Many car owners don't know enough about their vehicles that they can tell whether or not the brakes are in good shape. That's why when the brakes start to make noise some car owners can start to feel a little panicked.
Are noisy brakes a sign you need brake service?
Noisy brakes tend to bother a lot of car owners, but the good news is that squeaking noises from your wheels don't have to be a sign that your car needs brake service. Sometimes brake pads make noise for reasons unrelated to the actual functionality of the brakes. You may be able to tell what's causing the noise by factoring in clues like when the squeaking occurs and what it sounds like.
If your car's brakes make a long high squeaking noise, what does this mean?
If the noise you hear is a continuous whine (like a very high note or a shriek), this is probably a sound being produced by your brake pads. If your brake pads were recently replaced (in the last several months), this could be a sign of harmless dust on the pads. If the noise goes away, or if your brake pads were recently serviced in the last year, this is probably not a sign of an emergency. If the brake light comes on or if the noise persists, set up an appointment with your mechanic.
If your car's brakes make a low growling or metallic ripping noise, what does this mean?
If the noise that you hear sounds more like a low, uneven grinding noise, this is an indication that your brakes are worn and are starting to grind the rotors. This is an immediate problem. Once your car starts to grind up the rotors, your brake service bill will multiply quickly. Take your car in as soon as possible.
If your brake light isn't on, does that mean your brakes don't need service?
Your brake light can be a helpful indicator when your brakes need servicing. However, ignoring signs of urgent problems (like grinding noises from your brakes) simply because the brake warning light isn't on could be a mistake. If your brakes are making noises that indicate it's time for service, schedule an appointment with your mechanic.
What if your brake pads only squeak in the morning?
High pitched squeaking in the morning can mean that your brake pads accumulated a little moisture from dew while sitting overnight. If the squeaking stops after the car warms up, this means that the moisture has dried.
For more information about brake service, or for help assessing your problem, contact a company like Big Mechanic.