Who doesn’t want to enjoy comfortable and trouble-free driving on a daily basis, especially after spending so much on a car? Automakers try their best to manufacture top-quality vehicles that offer durability and don’t cause any headaches to the owner.
But you should remember that a car is made of hundreds of different parts, the majority of which move at high speeds and undergo a lot of stress over the years. The brakes of your car are one such part and the whole brake assembly works tirelessly to make your journeys secure.
You might have noticed a squeaking sound when you press the brake pedal and release it. This squeaky noise can occur even if you thoroughly maintain your car, and can be due to different reasons. Let’s go through the most common causes of your brake pedal making a squeaking noise, and how you can fix it easily.
Why Does My Brake Pedal Squeak?
The brake assembly of your car comprises different components, including the brake pedal, brake lines, rotors, discs, and brake pads. There are different types of brakes in modern cars, and if you notice a creaking noise when the brake pedal is pressed, it is an indication that any of the brake assembly parts have gone bad, and it either needs a repair or replacement. Here’s why your brake pedal makes a squeaky noise when pressed or released;
1- Lack of Lubrication
This is the most common cause of the squeaking sound in your car when the brake pedal is pressed. It can be any mechanical part, valve, nut/bolt, moving assembly parts, or springs that could scratch against other parts and produce a squeaky noise.
Simply applying grease or WD-40 can get rid of this problem and you can get back to the routine without any trouble.
2- Problematic Brake Pedal Spring/Pivot
In the majority of cars, brake pedals use a spring-loaded mechanism to press and recoil. This spring either loses its lubrication or becomes loose over time due to excessive usage and temperature changes. This is one of the most common causes of brake pedal squeaking, and the culprit is hiding right under the driver’s nose.
It can also be diagnosed easily by checking the brake pedal while the car is parked, and switched off. A problem with the brake assembly would usually occur when the car is in motion, this problem causes the pedal to squeak in all situations.
3- Faulty Brake Cable
If you’re driving a car that still has rear drum brakes, the brake cable has likely become loose. Whenever the brake pedal is pressed, this cable fails to optimally engage the brakes and produces a creaking noise.
Ideally, the brake cable should be inspected and adjusted at each service interval.
4- Worn Out Brake Pads
Needless to say that if the brake pads on your car are damaged or worn out, you’ll hear a squeaking noise whenever the brakes are applied. This is because the brake pads rub hard against the disc and generate an abnormal creaking sound.
Getting the brake pads inspected and replaced on time can easily prevent this issue.
5- Damaged Brake Pad Clips
One of the most looked over parts during the brake assembly maintenance are the brake pad clips. These clips secure the pads in position and prevent slipping/rocking of the brake pads. If these clips are damaged or loose, the brake pads would frequently come into contact with neighbouring mechanical parts and produce a screeching sound.
Inspecting the brake pad clips is important and a simple replacement can quickly get rid of this issue.
6- Stressed Brake Line
Although the brake line is usually well protected by an underbody sheet, it gets damaged over time and excessive usage. A fatigued brake line usually produces the squeaking noise when the brake pedal is pressed and released. This problem starts to appear once the car is driven past 100,000 miles or so, and requires professional repairing.
7- Worn Out Brake Discs/Rotors
The Rotors or Discs are the major parts of the brake assembly and essential for adequate deceleration. Over time and after thousands of miles, the rotors start to wear out and become rough. This also produces a squeaking noise when the brake pedal is pressed and occurs at applying the brakes abruptly.
Getting the brake discs serviced on time can get rid of this issue.
8- Moisture Buildup
In cold weather or morning, moisture can build up around the discs, brake pads, and other moving parts of the brake assembly. Not only does it produce a squeaking sound on braking, but it can also cause rusting of the metal parts and damage the rotors. Applying a lubricant or a hydrophobic layer of repellant can prevent this problem.
9- Debris Or Contaminants In The Brakes
This is one of the most common and harmless causes of squeaking sound form the brake pedal. Dust or debris between the brake pads and discs can create friction and a creaking noise when the brake pedal is pressed and released. It occurs when the car is in motion and not when parked. Regular cleaning and service of brake assembly avoids this issue without any monetary loss.
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How To Fix A Squeaky Brake Pedal?
If you’ve noticed a squeaking noise on applying the brakes, it is time to get the brake assembly checked and faulty parts replaced. Here’s how can fix the squeaky brake pedal;
1- Proper Lubrication
Be it the brake discs or creaky pedal spring, lubrication is the first step in getting rid of this problem. Using an industrial grease or WD-40 can optimally lubricate all the crevices and tight junctions, reducing friction and getting rid of squeaky noise.
2- Replacing The Brake Pads
One of the most common culprits behind the squeaking sound when the brakes are applied, are the worn out brake pads. Simply replace the old pad with the new OEM ones, and be on your way.
3- Replacing The Discs
Brake pads and rotors get damaged over time and somewhat after 100,000 miles. Get the rotors checked and replaced to prevent the squeaking noise from your brake pedal.
4- Consulting A Mechanic
If you still cannot find the root cause of the problem, take your car to a professional mechanic and let them handle the rest. It could be a leaky hydraulic cylinder, faulty brake line, or a fatigued brake cable that’s leading to a squeaky noise when the brake pedal is pressed or released.
Once at the workshop, have your brake assembly thoroughly inspected and get rid of all the looming problems, all at once.
Brakes are one of the most frequently engaged parts of your car and get worn out most rapidly, in comparison to other parts. It is but natural to hear weird noises when applying brakes as there are so many moving parts in the brake assembly.
Whenever you notice a squeaking sound on pressing or releasing the brake pedal, don’t ignore it and try to find the culprit. Mostly, it is due to poor lubrication or worn out brake pads, which you can easily fix by applying WD-40 or replacement.
If the problem is complex, have it diagnosed and fixed by a professional mechanic and keep your car in mint condition by following the official maintenance schedule.