I recently received a message from a client about “Why my brakes squeal“. Not knowing the brake pads, I would have to say that they are at their end of use. There is a tiny piece of metal that will touch on your rotor alerting the driver that the pads are ready to be replaced.
Have you ever been cruising toward a column of cars waiting at a stoplight and when you apply your brakes are then rewarded with a sound that, like fingernails on a chalkboard? This can raise goosebumps on your neck – and maybe the blood pressure of the driver in front of you. Sound familiar?
Squealing or squeaking brakes can be annoying, embarrassing and even worrisome. There are many different things that can cause your brakes to squeal. Some causes are not important and won't cause any safety problems at all while others are indicative of major problems that need to be taken care of right away.
Keep in mind that you might need to take your vehicle out for a test drive to find out when exactly the brake noises occur. Are you encountering squealing brakes when driving, when braking or only in cold weather?
Like everything else automotive, an annoying noise can be one of the first signs that something is wrong, or it might mean nothing is amiss. It's up to you to quickly figure out which. Keep in mind that in most cases, a persistent noise, even after the brakes have warmed up, indicates that a repair is in order.
Wondering Why My Brakes Squeal?
There are three types of brake pads on the market:
- Organic Brake Pads: Organic brake pads are cheaply made and not meant to last very long. They are a softer composition brake pad. When you see a lower price on brake pads in a store, these are organic pads and are their loss leader. Team Ryan Automotive does not carry, recommend or sell these types of brake pads.
- Semi-Metallic Brake Pads: Semi-metallic brake pads last longer than organic but typically create that dark brake dust which is evident on your rims. The front tires are usually more heavily coated than the rear, as the front brake pads typically provide the majority of stopping power (roughly 70%). These pads will make more noise than organic brake pads and the driver will hear squealing and grinding. While they provide much more stopping power than organic pads, they are still not as superior as ceramic brake pads. Based on the year of the vehicle being serviced at Team Ryan Automotive, we prefer to use ceramic pads… and here’s why:
- Ceramic Brake Pads: Will usually leave only a very light color dust when used, versus the dark dust of semi-metallic and will last often twice as long with almost no brake squeal complaints. This reduces the cost of ownership and maintenance while ensuring great stopping power.
If you are hearing a grinding noise or loud squeal when you apply your brakes, it may be time to bring your vehicle in Team Ryan Automotive. Give us a call at 678.765.RYAN (7926)