Why Are My Brakes Making Noise?
You step on the brake pedal and there’s a squeal, a groan, a grinding noise or other obnoxious sound. Does it mean your brakes need to be replaced? Not always.
Consider the fact that noise always comes from a vibration of some sort. That means that thousands of times a second, your brake pads are gripping and letting go. Sometimes this can be an issue with the brand of brake pads used and the composition of the friction material. Anti-squeal compound is available to help dampen these vibrations and quiet the noise.
Sometimes a groaning or squealing sound is the result of rainy weather. A film of water on the rotors can result in a light coating of rust first thing in the morning, and the brake pads buff that rust away, making noise. If you’re driving in rainy weather and hit a puddle, it’s advisable to “ride the brakes” for a short time to squeegee away any water from the rotors.
Some drivers complain of a thumping noise from the rear end while braking. This one can be maddening for the driver and technician both…but if you’ve got an older vehicle that has drum brakes in the rear, the thump can be due to a slight irregularity in the drum’s lining. The drum is pan-shaped, and brake shoes expand internally to drag on the drum and slow the vehicle down. Resurfacing the drum lining is usually enough to fix the thump.
When you step on the brakes and hear a metal-on-metal grinding noise, though, that’s a different story. That means your brakes have worn to a point where the wear indicators are dragging on the rotors, or worse yet, the metal backing plates and rivets for the pads are exposed. That means your rotors are being destroyed and you’re driving a very unsafe vehicle! You’ll also notice a decline in braking performance, excessive brake pedal travel and longer stopping distances with this grinding noise.
Are your brakes making noise, or is it just time for brake service? Make an appointment with us at Boyd’s Tire & Service in Columbus, OH!