Aside from the total failure of your brake. You need to be wary of grinding brakes as they can also lead to fatal accidents too. Its fault is observable with a squeaking sound or a grinding sound hence the name. Unfortunately, a lot of car users may interpret the sound for some other engine noise.
The grinding brakes occur when the rotor disc makes contact with the brake caliper. It sometimes feels like excessive use of the brakes as it sounds like metals scratching against each other. It is a fault that needs rectification as soon as possible so that you don’t spend over the cap.
Common Causes of Grinding Brakes
There are plenty of reasons that cause the grinding sound. We will be looking at some of the likely cause of the fault. It might be one or more of these causes.
The Car Spent Much Time Parked
One of the first reasons why the grinding car brake occurs is because you have abandoned the car for a while. A car parked over a long time will gather up dust, dirt and rusted part. This rust goes as far as affecting the engine and the body parts.
As such when it affects the brake system, the car naturally tries to shake off the rusts. It is not a serious problem because after a short distance of shaking off the rusts from the system your car might be alright once again.
Damage Rotor Disc
Rotor disc will expire sometime after long drives. It is estimated that the disc has a lifespan of 20,000 miles. This fault comes from the regular driver of the car. It is only natural for it wears out after some time even for a top product.
When the rotor is damaged you will start hearing grinding sound but it will sound more like two iron rubbing off on each other. You might also have vibrating steering wheels as you engage the brakes.
Bad Brake Pads
The brake pad is perhaps the reason for the grinding brakes most times. Personally I will advise the car owner to set up a routine check for the brake pad once in a while. Typically the brakes will require a change after 20,000 miles. Since it is a pad that is exposed to constant friction there is the inevitability of it getting worn off. Its interaction and contact with the rotor disc and caliper create that grinding noise at the point of damage.
Buying a quality brake pad is absolutely not a bad idea. Get brake pads that can stand the test of time for a relatively long time. Because investing in a low-quality pad will only cause the grinding brakes after a short while. In the worst scenarios, the brake pad can even cause an accident for you. If you come out safe, you might end up spending a fortune fixing your car.
There’s a Problem with Your Wheel Bearings
If the grinding or squeaking noises are coming from near your car’s wheels then the problem may be a faulty wheel bearing. Another sign of this is if your car vibrates from soft to loud and back again as you drive it. A wheel bearing is another part that many car owners may not be familiar with. This is actually a set of intricately placed steel balls held together by something known as a “race.” If this part gets broken or damaged, the noise may also resemble going through a rumble strip on a busy road. You may also notice your tires getting worn out in patches if your wheel bearing has gone bad.
Something May Be Stuck in Your Brakes
A loud squeaking or grinding sound may also be caused by a stone or some other foreign material getting stuck in between the calipers. If this were to happen, then the grinding sound will pop up not only when you step on the brakes; it will happen the whole time the vehicle is in motion. If you can, try moving your car back and forth in a safe and open space to try and dislodge whatever it is that’s gotten stuck in your brakes. If this doesn’t work, then, of course, the next thing you should do is to get your vehicle checked out at an auto shop.
There’s Not Enough Lubrication
If you’ve ever heard of the expression “a well-oiled machine,” then you’ve probably already come to realize that there are few better examples of that than your car’s brakes. When you fail to give ample lubrication for parts as small as your brake’s caliper bolts, even if you’ve done so for every other part, these grinding sounds will still occur. Luckily for you, it’s rare the caliper bolts don’t get as much lubrication compared to the other parts. It’s quite an easy problem to fix, too. All your mechanic needs to do is install new bolts and you’re good to go.
The Shims are Damaged
Like with caliper bolts, something as small as the brake system’s shims can be responsible for that annoying grinding that you’re hearing in your car. A brake shim is a bit of metal or rubber that’s attached in between the rotors and brake pads. It actually serves to even out imperfections between the two that could cause unnatural noises while driving. Obviously, if this part fails, those sounds will start to appear. This is something that even mechanics may gloss over. We advise that you have your mechanic change your car’s brake shims every time you bring it in for repairs. It doesn’t take that much time to get this extra work done. It doesn’t cost much either.
Again, these warning signs may appear individually or at the same time. However, you shouldn’t have to wait for them to appear for you to have a reason to bring your car to a mechanic. As soon as you feel your brakes becoming more inefficient, bring your car in immediately. You’ll be quite thankful you did.