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Noisy Brakes: Main Causes and Potential Repairs

Noisy brakes

Some of the common noisy brakes you might experience include:

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  1. Squeaking or squealing brakes due to an issue with the brake pads, brake dirt, glazed drums, or brake material quality.
  2. Grinding brakes due to an issue with worn-out brakes, sticking cylinder or caliper, or insufficient lubrication.
  3. Vibrating or rattling brakes due to issues with dirt in the brakes, brake adjustment, or rotor malfunctioning.

The braking system is one of the most critical systems in your vehicle because it has to do with your safety. Over time of use, the braking system is expected to have many issues that you might need to deal with as soon as you notice. Detecting brakes problems early helps you solve the issue without installing major components, so you don't have to worry about high repair costs.

Luckily, there are some common unique brake noises indicating internal issues. However, whenever you notice all these noises, you must consult your mechanic and have him perform a thorough inspection to resolve the issue before it evolves and put your life at risk.

This article provides you with all the standard noisy brakes that you might encounter, along with the different causes and solutions.

What are the common types of noisy brakes?

Noisy brakes can be extremely scary since they might be linked to internal issues that could affect controlling your vehicle. So, let's take a closer look at some of the common brake noises that you might encounter during the lifetime of your vehicle.

  1. Squeaking or squealing brakes

When your noisy brakes sound like squealing or squeaking, the problem is most likely related to worn brake pads, dirty brakes, glazed brake drum, insufficient lubrication, and issues with your brake quality.

Brake pads

One of the most common causes for squealing and squeaking noises in your brake system can be related to worn-out brake pads. The brakes rub against the specific metal disc, and as these brakes age, they wear out until they start grinding against the disks to generate the squealing or squeaking noise.

Possible repairs

If you confirm that the issue has to do with your brake pads, the only solution is to replace the worn-out brake pads with newer ones. However, in some scenarios, ignoring worn-out brake pads might lead to breaking the brake rotors, which you don't want to get involved in.

Brakes dirt

If you frequently drive on dusty roads, dirt can get inside the braking system and cause squealing or squeaking noises because the disc is no longer even with the brakes. Dust might even result in damaging the drum brakes more often.

Possible repairs

Allow your mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of the braking system and clean up all debris or contaminants to get the vehicle to work properly without making any squealing or squeaking noises.

Glazed drum

In some scenarios, the drum or the rotor might wear out over time as a result; you'll end up with a drum that looks like a glazed drum, which impacts its performance and might result in squealing or squeaking noises.

Possible repairs

Once your mechanic confirms the issue with the drum or the rotor, he might need to either replace the part or take care of any heat spots that caused the problem.

Insufficient lubrication

The braking system requires a specific level of lubrication through the braking fluids. When there are any leaks internally or externally, the braking system might start making weird squeaking or squealing noises due to the sticky movement.

Possible repairs

Suppose you're lucky enough and you’re squeaking, or squealing noise is coming from insufficient lubrication. In that case, the solution is very straightforward, and all you must do is have the mechanic lubricate the internal components using the right type of fluid. First, your mechanic must confirm that all components like the caliper, backing plates, piston, and rotor are fully lubricated.

Issues with the brake material

If the brakes are not created from good material, you might deal with squeaking or squealing noises prematurely because these brakes might break out earlier than the higher qualities.

Possible repairs

Obviously, experts recommend that you go with high-quality friction material in your baking, even if it costs you a little bit more. However, that braking system has to leave your safety. If you fail to control the vehicle, you can easily get yourself involved in major car accidents that will cost you thousands of dollars, which is 10 times if not more than investing in a high-quality braking system.

  1. Grinding brakes

Along with the squealing and squeaking noises, your brakes might make something like a grinding noise. Let's take a closer look at what could cause this grinding noise and what are the different possible solutions:

Worn brakes shoes

Whenever you hear grinding noises coming from the braking system, the issue is most likely has to do with a worn-out brake shoe. Obviously, when the brake shoe wears out, much heat is generated due to friction, causing loud grinding noises.

Possible repairs

Your mechanic needs to inspect the brake shoes and confirm that they're in good condition. Otherwise, he might need to install new ones. It is advised that you inspect all brake shoes even though the issue has to do with one side, not the other. Typically, when once she wears out, the rest also might wear out soon.

Sticking wheel cylinder or caliper

If you're driving a vehicle equipped with a disc braking system, you might deal with issues that have to do with a sticky wheel cylinder or sticky caliper. This happens whenever the braking pad presses against the disk.

On the other hand, if you're driving a vehicle equipped with a drum braking system, the grinding noise might come whatever the wheel shoulder gets stuck against the drum.

Possible repairs

Depending on the type of ranking system you have, your mechanic needs to inspect the proper components. For example, the mechanic might need to lubricate the caliper and ensure it's not stuck. Similarly, the mechanic might need to lubricate the wheel cylinder and ensure it doesn't get compressed against the drum.

  1. Vibrating or rattling brakes

When your braking system makes something like a vibration or rattle Ling, the issue has to do with either a raft rotor, the brake hardware adjustments, and problems with dirt getting into the caliper slides.

Dirt in the caliper slides

When the caliper slides have any dust or contaminants, they impact your vehicle's performance. Therefore, you might notice something like cluttering or vibrations whenever you engage the brakes.

Possible repairs

Your mechanic needs to inspect the caliper slides and remove any contaminants or debris that made its way to the system. Then, your mechanic might need to lubricate the system to ensure a full clean-up. If the issue was ignored for a long time, you might end up replacing some of the core components in the braking system.

Issues with the brake hardware adjustment

Another comment reason for brakes vibration and quartering has to do with improper brakes hardware adjustment. Therefore, we recommend that you monitor whether this issue happened recently or since you purchased the vehicle.

Possible repairs

Once your mechanic thoroughly checks the braking system, he must confirm that the vehicle is properly aligned and there are no damages to the anti-rattle clip or the wheel bearings.

Malfunctioning rotor

Finally, the vibrations or the rattling noise might come from your braking system due to an issue with wrapped rotors. Anytime you notice the bumping or vibrating steering wheels, the issue might be related to the rotor itself.

Possible repairs

In most scenarios, if the rattling noise has to do with the rotor, you might end up replacing the entire component to make sure that these noises are not happening anymore.

How much does it cost to fix noisy brakes?

Fixing noisy brakes requires a wide range of repair costs that differ significantly depending on the faulty component.

For example, if your issue has to deal with a bad brake pad, it might cost you about $150 per axle, which means you might need to pay about $300 for the two axles. This price range might be different than your vehicles because it depends on the vehicles type and the location where you get the job done.

On the other hand, if the issue has to do with a bad rotor, repair costs can jump up to range from $250 and $500. This range only covers one axle, which means that you have to double the price if you plan to replace both axles' rotors.

However, if the issue is improper wheel alignments, repair costs can be somewhere between $50 and $75 for two wheels. A full wheel alignment will cause to somewhere between $100 and $150.

Finally, replacing the brake shoe should cost you between $199 and $275. But, of course, if you're planning to replace multiple shoes simultaneously, costs can pile up and become slightly unaffordable, especially if you're driving an older vehicle.

Is it worth fixing noisy brakes?

Whether it's worth or not worth fixing your vehicle's brake noises, you must fix it or gets rid of the vehicle. This is because the braking system is not a component that can go wrong while driving the vehicle because it impacts the way you handle the car and might put your life at risk if it's not working properly.

Therefore, if you're wondering is it worth fixing noisy brakes or not, the short answer is independence. For example, if repair costs to fix the noisy brakes are close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, it might not be worth the investment, and instead, experts recommend that you sell the car and use its money to purchase a better vehicle.

On the other hand, if your problem involves lubricating some of the internal components, repair costs might not be a lot, which means that you would need to fix the vehicle brakes.

Can I fix noisy brakes by myself?

Depending on the type of brake noise and the faulty components, there are some instances where you can get rid of the noisy brakes by yourself. However, there are other instances where the issue is more complicated and requires advanced mechanical skill sets.

For example, if all the issue is lubrication, you can easily apply some grease to lubricate the brake pads and get rid of any squealing or squeaking noises. However, if the problem is a broken rotor or a damaged disc, this requires a higher mechanical skill set.

You might already have these mechanical skill sets, which means that you can do the job yourself. However, although there are many online tutorials to help you resolve the issue yourself, we recommend that you leave it to experts and never experience it on your vehicle.

Remember that the braking system has to do with your safety and introducing any mistake will cost you a ton if not causing your life. Imagine if whatever you tried did not work and the braking system did not engage anymore, or you could not control the vehicle? What will happen?!


In every vehicle, you must confirm that the braking system is working properly to control the vehicle and prevent dealing with major car accidents. Learning about the different noises that could come from your braking system is extremely useful to help detect problems early and fix them with the lowest repair costs.

This article walked you through the common types of noisy bricks that you might experience during the lifetime of your car. Some of these noises are squealing and squeaking brakes, grinding brakes, rattling, and vibrating brakes. Whenever you notice any of these symptoms, you must have your mechanic inspect the vehicle and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

No matter how much time and investment you put towards fixing the braking system, it might not be worth your investment if your vehicle doesn't have the basic mechanical status. In other words, if your car has major issues with the engine or the transmission, it might be worth investigating whether you should sell the vehicle and use its money towards buying a better car or not.

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