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Diagnosing Brake Noises and Symptoms

Machine Rotors

December 30, 2022 Topic: How To

Brake noises can be a sign that your car needs repair or maintenance. It’s essential to pay attention to these noises and address the issue promptly, as faulty brakes can be dangerous and potentially cause accidents.
Here are some common brake noises and how to diagnose the issue:

Squealing or screeching

This high-pitched noise is often caused by worn brake pads. The metal wear indicator can rub against the rotor when the pads wear down, causing a squealing noise. To diagnose this issue, visually inspect the brake pads and measure their thickness. If they are thin or worn down, it’s time to replace the pads.

Grinding or growling

This low-pitched noise is often caused by metal-on-metal contact within the brake system. This can be caused by worn brake pads or rotors that have become too thin. In some cases, the brake pads may have completely worn out and the metal backing plate is grinding against the rotor. To diagnose this issue, visually inspect the rotors for heavy grooving. If they are heavily grooved, it’s time for rotor and pad replacement.

Clicking or tapping

Loose or damaged brake components, such as the caliper or brake pad shims often cause this noise. To diagnose this issue, visually inspect the brake components and look for any signs of damage or looseness. If any components are damaged or loose, they will need to be repaired or replaced.

Spongy or soft brake pedal

This issue is often caused by air in the brake lines or a problem with the brake booster. To diagnose this issue, check the brake fluid level and look for leaks in the brake lines. If the fluid level is low or there are leaks in the lines, the brake system will need to be repaired.

Worn or distorted rotors

If the rotors on your car are worn or distorted, they may cause the brakes to vibrate when stopping. Rotors can become worn or warped from everyday use over time or from heavy braking or driving conditions. A mechanic will visually inspect the rotors and measure the rotor runout. If the rotors are worn or warped, they will need to be replaced with new rotors and pads.

If you’re experiencing any of these brake noises or issues, a mechanic must inspect your car as soon as possible. Brake problems can be dangerous and should not be ignored. At Brakes To Go we can inspect your brakes at no cost to you with availability as soon as today! Call 512-585-1845 for an easy appointment or get a free quote here.