Posted under Car Brakes

Oh, the noise can drive you crazy! If you’re one of the unfortunate drivers who hears a high-pitched squeak every time you hit the brakes, you don’t have to ask, “What noise?” You know! When your brakes are making noise, they may get so loud you suffer the stares of other drivers when you stop at a light. (How embarrassing!)

Don’t Wait to Find Out Why Brakes Squeak When Stopping

Clearly something is wrong, and it may be more than just an annoyance. The brakes are your car’s most important safety feature, so when they make noise, a sound course of action is to have your vehicle checked by a trained Jiffy Lube® technician. While it’s usually recommended that brakes be inspected every 12 months or 12,000 miles (see your owner’s manual for your car’s service schedule), you shouldn’t wait until your routine maintenance check to find out why brakes squeak when stopping.

Possible Sources Of The Squeak

  • Thinning pads. The pros at Jiffy Lube see this one a lot. When the brake pads are worn down, the pads and rotors grind metal to metal, and results will not be music to your ears.
  • Contamination. Rust, brake fluid, and grease can all find their way into the brake’s disc and drum system … which can make answering, “Why are my brakes squeaking?” a dirty business!
  • Road debris. Pebbles, leaves, etc., can get stuck in between the pad and rotor surface.
  • Mis-assembled or missing components. Your braking system depends on all the vital parts working together in concert.
  • Repeated use. Brakes are considered a normal wear item and that squeak can be an audible warning that it’s time for a change.
  • Lack of lubrication. Dry or non-lubricated braking components can grind and make themselves heard.
  • Moisture. Just as dryness can cause intermittent brake noise, so can too much moisture.

To help you better understand, let’s look at the two most common braking systems and how they enable you to brake safely.

  1. Disc brakes. This system consists of a metallic disc or rotor and a set of pads. When the brake pedal is pressed, hydraulic fluid pressure passes through the lines, causing the piston(s) to press the pads against the disc or rotor. The pads’ application against the disc/rotor generates friction, causing the vehicle to slow down.
  2. Drum brakes. This system consists of a brake drum and brake shoes. As with disc brakes, when the brake pedal is pressed, hydraulic fluid pressure passes through the lines. Then a wheel cylinder pushes the brake shoes against the brake drum’s inner surface, generating friction and causing the vehicle to slow down. On modern vehicles, there are typically two types of brake pad material used: semi-metallic or ceramic.

DIY For Noisy Brakes

Each squeak or grind isn’t necessarily a big problem. Here are some troubleshooting tips that may help quiet things down until you can get to Jiffy Lube.
Check to see if you picked up sticks, leaves or pebbles along the way. If so, clean the rotor surface and brake pad.
Is there rust on the rotors? That’s not unusual if you park outdoors overnight. Typically, as you drive throughout the day, the rust will be scraped off by the brake pads and the squeak will stop. 

Even if you think you fixed the problem, consider having your brakes checked by a professional. After all, the braking system is essential to your safety — and the safety of everyone you meet on the road! So why not bring your car to Jiffy Lube? With 2,000+ locations nationwide, there’s sure to be a service center nearby.

How Will Jiffy Lube Find The Answer To The Big Question: “Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?”

Here’s what you can expect when you bring your car, truck, SUV, or minivan to Jiffy Lube for brake service:

  • A trained technician performs a complete visual inspection of the brakes (wheels on)
  • A more thorough brake inspection is conducted if a tire rotation is performed 
  • The technician will explain the results and answer any questions you may have
  • In some cases, a more comprehensive inspection may be recommended
  • Service options will be presented in writing (and service will not be performed without your prior approval)
  • If a brake service is performed, your vehicle will be test driven before and after the service

Try to Avoid the Problem Before It Happens

Choose the right brake pads and you may never have to ask, “Why are my brakes squeaking?” When the pads are designed specifically for your vehicle, you may avoid having large metal flakes embedded in the brake pad material. When those flakes move across the rotors, the result may be that telltale squeak. When the time comes for new pads, come to Jiffy Lube. The technicians will carefully replace your worn pads with new ones in accordance with manufacturer specifications for your vehicle.

It Pays to Pay Attention

Remember, if you hear squealing or squeaking brakes, it’s a good idea to have them checked promptly. Your timely response will not only help keep you safe, but it could also save you money. You may be able to remedy a comparatively minor problem before it becomes a costly, time-consuming repair.


Count on Jiffy Lube to Help Keep Your Stopping Smooth and Safe

Jiffy Lube technicians are trained in preventive maintenance. They consistently install parts which meet or exceed Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations.

A Jiffylube Technician is inspecting a customer's squeaking brakes

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