TechTalk Squeaking brakes

Published on September 4th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Boss Please Check, My Brakes Making A Squeaking Noise

Listening to some drivers complain about a squeaking noise from their brakes is common today.

We often hear drivers complaining to their mechanic (when we happen to visit our regular mechanic or tyre shop) about a squeaking noise from their front tyre or when they use their brakes or even when they are taking a slow left or right turn.

Squeaking Brake Discs

The polite mechanic will listen, take note and then ask for the squeak to be better described. This is when the situation gets more interesting for us sitting watching this ‘show’.

Finally, it is time for the slow test drive with the mechanic and with the front windows down. They take a few minutes and return and for most of the time a quick squirt with some WD40 (the miracle product) or some removal of debris from the front wheel housing solves the problem.

So why do my brakes squeak?

Brakes Squeaking

Heavy loads

If you regularly carry lots of passengers or shift heavy loads in your car, then you may find that your brakes might squeak more than they should. The heavier your vehicle, the more energy it will take to slow it down, which puts more pressure on the brakes.

As the brakes get hot, the metal can swell, making the noise worse. Again, this is nothing to worry about, however you may want to get your brakes checked more frequently, as they could wear down faster.

Squeaking Brakes


You may notice that your brakes make a grinding noise in the morning. This sound is likely to be less of a squeak and more of a grating noise. When the car has been left unused overnight or worse, a few days, moisture can build up around the brake pads, which can even lead to the creation of a thin layer of brown rust.

The first time you apply the brakes in the morning, this rust will be removed, as will any excess moisture. This noise isn’t anything to worry about.

Squeaking brake pads

Embedded objects

There’s a lot of sand, small stones and other materials on the roads that can become embedded in your brakes. You usually will not notice these, unless a particularly large piece of plastic or grime has become stuck. In most cases, the noise you can hear is the grime being pushed into the brake pad by the caliper. This can cause minor damage to your brakes, but the grime should become loose by itself and work its way out.

Squeaking brakes after rain

Worn-down brake pads

In most cases, the brake pads have worn too thin. As you press the brake pedal, the brake caliper will clamp around the pad, applying pressure to slow the wheel down. When this happens, friction is created that turns into heat, dispelling the kinetic energy that the car has produced through moving.

Imagine that every time the brakes are applied, a very thin layer of metal is shaved off the pad. Over time, this will cause your pads to become thinner and thinner. This is why they eventually need replacing (please use genuine pads from the manufacturer).

Squeaking brakes after heavy driving

Time to check your brakes? Well whenever you service your car. Or whenever you visit your trusted tyre shop. Do not forget, please as brakes are important for your safety.

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