Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?
At Land Rover Albuquerque, we’re often asked “Why are my brakes squeaking?”. After all, in the arid climate we experience here in the Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley areas, squeaking brakes are an uncommon occurrence.
To help you out, our team put together this list of the top five reasons why your brakes may be squeaking. We’ll also cover some other common symptoms that indicate an issue with your braking system as well as some non-problematic causes of brake squeaking. Be sure to contact our service team today with any questions!
1. Worn-Out Brake Pads
Often, if your brakes are squeaking, it’s because your brake pads have worn down. This is completely normal and exactly what your brake pads are designed to do. When you hit the brake pedal, your brake pads put pressure on the rotors. This friction then stops your wheels from turning.
Over time, your pads will wear down from the friction, at which point you may hear a squeaking sound as the metal wear indicator presses against the rotors. When you hear this, it’s time to make an appointment to have your brake pads replaced.
2. New Brake Pads
Just as worn brake pads can cause squeaking, so can new pads. In fact, it’s relatively common to hear a squeaking sound for the first 750 miles. This noise is just the rotors and brake pads getting acquainted and should stop soon.
3. Brake Pad Material
When you get a brake pad replacement, it’s important to pay attention to quality and material. Sometimes, more cost-effective brake pads may have a higher metal content than others, which will rub against the rotors.
Some may eventually wear past this point, but if the noise continues, you may decide to replace your brake pads. Feel free to ask our service center team for our recommendations.
4. Rusted Rotors
Rusted rotors are another common reason for brake squeaking, which can be caused by excessive moisture. So, if your car sits out during monsoon season, your rotors may develop a thin layer of rust on the surface. If these rust particles become embedded in the edge of your brake pad, you can hear a squeaking sound.
5. Lack of Lubrication
A final common cause of problematic squeaking is a lack of lubrication in the rear braking system. On many cars, the rear brakes are drum brakes, which stop by pressing a pad outward from the center of the wheel to create friction against the rotating outer drum. If these contact points aren’t properly lubricated, it may cause your brakes to squeak.
Common Brake Problem Symptoms
If your brakes are squeaking because of a problem within the brake system, it’s likely that you’ll experience other symptoms as well. Some of the most common signs of brake issues to keep an eye and ear out for are…
- Other abnormal brake noises, such as grinding, screeching, or squealing
- Pulsating brake pedal
- Vibrating brake pedal, steering wheel, or whole vehicle when you brake
- Mushy pedal, or the need to push down extra hard on the brake pedal
- Vehicle pulling to one side or the other while braking
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms on top of the squeaking, it’s likely that your brakes need some professional attention. Try to avoid driving as much as possible and make an appointment with your dealership’s service center soon to have your vehicle checked out.
Other Causes of Brake Squeaking
You’ll be surprised to hear that not all brake squeaking is indicative of a problem. As already mentioned, the brake system, by design, causes friction between the rotor and pads in order to slow down your vehicle. This friction may result in a bit of squeaking from time to time.
Extreme driving conditions can cause unproblematic squeaking, as well. For example, if you ever need to slam on your brakes in order to prevent a collision or accident, you may hear some squealing.
You’ll also frequently hear squeaky brakes when you’re driving in abnormal driving conditions. For example, if you’re driving on dusty or sandy roads, these particles can make their way into the brake system and cause abnormal noises. The same goes for unusually high humidity, which can cause expansion in the braking system.
While not all strange sounds are indicative of an issue with your braking system, we’re always happy to take a look at your vehicle if you have any concerns. Safety is our top priority, so we’ll gladly check out your brakes to make sure that everything is working properly.
How Often Should I Have My Brakes Checked?
It goes without saying that properly functioning brakes are vital, which is why we recommend having your brakes checked with every oil change—or every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
This way, you can be sure to have a professional give your system a once-over at least annually, if not two times per year or more (depending on how many miles you drive). Frequent checks will also allow you to catch any potential issues before they turn into a dangerous or costly problem.
How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
Brake pads usually need to be replaced every 50,000 miles, which is roughly every three to four years for the average driver. Of course, there are several practices you can do to prolong how long it takes for your wear indicator to cause your brakes to squeak:
- Avoid emergency braking by leaving a safe following distance
- Take the highway when possible to avoid stop-and-go city traffic
- Limit towing when possible since braking with a trailer takes more energy
- Choose high-quality brake pads with sturdy materials
If you have any other questions about how to keep your braking system in great shape, feel free to reach out to the team at our service center.
Why Are Your Brakes Squeaking?
If you’re wondering why your brakes are squeaking in the Albuquerque, South Valley, or Rio Rancho areas, then contact the service center at Land Rover Albuquerque. We’ll get you scheduled for an appointment as soon as possible, so we can get your braking system checked out and fixed up.