Brakes Are Squealing: Causes and Solutions

Car BrakesSource:


Have you ever heard a loud, high-pitched noise when you press the brakes of your car? That sound is an indication that your brakes are squealing. This article will discuss the causes of brake squealing and provide some solutions to this problem.

Causes of Brake Squealing

There are several reasons why your brakes may be squealing:

Brake PadsSource:

1. Worn Brake Pads

Brake pads are designed to wear down over time. As they wear, they become thinner and less effective at stopping your car. When the brake pads become too thin, they can start to squeal as they rub against the rotor.

2. Glazed Brake Pads

Brake pads can also become glazed if they get too hot. Glazing occurs when the brake pad material becomes hard and shiny, reducing its ability to grip the rotor. When this happens, the brakes may start to squeal.

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Brake RotorsSource:

3. Worn Brake Rotors

The brake rotor is the part of the braking system that the brake pads grip to stop the car. Over time, the rotor can become worn or warped, making it difficult for the brake pads to grip properly. When this happens, the brakes may start to squeal.

4. Dirt and Debris

Dirt and debris can accumulate on the brake pads and rotor, causing them to make noise when the brakes are applied. This can be especially true in areas with a lot of gravel or dirt roads.

Solutions to Brake Squealing

The solutions to brake squealing will depend on the cause of the problem:

1. Replace Worn Brake Pads

If your brake pads are worn, the best solution is to replace them. Most brake pads are designed to last around 50,000 miles, but this can vary depending on your driving habits. If you hear a squealing noise when you apply the brakes, it’s a good idea to have them checked by a mechanic.

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2. Resurface or Replace Worn Brake Rotors

If your brake rotors are worn or warped, they may need to be resurfaced or replaced. Resurfacing involves removing a thin layer of the rotor to make it smooth again. If the rotor is too thin or warped, it will need to be replaced.

3. Clean the Brake System

If dirt and debris are causing your brakes to squeal, cleaning the brake system can help. This involves removing the wheels and cleaning the brake pads and rotor with a brake cleaner. It’s important to use a brake cleaner that is safe for your particular type of brake system.

Brake FluidSource:

4. Check the Brake Fluid

Low brake fluid levels can also cause your brakes to squeal. If the fluid level is low, it may be a sign of a leak in the brake system. Have your brakes checked by a mechanic if you notice low brake fluid levels.


Brake squealing can be a frustrating problem, but it’s important to address it before it becomes a safety issue. By understanding the causes of brake squealing and taking the appropriate steps to fix the problem, you can keep your brakes in good working order and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

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About the Author: D. Jolly