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

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

As a mechanic, the three most common brake noises I get complaints about are grinding, thumping, and squeaking.

As a mechanic, the three most common brake noises I get complaints about are grinding, thumping, and squeaking.

Why Are My Brakes Making Noise?

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

In this article, I cover three of the most common brake noises I encounter on a daily basis and try to shed some light on what the repair process looks like for each. Some of the repair techniques I share 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.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the three most common problems that cause noisy brakes. Each is discussed at length in the sections that follow. Helpful videos are included throughout the article, and an FAQ section and a list of related articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

The 3 Most Common Brake Noises and What They Mean

  1. Grinding Noise When Brakes Are Applied
  2. Thumping Noise From the Rear When Braking
  3. Squeaking Noise While Braking or Driving

Other Noises That May Not Be Related to Your Brakes

  1. Thumping or Squealing Caused by Rotors Rusting Overnight
  2. Scraping Noise While Driving or Turning

1. Grinding Noise When Brakes Are Applied

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.

Why Do Brake Pads Wear Down?

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

How to Fix it

Think of the grinding noise as a little voice in your ear whispering, ”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 just might need CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation)!

If your brakes are grinding, stop driving and call a tow truck. The cost of the tow will be worth it in the long run. If you're lucky, you'll just need to have your brake pads replaced. 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. If you've been driving and braking despite the grinding noise for a while, expect to replace your rotors and maybe some other parts as well.

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

2. Thumping Noise From the Rear When Braking

This brake issue is one that will annoy the heck out of the driver and suck the life out of the technician. Initially, it took me months to figure out what was causing the thumping noise in the rear of a vehicle. 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 was the rear drums causing the noise.

What Are Drum Brakes?

Many cars have drum brakes in the back. In drum brakes, 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 creates 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.

What Causes the Thumping Noise?

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 have you wondering if your car is safe to drive.

How to Fix It the Normal Way

There are several ways to fix this noise. One is to replace the rear drums. A second, less-drastic way is to remove the drums, install them on a lathe, and sand the crap out of the mating surface with coarse sandpaper.

How to Fix It Using the Emergency Brake

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 causes 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.

  1. Drive your car in a remote area with little or no traffic at a speed of about 40 miles an hour.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, and the noise should disappear or at least be 90% gone.
  4. After this, 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.

Video: What if My Car Makes a Rumbling Noise and Shakes While Driving?

The brake pad wear indicator will cause a brake to squeal when the pads get too thin.

The brake pad wear indicator will cause a brake to squeal when the pads get too thin.

3. Squeaking Noise While Breaking or Driving

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

Most Common Cause: Cheap, Low-Quality Brake Pads

Most commonly, brake squeaking 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 squeakiness. 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.

What if the Squeaking Happens When I'm Driving but Not Braking?

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.

How to Fix It

Don’t ignore the noise too long; the brake pads are thin and need servicing very soon for your safety and to protect the other parts of the braking system.

Here's a quick recap of the three most common brake noises and the most likely causes.

Here's a quick recap of the three most common brake noises and the most likely causes.

Bonus Noise 1: 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.

Video: Noises Caused by Rust on Rotors

Bonus Noise 2: Scraping Noise While Driving or Turning

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 that sounds like something being dragged across a tin plate while driving or when turning a corner, it's possible you have picked up a rock from a dirt road or 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, creating the awful noise you're hearing.

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

How to Fix It

Just have the rock removed and be on your way. 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! If the cause is a bent backing plate, get the plate un-bent so it doesn't scrape against the rotor.

Video: How to Remove a Rock From Between Your Rotor and Its Backing Plate

Noises and Possible Causes: A Quick Recap

NoisePossible Cause


Stop driving! This is usually caused by the brake pad being worn down to nothing.

Thumping from rear

This can be hard to diagnose, but it is usually the rear drums.


This is usually caused either by cheap brake pads or the brake wear indicator hitting the rotor.

Thumping or squealing

If car is parked outdoors, this is probably caused by rusted rotors.


You may have picked up a rock.

FAQ: Brakes, Brake Noises, and Brake Parts

In this section, I'll try to address some of the more common questions I get about brake noises both in person and in the comments on my articles.

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, lubricate all moving caliper parts with high-temperature grease, and lubricate 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 off the brake pads, but the repair above yields the best results by far.

Why Are My Brand-New Brakes Squealing?

The most likely cause of new brake pads squeaking is a 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 (when the break pad is worn out).

Another cause of grinding in a brake system is moisture on the rotor after sitting overnight, but this will usually disappear after you apply 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 when 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 and $650 per axle depending on what is wrong and what needs to be replaced. If your vehicle needs to have the rotors and pads replaced, your brake job is going to be more pricey.

If you hear that the rotors need to be replaced, ask the mechanic if they can resurface them to save you a few bucks. Resurfacing them, if they 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 varies depending on the labor rate and 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 of the 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 Brakes Squeal When They're 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.

Why Is There a 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, and continuing to drive may be dangerous

How Do You Check Your Rotors?

Rotors are inspected visually and with measuring tools like a micrometer or a vernier 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 a brake inspection. If the rotor is too thin, it could crack or fall apart when braking under severe conditions. Another reason to measure rotor thickness is to verify that there is enough material to resurface the rotors.

How Long Do Brakes Typically Last on a Car?

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. 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 do not last long. Cheap pads also tend to be very squeaky.

More on Brakes by Eddie Carrara

Good Luck, and Take Care of Your Brakes!

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."

To learn about more common car noises, see the video below. It 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.

More on Brake Noises in Cars

Why Is My Car Making a Scraping Noise When I Drive?

Noise From Wheel After Removing the Brake Drum

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

Question: I hear a loud scraping noise when I am slowing down. When I am going fast and apply the brakes, I hear no noise at all, but the slower I get, the louder the noise gets. It sounds like it is coming from the front driver side tire. It is not a very tinny noise like the above video states, but more of a loud grinding sound. Any ideas?

Answer: I recommend checking that rotor backing plate on the side by just sticking a screwdriver through the wheel and bending the backing plate away from the rotor. Has anyone handled the wheels as of late? Have you gone through any large snowbanks where snow could have been pushed up inside the wheels to bend the plate?

Question: There's a brake noise that sounds like a pump running for a few seconds as I come to a complete stop in my vehicle. What is wrong?

Answer: It sounds to me like maybe the ABS pump is running because one of your wheel speed sensors is not reading correctly, and thinks one of the wheels is locking up. I recommend having the ABS checked for any codes.

Question: I hear a thumping noise when I brake. What could it be?

Answer: Did your car sit for a while without being driven? The thumping noise is most likely pad impressions on the rotor surface.

Question: I just did a complete brake pad and rotor change for my 2010 Dodge Charger because when I drive on the highway and brake, the whole car will start to shake. The problem stopped for a bit, but now it starting to do the same. Can you offer any solution to my problem?

Answer: Two possibilities may be causing your problem. When changing the rotors, the hub surface where the rotor sits has to be clean and free of any debris at all like rust or corrosion; the rotor will not lie flat and will eventually start to warp again. The other problem could be your wheel lug nut torque, if the lug nuts are over tightened it can cause the rotors to warp.

Question: I replaced all breaks, rotors and greased everything but I am still hearing a noise like the brake pads are bad. The noise is apparent while driving at any speed and when applying the brake. Any other thoughts?

Answer: Most likely your anti rattle clip is not centered in the caliper holder. I recommend taking the brake pads back out on the Side you hear the noise and check the shims/clips, look for any rub marks on the rotor and shims.

Question: I had my brakes replaced on my 2006 Sebring. The brakes have been squeaking since I picked up my car. I was told to drive it a bit since the sound may go away. I drove it on the highway this weekend, and most of the squeaking has disappeared except when I brake at low speeds. Should I be concerned?

Answer: Some brake pads are made with semi-metallic brake material, what this means is some brake pads have small bits of metal in the brake pad itself, and when this touches the rotor it will sometimes cause a slight squeak, mostly when moving slow or when coming to a stop. I don't think it is anything to be concerned about, but it can be annoying.

Question: When driving my Nissan Almera, I hear a terrible grinding sound. Is this something to do with brakes or bearings?

Answer: If you hear the noise when braking, most likely it's your brakes, if it makes noise while driving above 50 mph and it sounds like a hum noise it may be a wheel bearing starting to make noise.

Question: My brakes are rubbing on the drivers side in front what could be the cause?

Answer: Your brake pads could be worn or maybe the brake pad wear indicator is hitting the rotor.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Question: I hear a loud clunking noise when I release my brakes. What could it be?

Answer: There are a lot of things that can cause a clunking noise when releasing the brakes like pad shift, loose or worn suspension parts, loose or worn caliper holders, etc. I recommend having the brakes checked ASAP if you just started hearing this nose.

Question: I hear a thumping noise from my vehicle's brakes in the morning and also noticed the rust. What do I need to do to remedy this and stop the thumping?

Answer: The Thumping noise can be cured by having the rotors resurfaced or replaced.

Question: My car squeaks when turning to park or getting out of park, as well as when climbing up the ramp from underground parking. The brakes and rotors are new. Why is this?

Answer: If the work was done recently, it's possible the mechanic may have bent the rotor backing plate, and now it is touching the rotor and needs to be adjusted. Another possibility is debris like a pebble or rust is stuck between the rotor and backing plate causing the noise. I recommend bringing it back to the mechanic who did the work and having them double check their repair.

Question: I would like to know what causes a squeaking noise when I push the brake? I have Mercedes-Benz SLK200. My husband repaired the car last month, and the day after he took the car from the garage it made a sound, not always. Sometimes, there's a sound, and sometimes there's nothing whether I push the brake slightly or not. Can we check it at home before we take it to a repair shop? Please let me know.

Answer: 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. The first thing to try is bending the metal backing plate away from the rotor. See the video in this article, and use a long screwdriver or metal object to reach through the rim to push the metal plate behind and away from the rotor. You'll need to go around the whole plate and do this.

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

Answer: 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.

Question: I hear a dragging sound when I brake. What could that be? It's not a metal noise. I'm thinking that the brakes must be dragging against something. I live on a dirt and mud driveway.

Answer: I recommend finding out which wheel is making the noise; then taking off that wheel and inspecting the area between the rotor and rotor backing plate. It sounds like you may have a small pebble lodged in-between them.

Question: How do you get the rust off brakes?

Answer: If the rust doesn't come off after one day of normal driving, then you'll either have to have the rotors resurfaced or replaced to remedy the problem.

Question: I hear a scraping noise from the front rotors of my car. The noise goes away when hitting the brake or gas. This only happens while moving, but neither the brake or gas is being pressed. I pulled the tire, and there is no shield scraping nor is anything loose. The tire back on the noise goes away for about 20 mi of driving, but then comes back again. The noise gets worse until the wheel is removed and re-installed. Do you have any ideas?

Answer: Check the caliper anti-rattle clips and make sure they are not touching the rotor. Also, make sure there is not a lot of rust building up on the edge of the rotor, and it's touching the rotor.

Question: I have a 2001 Tahoe 4WD with about 150,000 miles. When braking there is a very loud grinding noise; it seems like its louder when it's cold outside. There is still plenty of brake pad left; however, the left caliper was very difficult to remove. Could this be the cause of the noise? Also can the need for an alignment cause noise when braking?

Answer: No, an alignment will not cause any noises, just tire wear. If the caliper was hard to remove it's possible the pads are sticking against the rotor and overheating causing glazing. You also may want to check for any rub marks on the rotor; it's possible your caliper may be hitting the rust buildup on the rotor when braking. I recommend having the caliper cleaned, lubed, and inspected for a binding piston; if the pads are glazed, replace them.

Question: I just pressed the brake on a 2010 Kia forte ex, and I am hearing a metal on metal noise when I first start moving. It also makes the noise when I make either a left or right turn, and it starts to grind. I replaced the brake pads and rotors as well as the calipers. I also bled the lines. What can be causing the noise?

Answer: It sounds like your rotor backing plate is too close to the rotor, and is touching the rotor causing, thus causing the noise. Most likely, you bent the tin plate when doing the brake job. This is very common. Just bend it away from the rotor, and the noise should disappear.

Question: I just had new tires put on my Nissan Quest. Afterward, I heard a grinding, so I took the car back to the shop. They told me the backing was rusted, but that the break was ok. Have you heard of this happening before?

Answer: Yes, It is common for the rotor backing plate to become very rusted and rub against the rotor. In some cases we completely remove the backing plate to stop the noise because the cost to replace them can get expensive, the parts are cheap, the labor and time are where it gets expensive.

Question: My friend just put new brake pads on the front and back of my vehicle. Her brakes are squeaking, and the mechanic told her it was a bumper. I have never heard of this. Is the mechanic full of it?

Answer: From what you told me, it does. How can a bump squeak unless it is touching something moving? I recommend getting a second opinion on this one.

Question: While driving in reverse or turning corners, the back tire area of my vehicle sounds like metal to metal. I just had the rear end fixed from a rear bumper hit and run last month. What could it be?

Answer: I recommend having the backing plates at the rotor checked for a clearance problem, it may be just a minor adjustment to the backing plate.

Question: I hear leaking under the dash when stepping on the brake peddle, what is that?

Answer: That would be the brake booster releasing vacuum, it will only happen about 3 times then all the vacuum will be depleted.

Question: I had my rear brakes changed, but now there is a sound that comes from the rear brakes like its loose. If I pull up my handbrake it goes away a little. What is the problem?

Answer: The mechanic may have left something loose or did not adjust the brakes properly when completing the job. I recommend bringing back so they can check their work.

Question: I thought something was wrong with my tire, so I replaced the tire and rim. But the noise - a LOUD scraping sound - is still there! It’s mostly when I push the brakes, and it sounds like it’s from the front left side. Any ideas?

Answer: Either your brake pads are low, or you may have some debris or a pebble stuck between the rotor and backing plate.


I've let my car brakes go past the threshold of grinding, and the pedal goes all the way to the floor. I am preparing to buy some brake pads and rotors. The car makes a really loud metal on metal sound. Is this something to worry about?

Answer: You shouldn't be driving the car at this point; you are endangering other peoples lives, not just your own. The caliper pistons are probably hitting the rotor now, and the car is a 2-ton weapon.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Question: I heard a pop while driving on the highway, now there seems to be a slight squeaking noise coming from the back right tire when I am making a right turn. Any ideas on what might be wrong?

Answer: Sounds like you may have picked up something in the road and it bounced up and hit the bottom of your car, it may have bent a tin shield near the rotor and is now touching the rotor? Without hearing the noise this is just a guess.

Question: My car makes a hollow sound coming from the passenger rear after stopping and starting. The sound stops after I gain some speed. I replaced the back disc and pads in July. I started hearing this sound in September, and it was an occasional occurrence. Now it happens more often. What could be the problem?

Answer: It sounds like you may be hearing a wheel bearing that is starting to fail. If the noise starts around 25 mph and then disappears at around 55 mph, then it most likely is a wheel bearing, and you'll need to have it diagnosed just to be sure.

Question: My car is making a horrible noise coming from the back right tire. First, it sounded like rubbing but now it's worse and I think even people outside can hear it too. I knew my brakes needed to be fixed but I didn't think it would be this quick, will I be able to drive it home?

Answer: I Hope you made it home OK, If the noise is that bad you really should have it towed, you could have total brake failure if you let it go too long.

Question: My car sounds like it’s running over plastic whenever I brake. What could that be?

Answer: If the calipers have not been serviced in a while, it's possible that what you are hearing is the caliper creaking from lack of lubrication, but without hearing myself the noise, I can't be completely sure.

Question: I have a c class motorhome with dualies on the back. There are disc brakes all around. Not always but often when I am going about 20-30mph I hear an intermittent squeak-scape from the back which goes away if I touch the brake pedal. What could this possibly be?

Answer: I'm not sure if your brake pads are equipped with brake pad wear indicators but the noise you're describing sounds like this could be the problem. I recommend having the brakes checked, it's possible you just need to replace the pads because they are worn out.

Question: What is a brake booster?

Answer: The brake booster assists braking power by adding extra force via vacuum from the engine to the hydraulic part of the brake system. If you didn't have a brake booster, the brake pedal would be tough to push and stop the car.

If you have ever driven an older car from back in the sixties, you would know what I mean because older cars didn't have brake boosters. If you would like to know what it feels like to not have a brake booster, turn off your car while it's in park and press the brake pedal four times, on the fourth push you will have used up all the stored vacuum in the booster, and the brake pedal will become very hard.

The brake booster is usually found between the brake master cylinder and the firewall; it looks like a big black metal doughnut.

Question: I hear a light scraping noise when turning left. It sounds like it ’s coming from the back brakes. I have a 2013 Honda Civic with 106,000 miles on it. I never changed back brakes. Can light scraping come from back brakes?

Answer: Yes, absolutely. If they have never been done, I highly recommend having them checked asap.

Question: I recently had a brake job pads and rotors. Almost immediately, there is a squealing noise when I accelerate after braking. It is especially loud when backing up and turning the wheel clockwise. Sometimes it's one long squeal, other times maybe a half dozen short sounds while accelerating. What is going on?

Answer: Most likely the rotor backing plate doesn't have enough clearance and is touching the rotor sometimes. I recommend you bring it back to the mechanic who did the brakes and ask them to make the necessary adjustments to the rotor backing plates.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Question: My brakes are stiff and usually make a sound like leaking air when I step on the pedal. What do you think the problem could be?

Answer: The noise you're hearing is most likely vacuum leaking from the brake booster. It's possible you have a leak in the diaphragm, but you'll need to have it tested to be sure, it's an easy check.

Question: I hear a scrubbing noise when I apply the break. What can it be?

Answer: It's possible your brake pads are low. Check how many miles are on these brakes.


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 15, 2020:

Hi Dena,

I recommend you have the brake checked first, it could be a coincidence that they are making noise now. Make sure you check both inner and outer pads, the inner pads are tough to see so you may need to remove them to do the brake inspection, you may even find some debris stuck between the rotor and backing plate. If the brakes look good we can dig a little deeper.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 15, 2020:

Hi Skate,

I think you may have bent the rotor backing plate when installing the new wheels. I recommend you locate the noise and try pushing the backing plate away from the rotor in that area. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

Dena Davila on August 10, 2020:

Hello, so my son was driving about 65 mph and he went up a curb, spun around and ended up getting some grass in the rim of the tire, And its been 4 days and suddenly today i noticed a squeek coming from that passenger rear tire that had some grass in it, it squeeks when i drive 15 mph or under, and also when i brake. So im trying to figure out why it started to happen. im hoping that he did minor damage to the tire back there, but maybe you can help me figure it out. ive heard the same squeek in the past when i needed brakes. and its a 2018 Tahoe.. Thank you

Skate on August 09, 2020:

I hear a loud scraping noise when I turn I was thinking my rims are too big what do you think?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 09, 2020:

Hi Dave,

Sorry for the late reply. Do you hear the noise only when you're braking or do you hear it while driving without applying the brakes?

Dave Mole on August 03, 2020:

Just had new brakes put on and the car runs great then after about 20 minutes the screeching noise comes from back wheel driver side been back to garage and was told its the type of material thats used on brakes and it will go away eventually.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 06, 2020:

Hi Nona.

Do you know if the vehicle has rear drum brakes or disk brakes? Has the car sat for a while without moving? Does it matter how much pressure you're appling to the brakes?

Nona Freeman on July 02, 2020:

I have a 2007 Toyota Corolla, 155K miles. Recently, I heard a thumping noise/feeling when braking. Mechanic couldn't duplicate noise. I drove it yesterday, went through 2 stop lights, no sound but when stopping at 3rd light there was the sound. There is about 2 miles between lights. Please advise. Thanks

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 04, 2020:

Hi NZViking,

It all depends on what the mechanic finds, you may need to replace the caliper, pads and or rotors but it's possible just the pads are seized in the caliper and the caliper needs to be cleaned and lubed. So you'll need to wait for the mechanic's diagnosis, and ask to see the parts so you know what the mechanic is talking about :) Keep me posted on what they find or if you have more questions.

NZViking on June 02, 2020:

Hi Eddie. I have a 2010 Mazda Verisa, very similar to Mazda 2 or Demio. This morning as I was about to back out of my driveway, I released the handbrake, put the car in reverse and as it was just starting back out, I heard almost like a loud clunking sound a couple of times along with slight grinding in the rear right tyre. Thankfully there is a mechanic only a 2 minute driveaway, who took a quick peek at it, and told me that without taking the car half to pieces, he thinks its the brakes binding. If they are binding, should I replace the brake pads? What are your thoughts? Thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 14, 2020:

Hi Charne,

There is a link next to no photo at the top of the page that says contact the author, send me the pics there.

Charne Steyn on April 14, 2020:

Hi Eddie. The 3 brake replacements were Carried out by mechanics. I know the second last time they did clean and service the pins.

I removed the caliper myself the other day and the pads came out, and went back in very easily. I did sand the brake pads down on the edges. I took photos of them and the rotor once removed which I could send to you.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 14, 2020:

Hi Asyrf,

When do you hear the noise? When you're getting in and out of the car? While driving? While. driving and braking? Give me as much detail as possible so I can help solve your issue, thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 14, 2020:

Hi Charne,

It sounds like you did the brake work yourself? Did you service the slide pins, clean and lube them? Did you remove all the pad shims, clean under them and verify the pads slide into caliper easily without hammering them in? If you have completed these to services you could try removing the brake pads and sanding both leading edges to a 45deg angle, sometimes this helps so it's worth a shot. Let me know how you make out, thanks.

Asyrf on April 11, 2020:

Hi..my car create squeking sound both rear..during Im going in and out the car..already went to repair shop..change brake pad and disc..already tighten the handbracke cable also..kindly need ur advice on the issue. im driving honda city 2003

Charne Steyn on April 10, 2020:

Hi Eddie

I have had my brakes replaced 3 times (all 3 times were different pads) and they still squeeck. It is only the front right hand side. It squeecks at different brake pressure applications and very softly when I take a corner to the left (RH drive vehicle).

Furthermore it sometimes makes a ‘tick’ sound on the front brake as well as on the emergency brake when I use either for the first time again after I have driven for a while.

I removed the brake pads a while ago and sanded them, it was quiet for the first 2/3 applications then started again. Its worse when I reverse and then apply the brakes.

I have a 2011 Kia Cerato Forte

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 06, 2020:

Hi Robert,

Did you replace the rubber flex brake line as well at the caliper? If you did and it's still doing it the problem has to be either in the master cylinder or the ABS modulator. The only other thing It could possibly be is maybe the brake light switch is out of adjustment, but that's a long shot because only one caliper is sticking. Make sure you have free-play at the top of the brake pedal, so make sure you can step on the brake pedal and have it sink about 1-2 inches before the brakes start to engage if there is no free-play the brake light switch may be putting pressure on the brakes while driving but check the free-play before we get too deep here. Let me know what you find, thanks.

Robert cummings on April 05, 2020:

I have a 2010 hyundai accent gls. The right front break caliper is locking up. New pads tried 3 new calipers. And rails. New rotor new break line. I can be driving without even using the break it starts locking up. And making grinding sound . some times i can stomp the break and it clears up. I flushed the entire system. The break gets hot. And its just the right front side.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 23, 2020:

Hi Kashawn,

I think you're hearing a damaged wheel bearing from your description, check out my article and video's on this subject and let me know if that is what you're hearing https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/What-is-a-wheel...

Kashawn on March 23, 2020:

vibrating type noise coming from my front passenger wheel when i make any type of right turn going over 40mph

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 17, 2020:

Hi JMichael,

I don't think the tire pressure has anything to do with the noise, I think it's a coincidence, but I could be wrong, my opinion is based on my experience and I haven't experienced everything... Yet. LOL

Jmichael2525 on March 15, 2020:

I had a loud scraping noise in my front passenger wheel & my tire pressure sensor was on. My driver side rear had 6 psi too much air & my rear passenger side was 6 psi low.

After correcting the psi in both, the sound went completely away.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 13, 2020:

Hi Chris,

Most likely the mechanic who replaced the wheel bearing bent the rotor backing plate during the procedure and now it's rubbing against the rotor intermittently. I recommend you locate where the noise is coming from and try bending the backing plate away from the rotor using a long screwdriver or pry bar between the opening in the wheel if you are unsuccessful I recommend you bring it back so the mechanic can fix the issue at no charge. Keep me posted on what you find and if you figured it out, thanks.

chris stevenson on March 12, 2020:

so I recently had my wheel bearing done and new pads all the way around now when you turn it squeaks and is grinding I am at a complete loss

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 10, 2020:

Hi Pip,

It's very common for this to happen especially under the conditions you have described. I recommend you drive the vehicle like you normally would and see if the thumping noise subsides. The noise is caused by brake pad impressions on the rotor surface, the rotor will rust on the surface because of the rain but not where the brake pads were sitting, this causes the thumping noise. This problem can happen with Honda or aftermarket parts, if the problem doesn't subside you can all back the shop and see if they can help with the issue. Keep me posted on what happens, thanks.

Pip on March 08, 2020:

Hi Eddie!

I had all my brakes & rotors replaced on a Honda Civic 2013 a few weeks ago costing $1200 (AUD).

Now in the morning, especially after not driving for a day or two, there is a thumping noise from the front when I brake, like the whole front of the car is going to fall out!! I park outdoors & the worst morning it had been heavy rain overnight.

Do I need to take the car back to the people who did the brakes? First time I haven’t used HONDA :-(

I’m concerned they’ve charged for proper Honda parts but used something cheap??

Thankyou for any advice, Pip.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 15, 2020:

Hi Ricky,

Are the rotors rusted on the edge? Are the anti-rattle clips centered and seated properly in the calipers? The noise has something to do with the rotor/caliper because the noise disappears when applying the brakes. Let me know, thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 15, 2020:

Hi Coshae,

Do you know if you have drum brakes in the rear? Do you hear the squeak when the car isn't moving and just stepping on the brake pedal? Let me know, thanks.

Ricky on February 15, 2020:

2003 Tundra has a ticking noise (increases with speed, so noise frequency is rotational related) on front brakes passenger side. New pads, but with slight press of brakes noise goes away until you remove foot from brake pedal then noise starts again.

Coshae on February 14, 2020:

So i have a 2014 kia Optima and I have went to multiple mechanics but they my rotors and breaks are good but there is a squeak everytime i push down on the break pedal and when I am backing up the squeak is even louder what can that be with the 2 different squeaks?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 06, 2020:

Hi Marcus,

It sounds like the brake pad wear indicator is touching the rotor warning you that the brake pads are getting low and need to be replaced. I recommend you have all 8 brake pads inspected closely or you could start at the wheel that is making the noise and inspect those pads first to determine if this is the problem. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

Marcus on February 05, 2020:

Hi.. My 2008 Toyota Yaris sounds whenever i release the brake.. i usually hear a sharp noise when i release the brake.. Can somebody help me out?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 05, 2020:

Hi Hcsak72,

No reason to be embarrassed, we all need help with something:) I doubt the brake lines are leaking because the brake pedal would be soft and the master cylinder would be empty, but it is something he should consider replacing in the future, the car is 20 years old lol.

Changing a tire is part of the driver's education program here in NH so my kids were saved the embarrassment of me teaching them :) Let me know if I can help answer any other questions. BTW, good for you as a single mom teaching your kid about cars, one day he will realize how awesome his mom is :)

Hcsak72 on February 05, 2020:

Thanks so much for your advice... I personally believe something was leaking from something that the first mechanic had said but I wouldn’t even know if there were actually even a way to check so I guess it’s just a wait and see and hope for the best. I don’t use this particular mechanic but he does have a very good reputation so hopefully I can get some piece of mind from that. My son is like an old miser and has saved and invested considerably and can afford to purchase a much newer car but refuses.. I guess that’s why he has me beat in many financial aspects at 21. He doesn’t like to ask his mother for advice but I’ve thought him basic maintenance on a car since he got his license.. I guess it’s embarrassing for your mom to teach you to change a tire or where to add the brake fluid lol your explanation did help to make some sense out of it. Thanks again!

Still an embarrassing over concerned mom

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 05, 2020:

Hi Hcsak,

Yes, that estimate is not enough for all brake lines and labor. The time it takes to replace all brake lines is between 8 - 12 hours depending on if factory lines are used or if the mechanic fabricates them. A lot of the time involved is because of how they need to be routed, there are a lot of twists and bends to get them to fit correctly. Brake lines can appear corroded and still have a lot of life. There is no way of looking at a brake line and determining the amount of life left in the line unless it's leaking. I'm sure the lines look corroded because they are 20 years old and will probably need to replaced at some point, the question is when? Let me know if this helps :)

Hcsak on February 04, 2020:

Hi Eddie

I’m a concerned single mom. My son has a 2000Honda Accord and was told by a mechanic that his whole brake system including lines were completely corroded as well and it would all cost over a grand to fix. He ended up taking it to one of his buddies mechanic and he just came home with a detailed receipt which doesn’t mention brake lines/hoses at all and instead just calipers which has both he and I concerned. Any thoughts or ideas if this seems right or not? The bill was a little over $800 which to me seems too low for the lines to have been changed as well. I worked many years in an auto body shop and can give a decent idea of an estimate on body works but I know nothing about brakes so hoping you can offer some insight?


A Concerned Single Mom

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on February 04, 2020:

Hi Josef,

If the noise is only heard when the vehicle is moving then it has something to do with whatever parts are moving. Usually, it has something to do with either the brakes, axles or drive shaft. With your situation, it sounds like the brake pads are touching the rotor and once you apply the brakes the noise stops. I recommend you remove each wheel and inspect all 8 brake pads closely, one may be stuck in the caliper and prematurely worn.

Keep in mind that ball joints are stationary and only move when you turn the steering wheel, they don't rotate so I doubt the noise is coming from the ball joint. Let me know what you find, thanks.

Josef Kurzmann on February 03, 2020:

Hello. My problem is that when i start my 2005 ford explorer and accelerate i hear a scrapping/grinding noise for a second. If i apply the breaks the noise will not be there. I checked it isnt the engine or the transmission. It is always there (only the first time) when i accelerate to 12 mph when i start the car, it also will be there if the engine is warm. I also could hear it when i removed the fan belt (so it shouldn't be the steering pump or ?rack and pinion?). The noise is always there at 12 mph no matter if the engine is at 1000 rpm or 2500 rpm. The onlu bad thing with the vehicle ist a bad front wheel bearing so maybe that could cause the problem or the brakes i assume?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 31, 2020:

Hi Shawn,

Yes, most likely the emergency brake isn't used a lot and either the cables are binding or the e-brake itself is frozen from lack of use. You may need to bring it in for service to release the e-brake completely and have the system freed up and lubed or replace the component that is causing the problem. Let me know if this helps, and keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

Shawn on January 30, 2020:

Breaks sounded great all day. I put the emergency breaks on when I parked and took it off when I was leaving. Once I did that I started to hear the back breaks grinding. What could be the problem and is it caused by me putting on the emergency breaks?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 20, 2020:

Hi Richard,

I get the snow thing living in NH lol. Glad I could put your mind at ease. Thanks for sharing your story :)

Richard Thomas on January 19, 2020:

Get up this morning and drove about a mile. All of a sudden I hear this high pitched screeching. Of course went into panic mode but thanks to your information I've calmed down. Forgot about the simple rock and rrust on the rotors. Gotta love living in Pennsylvania after it snows. Lol

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 12, 2020:

Hi Unni,

If you only feel this shake at low speeds I recommend you check your tires first, make sure there is ample amount of tread, the pressures are set to about 32 psi. If the tires check out good I recommend you have the front suspension checked for any loose or worn parts, make sure you inspect the front struts for leakage. Keep me posted on what you find Unni, thanks.

Unni on January 12, 2020:

Hello Eddie,

I have Hyundai Santafe, its running smooth while drive in City. But it's steering get shake with noice when I drive in freeways above 60 miles per hr speed, or when I apply break to turn or stop. The same noice is coming when i slowly drive over speed breaker or any bad road. What could be the reason ?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 10, 2020:

Hi Yoshitatsu,

I think what you're hearing is the brake pads vibrating against the rotors which is very common with every car and even heard more when the brakes have moisture on them like from rain or dew. I don't think you have anything to worry about but if you feel like there may be a problem I recommend you have it inspected for peace of mind. Keep me posted on what you decide to do and if you have more questions I'll be right here :)

Yoshitatsu on January 09, 2020:

Hi Eddie.

I have a 2016 Lexus IS300 AWD F sport and when I releasing the brake extremely lightly I hear a creaking noise. No noise when put in Park or neutral. When I put it in drive and come to a deadstop and release it, there is a slight creak noise. What could be causing this?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 03, 2020:

Hi Pat,

Do you know if the vehicle has drum brakes? If it does, the most common cause of a squeak or whistle noise is the contact point between the rear brake shoe to backing plate has no lubrication and needs to be serviced, the noise I'm describing can be heard when the car is parked and the brakes pedal is pumped. Let me know if this helps.

Pat on December 30, 2019:

What would cause a whistling noise when I take my foot off the brake? Had it into the dealership they can not find anything.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on December 27, 2019:

Hi Nwanne,

What type of vehicle is this?

NWANNE OKEREKE on December 25, 2019:

Hello, Any idea what could cause intermittent clicking sound, like there is something rubbing against the wheel when driving and when brakes are applied this noise stops? This only happens sometimes not always and sometimes it is even difficult to replicate to the local mechanic. PS: the rotors at the back and their pads were recently changed...

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on December 06, 2019:

Hi Sarah,

Some times the brake pads shift in the caliper and click once when either going in reverse or forward but usually it's only one click and it not very loud, most people don't even hear it. This is only one possibility if the suspension has any loose or damage parts this also could make a click or clunk noise so you may want to have the suspension checked just to be sure everything is tight.

Sarah on December 04, 2019:

Just curious what could be causing one, singular "clink" type noise when I apply my brakes (just in the beginning, then there is no other noise, but it happens EVERY type I hit the brakes). I know the valve for my tires are broken and slowly leaking because I brought the car in to be looked at by some tire specialists when I noticed they wouldn't keep air for longer than a week, but ever since they took at look at them I've been having this strange sound (so I'm not even sure its the brakes per sey, it just always happens when I brake). Thanks much!

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on November 21, 2019:

Hi Josh,

A quick check is to bend the rotor backing plate away from the rotor, a small piece of rust may have got caught between the rotor and plate. If that doesn't fix it, you'll need to remove the wheel on the side the noise is coming from and inspect the pad shims, it's possible one is not centered and is touching the rotor. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks :)

Josh on November 19, 2019:

Hey I recently changed the front pads on my 2013 Smart fortwo and now I have a chirping coming from them while driving. I have the set pins in place and all and am stumped to what this could be. It is not as bad when the brakes are applied but unless I slam on them good you can still hear it. I have noticed that when I turn my wheel to the left it gets worse but to the right it seems to go away. Weird...any suggestion would be so helpful. Thanks

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on October 15, 2019:

Hi CC,

If you sprayed any chemical on the wheels to clean them, it may be the culprit but other then that I don't have an answer. I recommend driving it for a few more days to see if it subsides, cleaning and lubing the brakes may help but not all the time. let me know what you decide to do.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on October 10, 2019:

Hi Lisa,

If hitting your brakes makes the noise go away I recommend you start with having the brakes checked to be sure you're not hearing the brake pad wear indicator warning you that the brakes pad need to be changed soon. Let me know what you find, thanks

CC on October 07, 2019:

I recently bought a 2017 Jaguar XE. Everything seemed fine until I washed the car. The very next day, the brakes started squeaking. The weird thing is..the squeaking doesn't start right away. It only starts after I've been driving & stopping for about 10 mins. I took it to get checked and was told that they were rusty and they need to be cleaned and lubricated for $500! Any ideas of what's really going on? Is there a cheaper fix? I was also wondering if brake cleaner would work? Thank you!

Lisa on October 04, 2019:

I have a 2008 Honda crv. I have a loud "hooo" sound mainly when pulling off after car been sat for a while or when I'm travelling at higher speeds it can be heard but not as loud. When I press the brakes at high speed it stops the noise momentarily. Any ideas?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 26, 2019:

Hi John,

I don't know the year, make, model, mileage, or type of brakes your vehicle has but maybe a broken spring in the drum?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 26, 2019:

Hi Amy,

Hows the front brakes? Do the rotors have brake pad impressions on the braking surface? That's where I recommend you look first. Let me know what you find, thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 26, 2019:

Hi Desiree,

if the brake pads are getting low on material it's possible the heat from braking can cause different noises. I recommend you have your brakes checked closely, inner and outer pads. Let me know what you find, thanks.

John on September 23, 2019:

The sound came from a brake like a shaking an empty can of a paint. Any Idea and what is the solutions?

Amy on September 21, 2019:

We have a 2016 RDX with new rear rotors and brakes, yet is still making a thumping noise when braking. It is more noticeable when braking above 40 mph.

desiree on September 19, 2019:

I am hearing noise when I start braking but I only hear it after i have driven for a while? it does not do it first thing in the morning

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 18, 2019:

Hi Debbie,

When a vehicle sits for a few days a light coat of rust will build up on the surface of the rotors, the pads will scrape the rust and will make a grinding noise until the rust is gone, usually, just a few taps of the brake pedal will do the job. Let me know if this helps.

Debbie on September 14, 2019:

my car sit in driveway for a few days started this morning while backing up heard grinding niise when backing up, what could be the problem?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 09, 2019:

Hi Bobby,

It sounds like brake dust which is normal as longs as it's happening to either the two front-wheels or two back wheels and not just one stray wheel. You could try ceramic pads, they may not be as bad as the ones you're using as far as brake dust goes.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on September 09, 2019:

Hi Nella,

Can you describe the noise? Is it a scraping, thumping, rubbing, helicopter noise, dragging, squealing, etc?

Bobbie on September 09, 2019:

I have black stuff on my rims & i wash them but it comes back, now my brakes or something is makung a squekinh sound. I have a 98 jeep grand cherokee, limited edition...what could this be ? Is it just my brakes or could it be something different since the black stuff is on my rims ?

Nella on August 31, 2019:

Ford Escape 2005. While driving high speed over 30 mph doesn't hear anything, but vehicle coming to a slow drive without pressing on my brake to a complete stop I hear this noise from both my front tire. When braking doesn't it. Foot off brake and slow driving hear it. On the highway going over 40/50/60/70 mph don't hear it. What do you think the problem is.

1st shop said it my transmission. 2nd shop said wheel bearing. So, i took it to a tarnsmision and they said nothing wrong with transmision. So, what is it. https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Brake-Noises-Wh...

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 26, 2019:

Hi Kendal,

Usually, it's the inner brake pad that has the wear indicator on it. I recommend you check them closely because what you're describing sounds like low brake pads. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 26, 2019:

Hi Abrahim,

Sounds to me like you're talking about a brake pulsation. If your car vibrates or steering shakes when braking at highway speeds, most likely the rotors are warped. The ABS light is most likely a defective wheel speed sensor and the hand brak light may be warning you that the brake fluid is low or the switch for the hand brake is faulty. Hope this helps.

kendal sant on August 25, 2019:

Hi Eddie, thanks for the article I’ve got a squeal and I hope you can help me shine some light on the cause. Its never straight away. It’s after about 2hrs of driving. It’s consistent and loud. When I apply the brakes it stops. It’s worse when I turn left. Any ideas? I visually checked the brake pads and it seems like there is still a lot on them. Thanks

Ebrahim meyer on August 22, 2019:

Hi ...... i got a toyota yaris 2008 which i replaced rear wheel bearings ,after changing aheel bearings i have pressure noise when i break which hold s pressure then releases then holds again till i stop .... when i bought the car the abs and handbrake light was on 3 years down the line , changed bearings , while on my way home i hit a man hole and both abs and handbrake lights went off , it does come on and off @ times but the breaking issue worries me more please assist

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 21, 2019:

Hi Yanet,

what is the year, make, model, and mileage? It could be a brake pad wear indicator just starting to touch the rotor or it could be moisture on the rotors.

Yanet on August 15, 2019:

Why are my brakes making a loud screeching sound in the morning when I first drive reversing out of my driveway? Or anytime when I let the car sit out for too long and then try to reverse

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 31, 2019:

Hi Sas,

The brake pads should be touching the rotor but with no pressure or drag, Hopefully you lubed all brake pad contact points during the procedure. The movement will be very slight but it should stop the rotor from turning. The noise may be the rotor backing plate touching the rotor and needs to be adjusted. It's not a bad idea to drive it a few miles and see if you still have the problems. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

Sas on July 29, 2019:

Hello Eddie,

I did a break job myself and replace the rear rotors and pads for my Nissan Altima. Pads are abkimono ceramic and rotors are coated. After installation when I drove the car I could hear a noise like scratching noise from the back wheels. I took off the rear wheels again and I saw that brake pads are completely on the rotors too tight and are touching the rotors ( I checked both sides and they were the same). I could see black stain on my coated rotor and when I turn the rotors by hand it was a bit of resistance and a medium scratching noise. My first concern is should the pads completely touch the rotors when I don’t push the brake pedal?

My second concern is why when I apply pressure on the brake pedal I could not see any movement on the brake pads?

My last concern is do you think when I drive the car more the new pads will be wearing off and solve the problem?

Thank you so very much I read all the website and watched the videos and they were truly useful.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 24, 2019:

Hi Gino,

It great to hear some of my crazy solutions work lol. I had used that technique many times and has always served me well so I'm glad it worked for you. Thanks for taking the time to leave me feedback, it really helps the readers a lot who have similar problems :)

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 21, 2019:

When you’re in the drive-through you tend to hear car noises much better because the noises bounce off the wall, and I think some of your noises may be normal.

The noise when taking your foot off the brake may be normal because all parts are new, the squeak noise is most likely caused by the aftermarket brake pads, ( I assume all parts are aftermarket ). Depending on the quality of the pads and the type of brake pad material will determine how quiet they will be. I always recommend original equipment for the pads and aftermarket for calipers and rotors because the pad is what creates a noise, not the rotors or calipers.

Your mechanic could have bent the backing plate on the backside of the rotors or could have left some debris between the rotor and the backing plates so I would definitely bring it back just so they can inspect their work.

Let me know if you have any more questions and keep me posted on what your mechanic finds.

gino on July 17, 2019:

hi eddie, i want to thank you so much for your imfo. i did the emergency brake fix and the noise disappeared. thank you so much and all the best to you.

Linda Knight1 on July 14, 2019:

Hi Eddie,

I just had new calipers, rotors, and brake pads put on the front of my car. Now I hear squeaking when I'm doing short stops, like when going through a drive-thru. I don't hear it on other stops, like when I'm stopping after driving up to a stop sign or light. I also am getting a groaning noise when I take my foot off the brake. Should I be concerned?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 11, 2019:

Hi Ali,

It's possible the noise is caused by the type of brake pads the mechanic installed, if they are not original equipment pads, the material used in the pad could contain a high percentage of metal flakes which would be the cause of your noise. Let me know if this helps.

Ali jaunbaccus on July 11, 2019:

Hi Eddie, I'm a student from Malaysia. There's this really annoying noise that comes from the front wheels (i think it's only on the right side, not sure). It's a squeaky noise that appears when i brake lightly but it disappears when i brake harder. Recently my mechanic changed brake disk and pads (due to a grinding noise) and it was all ok for the first few days, now the squeaky noise is back (it was there for the whole of last year, i didn't say anything because i was fed up of my car going to the mechanic again and again and i need it daily). Any ideas what may be the problem? Pls help

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 08, 2019:

Hi John,

Did you look at the inner pads (closely?) or did you just peak at the outer pads without removing the wheels?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 08, 2019:

Hi Brandon,

Not sure what I did but I'm glad you figured it out lol :)

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 08, 2019:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the feedback, if you ever need any automotive advice, you know where to find me :)

Robert Molek from Manitou Springs, CO on July 08, 2019:

Hi Eddie,

Thank you for the great data, I do need refreshed quite often at times. Thanks

john on July 05, 2019:

what would make my 02 gmc envoy make agrinding and loud clicking noise when I apply my brakes the noise is coming from my left rear wheel I checked the brake pads still have a lot of wear left on them,

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 26, 2019:

Hi Chris,

It sounds to me like the rotor is not sitting flat on the hub, like you have some rust built up under that needed to be cleaned before installing the rotors. I recommend you check this out first and keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 26, 2019:

Hi B. Washington,

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback, I really appreciate it :)

Christopher botts on June 23, 2019:

Question just did a full break job rotors calipers pads lines and the back driver side is making a scrubbing sound and even dug into the top back side of the rotor but not the hole rotor and not all the way a round the rotor

B. Washington on June 20, 2019:

you are sooo helpful; you got straight to my car problem. i mean you nailed it. thx so much!!

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 19, 2019:

Hi Theo,

If you think the front brakes are inferior parts I recommend replacing them with upgraded brakes. The brakes are very important and spending a little extra to get quality parts is not a bad idea, even if it only a test. Keep me posted on what you decide to do, thanks.

Theo on June 19, 2019:


My car makes a deep groaning/creaking noise as I come to a complete stop and only then. It occurs for a fraction of a second when stopping normally at the exact moment I reach a complete stop. If I brake harder, it'll be louder and start slightly before the complete stop is reached. The rotors are very cheap and uncoated (about $40 CAD each for 312x25/272x10 rotors). The pads likely aren't that great either. The car gets driven every day and this noise recently got more prominent after replacing a blown front strut and installing stiffer strut mounts and sway bar end links. Please let me know what you think, I tried to include as much relevant info as possible.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 05, 2019:

Hi Tamara,

I highly recommend you have the brakes checked ASAP!

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 05, 2019:

Hi Derrick,

Can you describe what it sounds like?

Derrick on May 30, 2019:

My car is making strange noises when stopped. It isnt a metal to metal sound

Tamara on May 30, 2019:

Im having grinding noise on the passenger fronte tire it only dose it when im going really slow while breaking

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 28, 2019:

Hi Christine,

Do you know if you have rear drum brakes? What is the year make and model of the vehicle?

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