Brake Noise May Mean Brake Repairs

by Don Elliott on October 12, 2011

Pay attention to your car when it is talking to you. Any noise, unusual lights, vibration, or handling issues are your car’s way of telling you that something may be wrong. Knowing how to recognize different sounds and other sensations will keep you and your passengers safely on the road.

Although brakes are not very complicated devices, I highly recommend having all of your brake repair work done by an ASE certified mechanic in a quality automotive repair shop. There are tricks to brake repair that will assure the best performance, resolve unseen problems, and help to avoid annoying problems like an inferior brake pad squealing noise from installing inferior brake pads.

Cars and light duty trucks have two types of brakes, disc and drum. Most cars have disc brakes on the front and disc or drum brakes on the rear. Disc brakes are generally considered to be superior in both endurance and performance. Drum brakes are less expensive and can double as a parking brake. Both types of brakes make similar noises when there is a problem and it can come from any of the wheels. The front brakes do seventy percent of the work. They do more work because the weight of the car shifts when the brakes are applied. This causes the front brakes to wear out faster than the rear brakes.

Grinding – A grinding noise is a bad thing. Most often, a grinding noise indicates that the brake pads, or shoes, have worn. This causes metal to rub against metal, indicating the need for brake repair.

Squealing – Squealing can indicate one or several problems. Road debris or rust on the rotors can cause squealing sounds that are annoying. However, this will either go away on its own or can be fixed by flushing the brakes with fresh water. More often, the brake pads become worn and the metal parts get loose. The loose metal parts will vibrate, causing the squeal. The solution is to replace the worn brake pads. On some GM cars, there is a brake pad warning indicator. The indicator will squeal to alert the driver that it’s time to replace the brake pads. However, the GM warning indicator quits squealing when the brakes are applied. Pulsing – There are other indicators besides sound. When pulsing is felt in the brake pedal, it can be an indication that the brake rotors have become warped. Warped rotors can be refinished on a brake lathe, a special piece of shop equipment. Out-of-round rotors can cause premature brake wear.

A car that pulls to the right or left when the brakes are applied will need the brakes adjusted. If the brake pedal feels soft or mushy, it can be the sign of a brake fluid leak. If it is necessary to pump the brakes for them to provide any stopping power, the pressure in your brake lines has been compromised. Go to the auto repair shop right away to have brake repairs completed. Otherwise, the next sound you hear could be a loud crash after the brakes fail completely.

Google+ Comments

Previous post:

Next post: