Squeeky Car Brakes
New Pads Need Bedding-In
New brake pads require a period of ‘bedding-in' where they are gradually broken in to achieve optimal performance. During this period, you might hear some squeaking noises. This usually resolves itself after a few hundred miles of regular driving.
If the brake pads are not installed properly, it can cause the brakes to squeak. This might be because the pads are not aligned properly or because hardware was not installed correctly.
Some low-quality or budget brake pads are made of hard materials that are more likely to produce noise. Other quality brake pads like ceramic brake pads normally do not squeek or squeal.
If anti-squeal shims, lubrication, or anti-vibration compounds are not applied during installation, it can lead to vibration when the brakes are applied, causing a squeaking noise.
If the brake rotors are not resurfaced or replaced during the brake pad replacement, it might cause squeaking. The old rotor surface may not be compatible with the new pads, causing them to squeak.
Pad and Rotor Mismatch
Brake pads and rotors come in a variety of materials, and not all materials are compatible with one another. If there's a mismatch, it could cause squeaking.
Rust on Rotors
If the car has been parked for an extended period, rust can form on the rotor surface and cause a squeak until it's been worn off.
If the brakes have been used hard before the new pads have had a chance to bed-in, this can cause glazing on the surface of the pads, which can result in squeaking.
Brake Dust Accumulation
Over time, brake dust can accumulate on the brake parts, leading to squeaking. This is less likely with brand new pads but can occur if the entire brake assembly wasn't thoroughly cleaned during the brake job.
Caliper Guide Pins Need Lubrication
The brake caliper guide pins allow the caliper to slide in and out smoothly when the brakes are applied. If these pins aren't properly lubricated, it can cause the brakes to squeak.
Remember, consistent squeaking, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like vibration or poor brake performance, should be checked out by a professional to ensure there isn't a more serious issue
If the brake squeak continues after a few hundred miles, it would be a good idea to have a professional take a look to ensure everything is as it should be. However, if the brakes are working properly and the squeak is merely annoying and not indicative of a larger problem, it's usually something that you can safely ignore.
Typical Questions & Answers
Q: “Why are my new brake pads squeaking?”
A: New brake pads can squeak due to several reasons including improper installation, pad and rotor mismatch, the need for a bedding-in period, the use of low-quality brake pads, vibration due to lack of lubrication or anti-squeal compounds, rust on the rotors, or dust accumulation.
Q: “How long will new brakes squeak?”
A: New brake pads typically squeak for a few hundred miles during the initial bedding-in period. If the squeaking persists beyond this period, you might want a professional to look at them.
Q: “How to stop new brake pads from squeaking?”
A: Ensure they are installed correctly with the right anti-squeal compounds or shims and compatible with the rotors. Also, ensure the caliper guide pins are lubricated and the rotors are clean. Finally, follow a proper bedding-in procedure to allow the brake pads to acclimate to the rotors.
Q: “Are squeaky new brakes a sign of a problem?”
A: Not necessarily. Some noise level might be expected during the initial bedding-in period of new brake pads. However, a professional should check persistent squeaking, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like reduced brake performance or vibration, to ensure there isn't a more serious issue.
Q: “Is it normal for new brakes and rotors to squeak?”
A: Due to the bedding-in process, some squeaking might be expected when new brakes and rotors are first installed. But this should diminish and eventually disappear after a few hundred miles of regular driving. Persistent noise could suggest an installation issue, a material mismatch, or another problem and should be checked out.
In conclusion, new brake pads may squeak for various reasons, including improper installation, a mismatch between pad and rotor materials, the absence of anti-squeal compounds, or the need for a bedding-in period. This squeaking is usually expected and normal for the first few hundred miles of driving.
However, if the squeaking persists beyond this initial period, it might indicate a problem that requires professional attention, such as improper installation, use of low-quality materials, or other brake system issues. Regular brake maintenance and using quality parts during brake service are essential to minimize brake noise and ensure your vehicle's brake system functions properly.
Remember, the braking system is critical to your vehicle's safety, so addressing any potential issues is important.