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Feb 22, 2016

How To Diagnose Brake Noises

Posted By in Maintenance Tips | No Comments »

Your car’s braking system is arguably one of its most important. Delegated with the amazing responsibility of bringing tons of speeding metal to a screeching halt, it pays to keep your brakes in top-notch shape at all times.

Brake Noises

There is nothing quite like the fear of trying to pump the pedal, only to find your vehicle will not slow down. Throw a faulty emergency brake in the mix, and you have a clear recipe for disaster. Fortunately, with a little know-how, most brake problems can be quickly diagnosed and fixed.

Listen Closely…What Are Your Brakes Telling You?

Car brakes come in two different types: disc and drum, each of which features a mechanism that keeps the pads and rotors securely in place and in contact with one another. To the untrained ear, the various noises emitted by failing brake systems sound like the same thing.

However, the skilled motorist knows there is a distinct difference between a screech and a squeal, and much more. With this easy reference guide, you’ll be a pro in pinpointing the source of your brake problem in no time!

A Brief Rundown on Common Brake Sounds

If you feel a shudder or vibration when braking, nine times out of ten it is due to the rotors being warped. This can result from excessively hard braking, and irregular pad wear. Plenty of drivers are guilty of riding their brakes, a problem that can prematurely erode the pads and consequently reduce the life of the rotors as well.

Sudden, hard stopping can cause grooves to form, which is where that vibration you feel is coming from. There are a few solutions for warped rotors: resurfacing (having the rotors grinded in a shop just enough to even them out), having them turned, or swapping them out altogether. Please note that all component brake parts must be replaced in pairs for safety purposes.

Grinding noises are indicative of either worn pads or damaged linings; at any rate, this is a major issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. Squealing, on the other hand, is not the scary problem that it’s often regarded as, although it should be checked out nevertheless.

The sound comes from pressure between the pads and rotors, and is normal on most accounts. Persistent squealing might mean your rotors have become glazed, however, so keep your ears open.

Listen closely to your car, because it may be telling you important information about its needs, its age and its wear and tear. And the quicker you identify these signs and symptoms, the less maintenance there will be in the long run.


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