also touch the rotor causing the noise. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kier,

      I recommend having the brakes checked, they may need replacing soon. When brake pads are near the end of their life, they can make some strange noises.

    • profile image

      Kier 

      10 months ago

      I am having some strange noices when im breaking at speeds under 20mph. It is almost like a loud wooshing, rubbing noise that changes pitches. Do you have any idea what this could be?

    • profile image

      Brendan Seppey 

      10 months ago

      Hey Eddie,

      Just replaced my stock brakes with brand new pads and rotors. Everything looked good when they're put together, but when I start driving I hear only the front drivers side rotor making a metal on metal sound. I checked for rocks as well as the rotor touching the metal behind it and both things check out. I was really hoping you could give me an idea as to whats going on here.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Justin 

      10 months ago

      Have a question for u have an Elantra 2013 it breaks but as I drive it sounds like a seal barking doesn’t go away do u know what that might be

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ivan,

      If you have 4 wheel disc brakes, it's possible the noise is coming from the rear rotors, or if the rear brakes are drum, the noise is most likely coming from the drums, either way I think it's because the rear brake are getting hot and there are hot spots from the rust from sitting. Did you ask the dealer if they could resurface the rotors or drums at no charge since you just bought the car from them? Let me know, thanks for the feedback Ivan, I really appreciate it :)

    • profile image

      Ivan 

      11 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      great page, thanks for all the effort you put into this!

      I just bought a used 2014 Kia cee'd disel. The car is in great condition, from what I can see. It did stand a few months at the dealers, so it got some rust on the discs. But after now driving for 2000 miles they are shiny and look ok, with no groves.

      What does happen from time to time though, I hear a rather loud thumping noise when I apply the breaks. But this only seems to happen after the breaks have been applyed a lot in a shorter period of time. So I imagine they get really hot in this time, and then when I break it starts thumping, and then only when my speed is already quite low.

      If I just continue driving without breaking for 10 or so minutes, the noise is gone, even if I again apply the breaks hard.

      It is a bit hard to describe, but I think something happens when the breaks are hot from more intensive use in a shorter period of time.

      Any ideas?

      Thanks!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Moses,

      The most common reason for a thumping noise when braking is from pad impressions. Pad impressions are caused by the car sitting in a high moisture area without moving, the rust will form on the rotor except where the pads sit, this is your pad impression, now when the car moves the pad impression make a thumping noise every time it passes the brake pads. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      Moses 

      12 months ago

      Hi I have a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica, when applying brakes when driving I hear a thumping or ear popping noise, I have new pads on front and rear?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robin,

      A broken boot would not cause this noise, even if they saw the boot ripped open they should have told you so you could repair it properly. I think the mechanic may have lets something loose like the caliper bolts and the caliper was/is rubbing/touching the rotor. I recommend a second opinion, a brake inspection should only cost about $25-$50, but it's worth being safe. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Robin Mitchell 

      12 months ago

      I had a friend put breaks on the front of my 98 Dodge Durango they instantly started squicking and then a few days later grinding I was driving to work the grinding got extremely loud and started making a c loud clanking noise I took it back to him he said when he put breaks on he seen a broken boot he said it might be that I really need a professional opinion I’m a single mother and don’t have a lot of income

    • profile image

      Thomas Smith 

      13 months ago

      My 99 f150 has started making a rubbing noise from the right front.. sounding like something rubbing against the tire.. But I can find anything that could be causing it . My heat shields are worn out , but aren't touching anything ..

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 months ago from New Hampshire

      I'll be waiting for ya Liz :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      Thanks. Wear and tear and aging soon starts to tell on a car, so I'm guessing I'll be back before too long.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 months ago from New Hampshire

      You know where to find me Eurofile :)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      I could have done with an article like this a few years back when we had a series of 'older' cars. Will bear this in mind for the future though.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kevin,

      It's possible there is not enough lube on the shoe to backing plate contact areas or maybe a spring is out of place. I recommend removing the drum that is making noise and checking the hardware.

    • profile image

      kevin 

      13 months ago

      my rear drum brakes on drivers side is making a chirping nosie while driving. When i apply the brakes it goes away. they are new brakes and drums

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lydia,

      I'm not familiar with big trucks but you must have an Eletric brake on the vehicle. Try removing the negative battery cable for a minute to see if the noise stops.

    • profile image

      LydiaAguilar 

      14 months ago

      Ok. So I was out of town and hauling a trailer with a car on it. We had to make a sudden stop and afterward we started hearing a grinding noise from the brakes. We unhitched the trailer and ran the truck and I didn't hear the grinding anymore. Once we hitched the trailer back up and headed home, we heard the grinding again. Against our better judgment, we drove it home. Now when we turn off the truck we hear a noise like a small motor running from underneath somewhere and we can't figure out what it is. We know we need to change out the brakes but we can't get that noise to stop. What could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jason,

      No I have never heard of this before, I recommend contacting Hyundai, not the dealer and start a case with them, they should direct you to bring it to a local dealer with the case # so they can follow up with the problem.

    • profile image

      Jason 

      15 months ago

      Hello. I have a 2017 Elantra that has had loud noises from the drums that started about one month after purchase, new. I have taken it to 3 dealerships a total of eleven times to have them fixed. The last place “replaced” (now questionable) the shoes and drums on both wheels. The noise came back. I took my car to an independent mechanic and he showed me the shoes. There is dust on the bottom half but not on the top. He says they are defective and the shoes aren’t fully pressing the side of the drums. Have you heard of this? It has been a frustrating process for what is likely a simple fix. Thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mark,

      Is this a new noise? Have you had any work done recently? Are you applying the brakes when you hear this noise?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Africa,

      It sounds like you have run out of brake pad material. I highly recommend having it checked asap. Let me know what they find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alexa,

      Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it :) If you had a small rock caught between the rotor and backing plate, it's possible there is more debris back there that they didn't remove. If they just fixed it and the nose is now back a few day later I recommend bring it back so they can check it again. They shouldn't charge you to take a second look because they said they fixed it the first time (but they didn't). The temperatures you are suffering in can cause all sorts of problems, do you know what the code is that is causing the check engine light to come on? Did you have anyone take a look at the intermittent problem with the HVAC system? It a bit cold to not have heat, YIKES!!!

    • profile image

      Africa 

      15 months ago

      Hi, I have a Honda Civic 2006 and for the past days my car been making this heavy grinding noise every time I step on the brakes, like it’s dragging something. It depends if I step harder on my brakes it makes heavy noise but just a lil bit before getting to the light I won’t hear anything... Omgosh it’s so annoying.. I’m taking it to get it checked

    • Alexa Wik profile image

      Alexa Wik 

      15 months ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Eddie,

      Great page!

      My 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo has been making a squealing sound four a bout 7 weeks at even the slightest touch of the brakes, I have now noticed the squealing without even touching the brakes. I took it to the dealer service dept and they said there was a rock stuck between the rotors, they said they removed it, and then two days later it started squealing again. Do you have any idea what this might be?! I'm a 29 year old female and I feel that the service department takes advantage of me and my lack of knowledge about vehicles. It's getting really frustrating on top of other issues (check engine light on 3x in the past 7 weeks), and the heating/defrost system working intermittently (not fun in -40 degrees C weather). Thanks in advance!!

      -Alexa

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Arthur,

      Maybe a rock stuck between the backing plate and rotor?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Al,

      Check the rear brake pad thickness/condition, it sounds like your wear indicator is hitting the rotor warning you that the pads need to be replaced. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      al 

      15 months ago

      i haven't found my question/answer...my brakes HUMMM (like a fog horn) when going in reverse????

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      16 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Aundrea,

      Most likely the brake pad is not releasing completely and is still rubbing agains the rotor even after letting off the brake pedal. Let me know how you make out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Aundreawinters 

      16 months ago

      Hello Eddie!

      I've dealt with brakes before but for the first time there was no squeaking whatsoever only suddenly or my brakes grinding and ultimately failing. usually there's some type of warning but this time there was not. now the grinding is severe hurts my ears even, but even after releasing the brake there's a slight clicking / scraping sound going on.. my brakes will be replaced tomorrow but I hope to be prepared in helping to fix the whole problem. I understand the sound and feeling from my brake pads needing replacement but it's the other sound that doesn't happen while pressing the brake at all only afterwards. Could it be the sensor? If not what else would cause this sound to occur coming from the front of my vehicle seperate from the braking sound, only occurring after??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      16 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Laura,

      What is the year, make, mileage and model of the truck? What does the rubbing noise sound like, metal, plastic, rubber, etc? Are you braking when you hear it or are you coasting to a stop?

    • profile image

      Laura E 

      17 months ago

      My truck just started making a rubbing noise, it does it while slowing down or speeding up. After a little bit it goes away but starts back up again when I crank it up again. Any idea what could cause this?

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