Why Are My Brakes Squealing All the Time?

Your brakes should not squeal all the time. If they are, something is going on that warrants immediate attention. Squealing brakes could indicate problems that might prevent you from being able to stop your car, truck, or utility vehicle, which is why Aero Auto Repair recommends that you have any brake concerns addressed as soon as possible. Here are the top reasons why brakes squeal all the time.

Wear Indicator

In some cases, brake pads are fitted with indicators that begin to squeal when the pad surface is getting too low. You may also have a dashboard warning light that alerts you when the brake pads are too low. If you hear the squealing while you are driving, the noise could be the low brake pad indicators.

Worn Brake Pads

Brake pads that are too low can squeal. A more common sound associated with low brake pad surface is grinding, but this sound is made once the brake pad surface has worn off completely. If your brakes have started to squeal each time you use them and you haven’t had the pads changed in a long time, it could be that they are getting too low and replacing them will stop the squealing noises.

Broken Anti-Rattle Clips

Your brake pads are attached to the calipers using parts called “pad stays.” Anti-rattle clips are secured to each brake pad to prevent them from rattling or vibrating when you step down on the brake pedal. As the anti-rattle clips wear down, the pads could start to vibrate, and this can make squealing sounds when you use the brakes. Replacing the anti-rattle clips solves the problem.

No Pad Insulation

Your brake pads also have insulation shims on the backing of the pads to protect them from the brake calipers. These shims wear down and should be replaced when your brake pads are replaced. If new shims are not installed, your brakes will squeal. In lieu of the shims, you can also use a silicone insulation gel to insulate the brake pads and prevent squealing.

Rotor Surface Problems

The constant friction between your brake pads and the rotors causes glazing. Glazing can warp the rotors and also damage their surface. Resurfacing the rotors is common practice when performing a brake service. If the rotors are not resurfaced properly, your brakes might squeal. Rotors must be resurfaced during brake jobs until they have worn to the point that they need to be replaced.

Overheating Brakes

Finally, squealing brakes accompanied by a burning smell means that your brake pads and rotors have glazed too much because they are overheating. Some people describe the burning smell as carpeting. If your brakes reach a point where the pads and rotors are glazed so much that they squeal or the brake fluid is boiling, you may also smell burning chemicals, which is the overheated brake fluid.

Call Aero Auto Repair in San Diego, CA, if your vehicle’s brakes are squealing. We’ll get to the bottom of your brake problem and fix it right away.