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Feb 01, 2017

Fixing your car’s squeaky brakes easily

Fixing your car's squeaky brakes easily

Fixing your car’s squeaky brakes easily

Let’s be honest! Squeaky brakes are real irritating and one needs to certainly take care so that it does not happen. While the brakes themselves may work very well, applying the pedal at any point of time might just give out a loud screeching noise. Hence, without any doubt, it is surely time to take a look at the brakes.

It is important to note that brakes do make some amount of noise. If you happen to expect complete silence, that is not really possible. However, what you can have is a pretty quiet braking system.

What makes the noise?

Modern brakes are known to use a cast iron disc squeezed between two brakes pads that are lined with frictional material. When the conditions are right, the disc, the pads, and the caliper they are mounted on can start to vibrate. Most screeches thus occur at different frequencies. Thus, the speed of the car and pressure applied to the left pedal is responsible for the volume of the noise. This is because the pitch is controlled by the stiffness and mass of the disc and pad.

If the brakes are inadequately developed by the maker, noise is noticed and can be easily overcome without the need to reengineer any of the pad, disc, mount or caliper. So, what is needed is to dampen the noise and just change the resonant frequency of the entire arrangement.

Pad noises

Earlier, brake pad friction material used asbestos, which gave mechanics lung cancer. So, the replacement was Kevlar, which is dusty. Extra load is required in brakes these days to increase safety. This is done by using ceramic or metallics. This is why brakes hiss or even grind.

Now, most brakes are known to have a small finger of spring steel that scrapes on the disc as the pads reach their wear limit. This is actually the time to change the pads so that the friction material does not wear away totally.

Silencing the noise

So, how can you silence the noise? One simple solution is to change the pads such that they have a different friction material. While it is certainly difficult to get a total replacement of the original pads, you might just be able to get one that resonates less enough to not cause the squealing noise.

Another option is to decouple the piston acoustically from the pad. This can be done by purchasing shims that are made of Teflon and go between the caliper’s hydraulic piston and the pad. A final option would be to coat the back face of the backing plates of the pad with ant seize compound or high-temp break grease.

Undertaking this simple option can help you fix your squealing brakes easily. While this is a DIY job, you can still go for a mechanic if it doesn’t bear fruits.

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