You don’t need us here at Oxford Auto & Tire to tell you that your brakes shouldn’t screech, squeak, or squeal every time you use them. If they are, there’s something wrong with the brake system. Because this is one of the most important safety systems on your automobile, it’s important to have the brakes inspected right away if they are squealing all the time. Here are common reasons why your brakes squeal every time you use them.
Broken Anti-Rattle Clips
The anti-rattle clips are responsible for holding the brake pads in place; they connect pad stays to the brake pads, which, in turn, connect the brake pads to the calipers. If one or more of the anti-rattle clips is broken, your brake pads will vibrate every time you apply the brakes and this will make them squeal.
Low Pad Depth
Your brakes might also be screeching when you use them because the pad depth is too low. On average, brake pads last about 30,000 miles. If you’ve driven more than that since you had your brake pads changed, your brakes could be squealing because the pad depth has reached the point where the pads need to be replaced. Some brake pads have indicators embedded in them to make this noise, and all brake pads make squealing and grinding sounds when they are too low.
No Pad Insulation
Pad insulation prevents the brake pads from squealing when you apply the brakes. If you just had your brake pads replaced, the mechanic may have failed to replace the pad insulation, as well. Brake pads without insulation will screech no matter how soft or hard you apply the brakes.
Screeching brakes can also be an indication that the brake system is overheating. This places you in a dangerous situation. If the brakes get too hot, you won’t be able to stop your automobile. Your brakes might be overheating because there is a mechanical problem with them or because you have your foot on the brake pedal all the time. If you have a habit of driving this way, it’s important to only have your foot on the brake pedal when you apply the brakes.
Smooth Rotor Surface
Finally, smooth rotor surfaces will make your brakes squeal. The brake pads and rotors work together to generate friction and kinetic energy. This combination stops your automobile. After thousands of miles of having the brake pads pressing up against them, the rotor surfaces smooth out and need to be recut. It’s a good idea to have this service every 60,000 miles.