Your Noisy Brakes: They’re Telling You Something — Do You Know What?

noisy brakesHaving noisy brakes on your car could indicate a problem or just be a minor annoyance. Considering how important brakes are to your safety, though, you’re better off knowing exactly what your noisy brakes are trying to tell you.

Here’s a basic diagnostic guide for noisy brakes, based on the type of sound they make:

  • Loud, consistent squeals are caused by wear indicators, also referred to as “squealers.” These small pieces of metal are designed specifically to make noise when your brake pads are due for replacement.
  • Quieter, intermittent squeals or squeaks are often just part of normal operation when using semi-metallic brake pads. Such noises probably don’t indicate a problem, especially if they only occur when the brakes are cold or it’s humid or raining.
  • Grinding noises aren’t a problem if the car hasn’t been driven in a while, such as when taking a car out of storage, as long as the noise disappears after driving for a day or two. If the grinding persists, you should have it checked by a mechanic.
  • Groaning noises can occur when the ABS system engages on a slick driving surface, or if you’re idling forward and have the brake pedal just slightly depressed. In those situations, noisy brakes are normal. If groaning noises occur at other times, though, you may have a problem.
  • A single click may occur on some cars when you first start moving and are traveling less than 10 mph. This is caused by the ABS system running a self-diagnostic. In such cases, it’s not a concern.

When your noisy brakes do indicate a problem or don’t fit into the categories above, you should take your car in for repairs.

Some brake repairs are minor; others can become costly. On an older vehicle, it sometimes comes down to a question of whether to repair your car or replace it. If you do need to upgrade your car, you can find a well-maintained, low-mileage lease vehicle here at Contact us today to learn how lease swapping could work for you.

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