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Why are my brakes squeaking?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 02:20 PM

are your car brakes squeaking?

So you’re driving towards an intersection in your car and you hit the brakes to slow down, which suddenly results in a very distinct, piercing squeak.  It can be embarrassing and a little worrisome, but in most cases it’s not serious.  For a guide to what might be causing your squeaking brakes problem, see the points below:

  • The brake pads are moving in their caliper brackets.  When your brakes start squeaking, it is usually due to a vibration in one of the brake components.  Bring your vehicle to your Harford County mechanic, such as Ward Automotive, and we will clean and lubricate the brake pad backing plates with high temperature brake grease.  We will also clean and lubricate the abutment clips and the caliper brackets to ensure that every component will function properly.

  • The surface of the rotors has become glazed.  If you find yourself doing a lot of high speed stopping, unfortunately this kind of wear can cause your rotor surfaces to become glazed.  When the surfaces are glazed, the brake pads begin to vibrate on the brake rotors and make that squealing sound.  At Ward Automotive, we can resurface your rotors with our brake rotor lathe, then clean and lubricate the brake pad shims and abutment clips. 

  • Surface rust has developed.  If your brakes squeak only in the morning, it is most likely due to surface rust.  What happens is that moisture develops on the rotors due to overnight temperature changes and this causes a small amount of rust to develop on the surface.  This is usually harmless and goes away after a few applications of the brake pads (basically after you use your brakes a few times).  There is no need to hit your brakes unnecessarily to get rid of the rust.  Just drive as you would normally and gently apply the brakes whenever deceleration is needed.  If the squeaking sound does not go away, it might be due to another problem listed here.

  • Your brakes need to be replaced.  A really great feature of most OEM quality brake pads is that they have what we call “squealers” installed.  When your brakes have been worn down and are ready to be replaced, the squealers produce their telltale sound, which is to let you know that your brakes have reached their surface limit.  Definitely be sure to take this warning seriously.  It can be extremely dangerous to drive on worn out brakes!    

At Ward Automotive in Harford County, Maryland, we can service all of your brake and rotor needs.  If you ever have a question or concern about the condition of your brakes, bring your car in for an examination.  We will make sure that your car is safe and healthy to be on the road.  And remember—we service all of the towns in Harford County, including Aberdeen, Bel Air, Burns Corner, Darlington, Edgewood, Fallston, Havre de Grace, Hickory Hills, Jarrettsville, Joppatowne, Perryman, Pleasant Hills, Pylesville, and Riverside.  At Bel Air Autobody and Ward Automotive, we hope to be the shop for all of your auto repair needs.

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Topics: Harford county Mechanic, Brakes, car repair Bel Air, brake problems, brake noises, car problems, bad brakes, squeaking brakes