Why Your Brakes Are Grinding? Are you noticing a grinding noise when you use your brakes? This is an unpleasant but common sound that can be heard on jobsites, in busy parking lots, and along highways.
If you hear metallic sounds while driving, there’s a possibility that your car brakes are grinding. This raises the question: “What is causing the grinding noise and how can it be fixed?”
If you notice your brakes grinding when stopping, it could be indicative of a braking system issue that requires the expertise of a factory-trained mechanic.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the possible causes of brake grinding and what steps you should take if your brakes are making this awful sound. Read on for all the details!
What is Brake Grinding and What Causes it?
Brake grinding occurs when the brake pads have worn down to a point where they can no longer function correctly. As the pad wears, it will start to grind against the brake rotor which causes an unpleasant grinding sound and feel. Other possible causes of brake grinding include:
Lack of lubrication on the caliper pins or brakes
This can lead to the brake pads sticking and creating an uneven contact surface between the pad and rotor, resulting in a grinding noise.
Misaligned brakes or caliper: Misalignment of brakes can cause excessive wear on one side of the pad leading to grinding. Additionally, if the calipers are not properly adjusted, they won’t apply pressure evenly on the pad leading to grinding noises.
Worn out rotors
The rotors are an integral part of the brakes and can become worn down over time due to high temperatures and prolonged use. If the rotors are not replaced, they can create a grinding noise when applied.
Contamination of the brake system
Dust, dirt, and debris can all get into the brake system and cause grinding. This is especially true if you are using aftermarket brakes that may not have been properly sealed or maintained.
Worn out or warped brake rotors
Warped or worn rotors can cause a grinding noise when braking. The rotors can become worn due to too much heat or prolonged use without proper maintenance.
Misaligned calipers can cause the brake pads to not make contact with the rotors evenly resulting in grinding noises when applying the brakes.
How to Identify the Symptoms of Brake Grinding?
If your brakes are grinding, there will be a few tell-tale signs that you should look out for. Here are the most common symptoms of brake grinding:
Unusual noises: You may hear a squealing or grinding noise coming from your wheels when you apply brakes. This is usually an indication that the brake pads have worn down and need to be replaced.
Vibrations: If you feel vibrations or shuddering when applying your brakes, this could be a sign that the rotors are worn down or warped and need to be replaced.
Difficulty stopping: If your car takes longer than usual to come to a stop, this could indicate an issue with the braking system such as lack of lubrication or worn-out brake pads.
What to Do When Your Brakes Are Grinding?
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is important to take your vehicle in for maintenance as soon as possible. A factory-trained mechanic will be able to properly diagnose and repair the issue, ensuring that you can safely drive your car again.
It is also important to regularly inspect your brakes and replace them when needed. Regularly inspecting your brakes will help keep them functioning properly and minimize the risk of grinding or other issues.
Common DIY Fixes for Grinding Brakes
If you’re comfortable doing DIY repairs on your vehicle, there are a few things you can do to minimize the amount of grinding noise coming from your brakes.
Replace Worn Brake Pads: If you notice that your brake pads are worn down or cracked, it may be time to replace them. Check for any signs of wear and tear and replace the pads when needed.
Check Brake Fluid: Low brake fluid levels can cause grinding noises as well as difficulty stopping. Check your vehicle’s manual to determine the correct type of brake fluid for your car and fill it to the proper level if necessary.
Lubricate Moving Parts: If you notice that certain parts of the brake system are sticking, it may be time to lubricate them. Use a high quality lubricant and apply it to any moving parts such as caliper pins or slides that you can easily access.
Signs You Need Professional Help with Your Car’s Brakes
It is important to remember that brake grinding can be indicative of a larger problem with the braking system. If you are hearing grinding or squealing noises when braking, it’s best to take your vehicle in for professional maintenance as soon as possible.
- You should also take your car into a mechanic if you notice any of the following signs:
- Your brakes are making a grinding or squealing sound when braking.
- You feel vibrations or shuddering when coming to a stop.
- It takes longer than usual for your car to come to a stop.
- Your brake pedal feels soft or spongy.
Tips to Maintain Properly Working Brakes Over Time
Properly functioning brakes are essential for driving safely and avoiding accidents. Here are a few tips to help you maintain properly working brakes over time:
Inspect your brakes regularly
It is important to inspect your brake system at least every 6 months for any signs of wear or damage. Take the time to check the condition of the pads, rotors, and other parts of the system.
Replace worn brake pads
Brake pads will need to be replaced regularly to avoid grinding or other issues. Make sure you replace them as soon as possible when they become too worn down.
Lubricate moving parts
Regularly lubricating brake caliper pins, slides, and other moving parts will help keep them from becoming stuck or creating grinding noises.
Use the right type of brake fluid
Make sure to use the right type of brake fluid for your vehicle as specified in the manual. This will help keep your brakes functioning properly and reduce the risk of grinding.
FAQs about Grinding Brakes
Here are some frequently asked questions about grinding brakes:
Can grinding brakes cause an accident?
Yes, grinding brakes can lead to decreased braking performance and longer stopping distances, which can increase the risk of an accident.
How much does it cost to fix grinding brakes?
The cost to fix grinding brakes will depend on the cause of the problem and the necessary repairs. Replacing brake pads can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, while replacing rotors can range from $200 to $600.
Can I drive with grinding brakes?
While it may be possible to drive with grinding brakes, it’s not recommended. The grinding noise is a sign that your braking system is not functioning properly, which can compromise your vehicle’s safety and performance.
Grinding brakes can be dangerous and costly, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. The noise may come and go with acceleration or braking, rather than staying present at all times. By identifying potential causes and understanding your own symptoms, you should be able to know when to send your car into the shop for proper repairs.
Be sure to take care of any brake issues as quickly as possible so that they do not become worse over time. Keeping up with regular maintenance is also essential for protecting the lifespan of your vehicle. In sum, make sure you stay on top of grinding brakes in order to protect your safety and pocketbook in the long run and it pays off! Let us know if this blog post was helpful by leaving a comment below; we’d love to hear from you!
My name is Marlon Ramos, and I am a professional male working in the car manufacturing industry in the US. With over 15 years of experience, I have gained a wealth of knowledge in building, evaluating, and repairing equipment used in car factories. I take pride in my work, and I am passionate about sharing my experience with others through my blog. Whether you’re a fellow car enthusiast or just someone looking to learn more about the industry, I hope you find my blog informative and engaging. Join me on this journey as I share my insights and experiences working in the exciting world of car manufacturing.