Car MaintenanceDriving Articles

Squeaky Brakes & What You Can Do About Them

There’s not much out there that is more important than your vehicle’s brakes, and when they start to get squeaky, it’s a great time to look into how yours are doing. We already know how brakes work and the different types that are out there (as well as looking at how ABS systems work also), but we need to know how to look after them. It’s vital to good car maintenance and to your safety too, so they’re never one you should forget about.

If you are struck by the curse of squeaky brakes though, whether they’re brand new or a few years old, it may be time to take action. Before you jump the gun and call the whole thing a lost cause, however, it’s always a smart move to learn what could actually be happening. You don’t want to shrug off something serious after all, but you also don’t want to do unnecessary work either. How to replace brake pads.

Causes of Squeaky Brakes

One of the biggest issues with squeaking brakes and identifying how to fix them actually comes down to identifying the issue. There’s actually a lot more to it than you might think, and all of these are more than viable ways for your brakes to start giving you issues.

Wear and Tear

Without a doubt and most importantly, one of the biggest issues that could be causing squeaky bakes comes from wear. When you brakes become worn, they wear away until the metal making them begins to rub instead of the brake materials. This is done for this exact reason, and lets you know safely that it’s time to get things updated and replaced to ensure your safety. There’s no way around this one… it’s time to change.

Rust and Moisture

Wear and tear isn’t the only thing that can be causing your brake pads to squeak. In fact, rust on your brake pads can be just as bad as anything else. It happens for a range of reasons, especially if you leave your car standing without proper care for a while, and that is asking for rust in a range of places when moving parts are involved. Use them or lose them if this is happening and beware of moisture too, as a lot of the time, you’re stuck with them and they can seize too. That’s a massive safety risk.


Believe it or not, but dust and dirt can be another serious annoyance when we look at squeaky brakes. Whether it’s dust that has been allowed to build up or even dirt form everyday use, it just happens sometimes. A good carwash can fix this, but sometimes, you might really need to take your cleaning to a new level or even take them off to do it. It’s an extreme case but look before you leap if this could be a cause.


Lastly but still a hugely common cause of noisy brakes comes from issues that you could have from your configuration, or issues in the mechanics. Whether that comes from loose brakes, overly tightened brakes, new brakes that just need wearing in or glazed brakes that aren’t set upright, it can all have an awful effect on your braking. It can really break down the efficiency of your brakes and make them last less time too.

How to Fix Squeaky Brakes

If you have been unlucky or just driving long enough for any of the above to happen to you, you need to know what to do about it. It’s not always game over after all, but squeaky brakes aren’t something to be taken lightly either, you always need to put your safety first and get your brakes checked regularly for your own safety and others. If it happens, you need to look for solutions.


The first option is always going to be getting your brakes and everything else that you can clean. Cleaning your car is essential to good car maintenance, and it actually goes a long way towards stopping a huge selection of issues from occurring in the first place.

Over half of the issues above can be prevented to at least some extent by doing it properly, regularly and thoroughly. It really is worth more than it gets credit for, and for such little effort in the grand scheme of things, it can do your car a world of good.


When cleaning the pads isn’t enough, even when you take them off for a good and professional cleaning, you may well need to bite the bullet and get them replaced with new pads, this is the best way to really ensure that you’re doing everything you can. Like all parts, brakes have their lifespan after all. You use them constantly in your driving and it takes its toll on their health.

By their very nature, they are worn the more you drive. Whether you decide to undertake the task yourself or just take it into a garage as an odd job, a servicing requirement or even an MOT failure or advisory, get them changed and get them done correctly too.

No matter what is causing your brakes to squeak, get them checked out. It’s just more of a reason to get a service and to look at your MOT advisories too. If you’re looking at buying a new car, it’s a vital one to remember to check out before you buy. If you need more advise, always remember that inspections exist for this exact reason. We check any car for a huge list of things all usually less than brakes will cost you to put right.

Whatever you do, be careful.

Happy driving!

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