Brake Noises 101: Defining What You Just Heard

Posted on December 8, 2018 by Lewis Automotive Inc in Auto Repair, Brake Repair

At some point in your driving career, you will have heard some weird noise come from your brakes. As soon as you do, a flood of thoughts come to mind and you’re left wondering if it’s even safe to drive your car anymore.

Well…it depends on what the sound was. Sometimes it’s a minor issue that will need work at some point soon, and other times it’s a major issue that will need servicing immediately. But don’t worry, the highly attuned ears at Lewis Automotive are “hear” (hahahahaha) to help you understand the meaning behind each sound.


We’ll start with the bad one. If you hear this sound, then it’s time for you to head to your local repair shop as quickly as possible. If you’re driving, stop immediately and have your vehicle towed to the shop.This usually means that the brake pads have completely worn out and the steel the brake pads were covering are grinding against the brake rotors. Failure to quickly replace these can cause severe damage to your brake rotors, leave you with expensive repair costs, and place you and your passengers in serious danger.

It’s that, or there is debris stuck in your brakes and you just need to remove it. For you, your car, and your wallet’s sake – let’s hope it’s this situation.


Hearing this sound means that it’s usually time to replace your brakes, but unlike the grinding, you don’t have to do it immediately. Depending on your vehicle, some brake pads are equipped with steel clips. Once the pads have worn down enough, these clips will rub together to warn the driver of the worn out pads (super useful)! This can also happen right after a brake repair, in which you should give it a day or two to adjust to the new brakes.

One last reason for the squealing could be when the brakes are glazing, which means the brake calipers are partially stuck together. If left stuck, it could expose the calipers to extreme heat and friction which will cause the pads to harden and crystallize (and we don’t want that!).

Written by Lewis Automotive Inc

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