Is it a cricket? Is it a mouse? Is it a bat? Nope on all three counts. It’s your brakes! The most annoying sound to hear in your car is your brakes squeaking. One of the most unintuitive scenarios is when you hear your brakes squeaking while accelerating! How can this be my brakes, you ask? Well, as you read on, you’ll see that there is a lot more to brake squeaks than meets the ear. If you’ve noticed squeaky brakes as well as diminished stopping power, it’s time for a brake service.
Types Of Brakes
We realize that most of our readers will already know about this but let’s go over it quickly for the budding motor enthusiasts. If you hear your mechanic talking about brake shoes they are referring to drum brakes. If they talk about brake pads, then they mean disc brakes.
These brakes are found on the rear wheels of older and lower spec cars. The outer portion of the brakes is called a drum. The inner portion consists of a piston that pushes brake shoes into the walls of the drum. As the shoes push into the drum wall, friction is created that slows the spinning of the wheel and stops your car. The handbrake for your vehicle is normally integrated into the rear wheel drum of one side.
Most newer cars have disc brakes on all 4 wheels (6 on the Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 6×6!). Disc brakes consist of a rotor or disc, brake calipers, and pads. With disc brakes, the calipers push the pads into the rotor and friction causes the wheel to slow and stop your car.
So, Where Does the Squeaking Come From?
As we read above, there is a lot of friction generated when you apply the brakes. Friction causes vibration, and vibration causes sound. There are a few reasons why the brakes on your vehicle could squeak.
Not all brake squeaks are because of something that requires attention. Sometimes when you’ve just had a brake service and new pads have been fitted, there will be some squeaking. All new brakes need to settle or bed in. Once the brakes have had time to wear in, the squeaking will stop.
From Living in Pompano Beach, Florida
Yes indeed, a humid and salty atmosphere can cause tiny amounts of rust to form on your brake rotors. This often happens when you have parked your car outside overnight. If there was rain, mist, fog, or even dew those small amounts of moisture will cause rust. This rust gets scraped off by the brake pads. The squeaking will not last long however as the brakes get warm and the rust is removed.
While we all need to slam on the brakes sometimes, regular hard braking will cause you problems. With hard braking, a lot of friction is developed. The resulting heat can cause the rotor to warp and the pads to wear prematurely. Worn pads cause squeaks because manufacturers embed a small steel tab to notify you that they require replacement.
Cheap Brake Pads
When it comes to your European or exotic vehicle, it’s best to use original parts. Cheaper brake pads can cause significant squeaking because of their higher metal content. The increased metal content means larger metal chunks scrape on the rotor surface.
Brake Service: Take Action Now
Your brakes are one of the most integral components of your car. They are critical to your safety and that of those around you. Don’t take shortcuts to save a buck or two. Look for a quality auto shop that will give the best service and use certified and recommended parts.
Don’t Stop at The Rest, Stop at The Best!
Since 1978, Foreign Affairs Motorwerks has been the premier auto repair, performance, and racing facility in South Florida. Call us now at (954) 746-0488 to schedule your next brake service.