What Is the Cause of Grinding Brakes?

When you begin to experience grinding brakes when driving your car, you need to address the problem immediately. An understanding of how brakes work is the first step to fixing this problem and preventing it in the future.

How Brakes Work

Of the many components that make your brakes work, perhaps the two most important are the brake pad and the brake rotor or disc. When you push the brake pedal, the brake pad—which remains stationery—comes into contact with the brake disc that rotates with the wheel. Friction is created, and the brake disc rotates more slowly, dragging the wheel along with it, until the vehicle finally stops.

Brake Pad Grinding Causes

Because the pad is constantly in contact with the brake disc, the metal that is used for the pad wears out over time and becomes thin. Its surface becomes rough and uneven. When you try to use worn down brakes, the rough and uneven surface of the brake pad grinds with the brake disc, producing that awful noise you hear.

If you allow the grinding to continue, the uneven surface of the brake pad will also cut grooves on the brake disc and ruin them as well. It will force you to replace the brake disc as well as the brake pad, further increasing the costs. As soon as you hear and feel your brakes grinding, stop driving your car and have them replaced immediately.

Keeping Brakes from Grinding

Keep brake pads well-maintained by replacing them every three years. Most standard brake pads are workable for that period. Have your car checked regularly to make sure everything is working okay. And, as stated earlier, once you hear your brake pads grinding, replace your brake pads right away.