Brakes Squeaking in Different Situations?

Squeaking, squealing or screeching are sounds that might be acceptable coming from a horror film. But when they come from your brakes, it might bring on an entirely different feeling of horror.  Many causes are common, while others are not. Lets dig in.

To answer some common questions about squeaking brakes and put your mind at ease, this article will answer “Why do my brakes squeak: 

  • when I back up? 
  • in the cold? 
  • in the morning? 
  • after changing the brake pads? 

These sounds could be indicating a number of things depending on the circumstances. Here are a few possible reasons that your brakes are making these sounds.  

Why do my brakes squeak when I back up? 

Many people wonder why their brakes make a squeaking noise when backing up out of their driveway to leave to work in the mornings or drop the kids off at school. This leads many to start questioning whether or not something is wrong with the brakes or even the vehicle.  

backing up causes brakes to squeal

One thing that may be causing the squeaking noise that you’re hearing when you’re reversing is warped rotors. This is more likely cause if your vehicle has a higher mileage or has not had its brakes changed in the suggested time frame. Before jumping to the conclusion that this is the issue, ask yourself “are my brakes only squeaking when I reverse or do they squeak when I’m moving forward too?”  

If the answer is yes, this could actually indicate a serious problem that is best left to professionals, if possible. If you yourself have professional experience in mechanics you might decide to attempt fixing this yourself as well. When in doubt it may be best to take your vehicle into an auto shop as soon as possible.  

To avoid this problem in the future, makes sure not to wash your vehicle when the brakes are hot. This small, but easy to follow, tip could save you money and stress in the future.  

Let’s consider another common question about squeaking brakes: 

Why Do My Brakes Squeak in the Cold? 

If you live in an area that has had cold weather during recently or does so for the better part of the year, you make experience some temporary squeaking coming from you brakes when you apply pressure to them.  

brakepads squeal in the snow

However, not everyone who lives in your area may experience the same squeaking coming from their brakes. Why is that? 

The squeaking that you’re hearing is likely coming from a buildup of rust on your brake rotors, which, when scraped, leads to a squealing or squeaking sound.  

If your vehicle sits outside at night or for the better part of the day during damp, cold weather, moisture will collect on the rotors and cause this rust to from.  

To avoid this problem in the future, try to park your vehicle in a covered or sheltered area that will allow less moisture to build on the brake rotors.  

Of course, if the squeaking continues after several brake applications or turns into a deep grinding noise, consult a professional mechanic as soon as possible since this could be an indication that your brake pads and/or rotors need to be changed.  

Why do my brakes squeak in the morning? 

Another commonly asked question about squeaking breaks has to do with brakes that begin squeaking when activated in the morning. 

The first question you should ask yourself is ‘was there rain or snow last night?’ If that’s the case. It’s entirely possible that there is moisture that has collected on the rotors. This condensation is something that commonly happens when the climate included a high amount of humidity.   

Another cause of this morning squeaking could be a bit of rust build-up on the surface of your rotors. When you step on the brakes, the brake pads begin to scrape off the rust until its gone and the squeaking stops. 

The main thing that you want to pay attention to with either of these possibilities is the amount of time that your brakes continue to squeak after you start driving in the morning. As long as the squealing stops after your first few brake applications, you should have nothing to worry about.  

Why are my Brakes Making a High-Pitched Squeaking Noise? 

If none of these scenarios seem to fit your situation and the squeaking continues constantly while driving its very likely that your brake pads have thinned out and will need to be replaced. Even if this is the case, the squeaking that you’re hearing isn’t dangerous, it’s actually a safety measure that’s being activated. This safety measure is the brake-wear indicator that’s been installed in your vehicle.  

Your brake-wear indicator will start making a squeaking or squealing sound when your brake pads are getting to be worn out and will need to be changed soon. When the pads get too thin, a metal tab will begin to make contact with the surface of the rotor, which causes the high-pitched squeaking sound that you’re hearing. 

Why are my Brakes Squeaking After I Changed the Brake Pads? 

What if you already went ahead and decided to get the brake pads on your vehicle changed but you’re still hearing the same squeaking noises coming from your brakes? 

fresh brake pads squeaking

Once again, brakes should not be squeaking constantly. This is especially true if you just had them changed. But if they are still squeaking after taking your vehicle into an auto shop to get the pads changed, then you’ll need to consider taking your vehicle back to a professional to be inspected further.  

The first question you should ask yourself is “did they replace the rotors or only the brake pads?” You could also ask “Did they clean the rotors?” If the auto shop changed the brake pads but kept the old rotors without cleaning them, the rotors could still be glazed with dust, which would mean that your new brake pads don’t have much to grip onto.  

Another possibility is that the brake pads themselves are the problem. It’s possible that the new brake pads that the mechanic installed in your vehicle are not of the highest quality and are going to be squeakier than brake pads of a higher quality. Of course, these higher quality pads are going to be more expensive which is why some mechanics are less likely to put them on your vehicle unless specifically asked to do so.  

If you have any doubts or concerns about the reason your brakes are squeaking you should consult a professional dealership or mechanic shop just to be safe.