What do I do if my brakes start to squeak?
Squeaky brakes are one of the most common problems drivers face. It’s usually a sign that your brake pads are wearing out and require replacing at the earliest convenience. If you’ve noticed squeaking noises coming from your car, it’s time to find a local garage that offers car servicing and brake repairs in Barnsley. At Wyatt’s Auto Services, our mechanics can check your brakes to identify any issues. We can then carry out repair or replacement of your brake pads if required.
What are brake pads?
A typical car braking system consists of brake discs, brake callipers, and brake pads. The pads are attached in the callipers with their friction material nearly touching the sides of the brake discs. When the driver presses the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid which is in the callipers forces the brake pads against the revolving brake discs. The friction this causes slows down the car, bringing it to a stop. This action occurs several times every time the car is driven. Therefore, it’s no surprise that its brake pads become worn down and require replacing every so often.
How long brake pads last depends on various factors, including where you drive (town or city centre driving requires more use of the brakes), how much weight you’re carrying, the type of brake pads, and how many miles you do. Brake pads can last from between 25,000 and 60,000 miles or even more. Ultimately, brakes pads’ lifespan is dependent on the way the car is used and driven.
What causes brake pads to squeak?
If you hear your brakes squeaking, this indicates that your pads are becoming extremely thin and almost worn out. The cause of the squeak is the brake-wear indicators – small metal tabs which are made from hardened steel. These tabs are designed to touch the rotors before the pads completely wear out. This lets the driver know that the pads are becoming very thin and will soon need replacing.
If left too long, metal will hit metal and this can result in very ineffective braking. It can also cause damage to the rotors’ smooth surface. Many cars are fitted with these brake-wear indicators; however, some aren’t. If your car doesn’t have them, it’s important that your brakes are checked regularly by a local mechanic. Regular car servicing in Barnsley can flag up issues with your car’s brakes.
Can I replace my own brake pads?
You may be wondering if you can replace your brake yourself to save money. Although it’s certainly possible, you’ll require a good amount of mechanical knowledge to do so. Replacing brake pads is a task that should only be carried out by someone who’s competent. Ideally, this should be a fully trained and experienced mechanic.
Remember, brake pads are one of the most crucial parts of your car, helping it to stop quickly and safely. If they’re fitted wrongly, brake failure could occur, leading to a serious accident. To ensure your pads are fitted correctly, it’s a good idea to book your car into a trustworthy local auto centre like Wyatt’s.
Other causes of squeaky brakes
Worn brake pads aren’t the only possible cause of squeaky brakes. If you know your pads are in good shape, there could be something else causing that annoying sound every time you hit the brake pedal. Here are some common culprits.
When moisture gathers on your car’s brake rotors after overnight rain or from dew or condensation, a small layer of rust can form on their surface. This rust then gets scraped off and caught on the brake pads as the rotors turn, causing a squeaking noise. Squeaky brakes from too much moisture usually occur in the morning, stopping once the pads have warmed up or the small rust layer has worn off. If you only notice your brakes squeaking in the morning, there’s a good chance that moisture is the cause.
The high metal content of brake pads
Usually, cheaper brake pads have a high metal content. This can result in bigger pieces of metal on their surface which drag on the rotors, causing that high-pitched squeaking noise. This problem is often unavoidable, with the only real solution being to always buy the best quality (and most expensive) brakes pads for your car.
Whilst it can seem like an unnecessary expense, try to remember that your brakes are one of your car’s most important components. They are what allows you to stop safely. As such, it may be worth paying a little bit extra for high-quality brake pads.
Brake pads and discs can become glazed over time, causing them to produce a squeaky noise. If the callipers stick, the brake may stay partly applied. This can result in too much friction and heat, causing the pads to become hardened and glazed. Glazed brakes not only cause a squeaking sound, but they can impact the stopping action of your car’s brakes, potentially causing a safety issue.
The good news is that glazed brakes can usually be fixed pretty easily by a skilled mechanic. At Wyatt’s, we can sand the pads and rotors to remove the glaze whilst also investigating and fixing the issue with the car’s callipers.
Book your car into Wyatt’s
Your car’s brakes are always likely to be making some type of noise – they’ll never be completely silent. However, there are certain noises that you should listen out for, as they can indicate a problem with your car’s brake pads. If you hear a high-pitched squeaking or squealing noise from the brakes, it’s important to book your vehicle into a local garage as soon as possible.
Wyatt Auto Services can provide fast and affordable car servicing and brake repairs in Barnsley, identifying and fixing issues with your brakes as soon as we can. We’ll aim to get you back on the road the same day whenever possible.