Understanding Brake Noise for a Proper Diagnosis Understanding Brake Noise for a Proper Diagnosis

It is important to understand brake noise so you can properly diagnose what is wrong with your car. Pay attention to minor brake noises and have these checked out early, before it becomes a more serious problem. The last thing you want is for your brakes to fail while driving and cause an accident. Also, repairing minor brake noises can save you money in the long run. If these problems are not addressed right away, you may have to pay a professional to fix the brakes, and then rent a car while your vehicle is in the shop for repairs.

Brake Grinding

Brake grinding can occur for two reasons. When you press on the pedal and the brakes make a loud grinding sound, it is because the rotor disc comes into contact with part of the caliper. This happens due to extreme wear of the brake pads or rotors.

Another reason for the brake grinding sound is an outside object like a stone lodged into the caliper. If this is the case, the brakes will make a consistent grinding or screeching sound while you are driving your car. You can try to get the foreign object out yourself by repeatedly moving the car forward and backward in your driveway or an empty parking lot.

Brake grinding is a very serious problem that requires immediate attention. Do not wait to get this taken care of, otherwise it can get costly to repair the damage.

Brake Rattle

When you shake a can of spray paint, the sound that it makes is very similar to the sound of your brake’s rattling. This rattling sound usually occurs when you let up off the pedal. This noise is due to the heat expansion of the break pads, especially those that were installed without anti-rattle shims. This type of rattle is nothing to be concerned about, as long as it is not consistent and does not occur while you have your foot on the brake pedal. If this is the case, ask your mechanic to take a look at it.

Brake Fade

When brakes become overheated and as a result not work properly, this is known as brake fade. During break fade, you use the brake more than you normally would, which takes more effort for the pedal to yield at the same stopping power. This can happen when you are driving downwards on a long hill.

If you experience brake fade and are far from home, pull over and let the brakes cool off.

You should also check to see if the hydraulics on your brakes are working properly. First, park your car and pump the pedal a few times. The pedal should become firmer with each pump.

In order to prevent brake fade, use the lower gear functions on your transmission so that the car’s engine and drivetrain controls the speed of the car.

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