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New Brakes Squeaking or Squealing – Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve recently heard unexpected high-pitched noises emanating from your car, there’s no need to hit the panic button just yet. We understand how irritating those squeaks and squeals can be, comparable to a sticky tune lodged in your mind. However, fear not! In our comprehensive article titled “New Brakes Squeaking or Squealing – Everything You Need to Know,” we will delve deep into the realm of brake noises. Whether you’re a seasoned motor enthusiast or someone who simply desires a well-maintained vehicle, rest assured, we’ve got you covered. So, fasten your seatbelt (pun intended) and let’s embark on a journey to explore the reasons, timing, and solutions to tackle those noisy brakes!

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Is It Normal For New Brakes To Squeak?

It is not uncommon for new brakes to emit a squeaking sound, and there are several factors that contribute to this occurrence. When you install fresh brake pads or shoes, they require some time to adapt and conform to the surface of the rotor or drum. This process, known as bedding-in, involves a certain level of friction and noise, resulting in the squeaking sounds that you may hear.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that certain brake pad materials inherently produce more noise than others. Therefore, the type of brake pads you select can influence the level of squeaking that you experience. However, it is important to keep in mind that while some amount of squeaking is normal during the break-in period, excessive or persistent squeaks could indicate improper installation, usage of low-quality brake pads, or underlying issues. If you find that the noise persists long after the break-in period or if it is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, it is recommended to seek professional inspection to ensure the safety and proper functionality of your brakes.

What Causes Brakes To Squeak Or Squeal?

Brakes squeaking or squealing can be a common issue, and several factors can contribute to these irritating noises:

  • Brake Pad Material: The composition of your brake pads plays a significant role in noise production. Semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads tend to be quieter than organic ones. Some low-quality or generic brake pads can also be noisier due to their composition.
  • Brake Pad Glazing: Over time, brake pads can develop a smooth, glossy surface due to excessive heat and friction. This glazing can reduce friction and cause squeaking. Resurfacing or replacing the pads may be necessary.
  • Brake Dust and Debris: Brake dust, dirt, and road debris can accumulate on the brake pads, causing noise. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent this issue.
  • Uneven Rotor or Drum Surface: Irregularities on the brake rotor or drum can lead to vibrations, causing the brake pads to vibrate and squeak. Resurfacing or replacing the rotor or drum may be required.
  • Improper Installation: If brake components are not installed correctly, it can lead to uneven contact between the pads and rotor or drum. Proper installation is crucial to prevent noise issues.
  • Moisture and Weather Conditions: Rain, humidity, or water splashing onto hot brake components can lead to temporary squeaking as the water evaporates. This typically disappears as the brakes heat up and dry out.
  • Worn Brake Warning Indicators: Many modern vehicles have wear indicators that emit a squeaking sound when the brake pads are close to needing replacement. This is a helpful reminder to check and replace your brake pads.
  • High-Performance Brakes: Some high-performance brake systems, especially those with aggressive brake pad materials, are designed to work optimally at high temperatures. These brakes may squeak during everyday driving because they are not within their ideal operating range.
  • Rust and Corrosion: Rust can form on the rotor or drum surface if the vehicle has been sitting for an extended period. This rust can initially cause squeaking but typically goes away after a few brake applications.
  • Worn Brake Hardware: The brake hardware, such as caliper pins, shims, and clips, can wear out or become damaged over time. This can lead to improper pad movement and noise.

It’s important to note that while some brake squeaking is normal, excessively loud, persistent, or changing noises should be investigated promptly. Regular brake inspections, proper maintenance, and using high-quality brake components can help minimize brake noise and ensure your braking system’s safety and performance. If you’re concerned about your brakes, consult a professional mechanic for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

How To Fix Brake Squeaking Or Squealing?

Fixing brake squeaking or squealing can be a relatively straightforward process, but it requires identifying the root cause of the noise and taking appropriate corrective actions. Here are detailed steps to help you address this issue:

1. Determine The Cause

Start by identifying when the squeaking occurs. Is it during light or heavy braking? Does it happen when you’re driving at a specific speed or in particular weather conditions? Pinpointing when the noise occurs can provide valuable clues.

2. Check Brake Pad Thickness

Inspect the thickness of your brake pads. If they are too thin, they may need replacement. Most brake pads have a wear indicator that will make a squeaking noise when it’s time to change them.

3. Clean The Brake Components

Remove the wheels and clean the brake components thoroughly. Use a brake cleaner to remove brake dust, dirt, and debris from the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and surrounding areas. Ensure all components are free from contamination.

4. Resurface or Replace Rotors/Drums

If you find the rotors or drums are uneven or have grooves, they may need resurfacing or replacement. This can often resolve squeaking caused by irregularities in the braking surface.

5. Lubricate Brake Components

Apply brake lubricant or anti-squeal compound to the back of the brake pads and any points where the pads make contact with caliper hardware or shims. This can reduce vibrations and noise.

6. Inspect and Replace Brake Hardware

Check the condition of brake hardware such as caliper pins, shims, clips, and springs. Worn or damaged hardware can lead to uneven brake pad movement and noise. Replace any damaged or worn components.

7. Consider High-Quality Brake Pads

If the noise persists after trying the above steps, consider switching to high-quality brake pads, such as ceramic or semi-metallic ones. These materials often produce less noise than organic pads.

8. Bed-In The Brakes

After any brake work or component replacement, it’s essential to properly bed-in the brakes. This involves gradually increasing braking force to heat and transfer an even layer of friction material onto the rotor or drum surface.

9. Check For Proper Installation

Ensure that all brake components, including pads, rotors, calipers, and hardware, are installed correctly. Proper alignment and torque specifications are crucial.

10. Inspect For Other Issues

Sometimes, squeaking can be a symptom of other issues like worn suspension components or loose brake shields. Inspect the entire brake system and surrounding components for potential problems.

11. Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried the above steps and the squeaking continues or worsens, it’s advisable to seek the expertise of a professional mechanic. They can conduct a thorough inspection, diagnose the issue accurately, and perform any necessary repairs.

Remember that addressing brake noise promptly not only ensures a quieter driving experience but also helps maintain the safety and performance of your vehicle’s braking system. Always prioritize safety when dealing with brake-related issues.

Will Brakes Stop Squeaking on Their Own?

Brakes may stop squeaking on their own in some cases, but it depends on the underlying cause of the squeaking. Here are some scenarios:

  • Brake Bed-In Process: When you install new brake pads or have them replaced, it’s normal for them to squeak during the initial break-in period. This noise typically diminishes as the pads properly seat themselves against the rotors or drums. After a few hundred miles of driving and braking, the squeaking should naturally subside.
  • Temporary Moisture-Related Squeaking: If your brakes squeak due to moisture, such as rain or splashing through puddles, this is usually a temporary issue. As the brakes heat up and dry out, the squeaking should go away on its own.

However, if the squeaking continues or worsens over time, it’s essential to investigate the issue further, as it could be a sign of a more significant problem. Persistent squeaking could indicate:

In these cases, the squeaking will not go away on its own, and it’s crucial to take action to prevent potential safety risks and further damage to your braking system. If you’re uncertain about the cause of the squeaking or how to resolve it, it’s a good idea to consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and address the issue properly. Neglecting brake noise that persists can lead to reduced braking performance and safety concerns.

How To Take Care Of a New Brake Pads?

  • Gradually bed-in the brakes by applying gentle, progressive braking for the first few hundred miles.
  • Avoid heavy or sudden braking during the break-in period to prevent glazing.
  • Keep your brake components clean from dirt and brake dust.
  • Regularly inspect brake pads for wear and replace them when necessary.
  • Maintain proper brake fluid levels and ensure no leaks in the brake system.
  • Address any unusual noises or vibrations promptly with a professional inspection.
  • Choose high-quality brake pads for improved performance and longevity.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and usage.

When To Take Your Car Back To The Repair Shop?

If you experience persistent or worsening issues with your vehicle, notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or warning lights on the dashboard, or suspect incomplete initial repair work, it may be prudent to consider returning your car to the repair shop. Additionally, scheduled maintenance services like oil changes, brake inspections, or tire rotations are necessary to ensure reliability and safety. Seeking professional advice and diagnosis from a reputable repair shop can prevent minor issues from escalating into costly repairs, maintaining the smooth operation of your vehicle.


In wrapping up our guide on new brake squeaking or squealing, remember that these noises are often part of the braking system’s normal behavior, especially during the initial break-in period. However, it’s crucial to be attentive to changes in the sound or persistence of the noise, as it could indicate underlying issues that require attention. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY mechanic or rely on professional service, understanding the causes and solutions for brake noises empowers you to keep your vehicle safe and quiet on the road. Regular maintenance, proper installation, and choosing high-quality brake components are your allies in ensuring your brakes not only perform flawlessly but also keep those pesky squeaks at bay. So, here’s to smoother, quieter rides and brakes you can trust!

New Brakes Squeaking or Squealing – FAQs

1. Can I Spray Something on My Brakes to Stop Them From Squeaking?

Ans: While it’s tempting to use sprays or lubricants to stop brake squeaking, it’s generally not recommended. These products can compromise brake performance and safety. Instead, address the root cause of the squeaking by ensuring proper installation, using high-quality brake pads, and maintaining clean brake components. If the noise persists, consult a professional mechanic for a safe and effective solution.

2. Is It Safe to Drive If Brakes Are Squeaking or Squealing?

Ans: While it’s generally safe to drive when your brakes are squeaking or squealing, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly. These noises often indicate minor problems, but they can also signal more significant brake system issues. Have your brakes inspected as soon as possible to ensure they are functioning correctly and maintain your vehicle’s safety. Ignoring persistent or changing brake noises could lead to decreased braking performance and potential safety risks.

3. Are there any other brake noises?

Ans: Yes, there are several other brake-related noises to be aware of:
*Grinding: A grinding noise often indicates that the brake pads have worn down to the metal, which can severely damage the rotors or drums. This situation requires immediate attention.
*Clicking or Popping: These sounds may suggest a loose or damaged brake caliper, hardware, or worn-out components that need inspection and potential replacement.
*Hissing or Sizzling: If you hear a hissing or sizzling noise after driving through water, it’s likely the sound of water contacting hot brake components. This is usually temporary and not a cause for concern.
*Clunking: A clunking noise when applying the brakes could be due to loose or worn suspension components or worn-out brake parts, which should be examined by a professional.

Always pay attention to any unusual sounds coming from your brakes, as they can indicate potential issues with your vehicle’s braking system that may need immediate attention.

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