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Understanding Your Car: Why do brakes squeak?

By Nelson Ssenyange

Why do brakes squeak? 1. Weather Conditions Make a note of when your brakes sound the loudest, the cold weather may cause them to squeak. While this may be annoying, there isn’t necessarily anything that can be done about this.

2. Heavy loads If you regularly carry lots of passengers or shift heavy loads in your car, then you may find that the brakes squeak more than they should. The heavier your vehicle, the more energy it will take to slow it down, which puts more pressure on the brakes.

As the brakes get hot, the metal can swell, making the noise worse. Again, this is nothing to worry about, however you may want to get your brakes checked more frequently, as they could wear down faster.

3. Moisture Brakes make a grinding noise in the morning which is likely to be less of a squeak and more of a grating noise. When the car has been left unused overnight, moisture can build up around the brake pads, which can even lead to the creation of a thin layer of brown rust.

The first time you apply the brakes in the morning, this rust will be removed, as will any excess moisture. This noise isn’t anything to worry about.

4. Embedded objects There’s a lot of grit, sand, stone and other materials on the roads that can become embedded in your brakes. You usually won’t notice these, unless a particularly large stone has become stuck.

In most cases, the noise you can hear is the stone being pushed into the brake pad by the caliper. This can cause minor damage to your brakes, but the stone should become loose by itself and work its way out.

5. Worn-down brake pads When brake pads have worn too thin, the brake caliper will clamp around the pad, applying pressure to slow the wheel down. When this happens, friction is created that turns into heat, dispelling the kinetic energy that the car has produced through moving.

Over time, this will cause your pads to become thinner and thinner. This is why they eventually need replacing. It means that you have reached the recommended wear limit and should take your car to @GermaxASGarage to have your pads replaced for new ones.

The writer is the Team Lead at GermaxAS Garage.

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