Common Brake Noises and What They Mean

Most drivers know that they should bring their car into a repair shop at the first sign of brake trouble, but how do you know what signs to look for? A strong visual like an alert on your dashboard is an obvious sign, but did you know your hearing is another important tool, too? Listening to your brakes is a great way to determine how they are doing. That’s because brakes can make some unique noises when they start to wear down and need replacement. So how do you know which of your vehicle’s sounds are normal? These tips can help you understand the squeaking and squealing from your brakes and decide when it’s time to visit the auto shop.

Squeaking and Squealing

As a whole, the braking system is carefully designed to keep you safe. That includes warning you of dangerous wear and tear before brake issues can cause serious problems. Over time, your brake pads will wear down and need replacement, sometimes more frequently depending on your individual driving habits. At any rate, you will know when it is time to change your brakes when you hear unmistakable squeaking and squealing while stopping. You know, that sound that is like nails on a chalkboard and can send shivers down your spine? It’s hard to ignore, so you’ll know right away when you press the brake pedal if your car is approaching the time for new brakes.


Sometimes brakes squeal when they are new, but otherwise it is a sign that you likely need brake replacement. Either way, if you are unsure about your car’s noises, don’t ignore them! Ignoring warning signs can be risky to your car and your wallet, because what comes after squealing brakes is far worse, and far more dangerous. When brake pads wear down completely, their warning sounds will transition from squealing to metal-on-metal grinding. Grinding is a disturbing sound that will stop you in your tracks, and rightly so because it is very dangerous to drive without fully-functional brakes. If you hear grinding from your brakes, stop driving immediately! It is time to call for a tow to the auto shop for emergency brake repair.

Now that you know what common brake noises mean, you can handle any of your car’s issues promptly to prevent further damages and promote your car’s long term health!

Written by Carriage Traders Auto Repair

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