If you have heard brake noise, more than likely the noise is a sign of trouble. However, brake noise comes in different varieties so it is difficult to tell exactly what each noise means. Brake noise can serve as an indicator that you have a little time left before it is time for a brake replacement service. It can also mean your brakes have worn down completely and you are ruining your brake rotors and other brake components. The two most common types of bad brake noise are squealing and grinding.
Squealing or squeaking noises usually indicate that your brake pads require replacement. Some brake pads are equipped with wear indicators in the form of small steel clips which make a squealing sound when the pad has worn down. While squealing can indicate that you need new brake pads, it can have other implications and meanings. Squealing can sometimes be heard after getting a brake pad or rotor replacement service. This should go away in a day or two once the pads break in. If you notice that there is still an issue, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.
Glazing on the brake pads can also cause them to make a squealing noise. Glazing occurs when brake calipers stick, causing the brakes to stay partially applied, which results in excessive friction and heat. This heat causes the pad to harden and crystallize, or glaze. Squealing can also be attributed to broken anti-rattle clips or worn-out brake pad insulation.
Grinding noises are an indication that something serious is wrong with your brake system. Sometimes, the noise could indicate that a small rock or a bit of debris has gotten inside the brakes, and the obstruction simply needs to be removed. Other times, however, a grinding noise can be heard when your brake pads have worn out completely, causing the steel backing of the worn-out pad to grind against the brake rotor. So if you do hear a grinding noise, get your car off the road and looked at by us as soon as possible.