The brake system is the most important safety feature of your vehicle. Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong with your brakes. All these problems require immediate attention, but first, you have to find out exactly what’s going on with your brakes. If you hear a screeching, metallic sound when you apply your brakes, the pads are probably wearing out and need replacement. 

If your brake pedal feels soft and doesn’t stop the car right away, you may have a fluid leak or air in the brake system. Finally, if your pedal feels too stiff, the vacuum booster could be failing. If you discover any of these problems, take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to have them fixed.

Fixing Noisy Brake Pads

Drive slowly to see if the screeching goes away. A bit of screeching in your brake pedals is normal and usually nothing to worry about. It is common in the morning when your car is still warming up, or if there was recently some rainy weather and the pads are wet. Drive around your neighborhood slowly and brake normally. If the noise goes away after a few minutes, then your brake pads were still just warming up.

Inspect the brake pads if the sound continues after the car warms up. 

Brake pads are designed to start screeching when they’re getting worn down. If the car has warmed up and you still hear a screeching noise, then you probably need new brake pads. 

  • The sound when your brake pads need replacing is also different from normal warming up noises. A metallic grinding noise indicates worn out brake pads.
  • You probably won’t notice much trouble stopping even if your brake pads are very worn down, so don’t rely on this as an indicator on whether you need new brakes or not. The grinding metallic sound is the indicator.

Replace your rear brakes if the pads squeal when you apply the E-brake. 

Even if you know that the brake pads need replacement, you may not be able to tell which ones are going bad. For a quick trick, isolate your rear brakes. Drive slowly, around 15 mph, and apply your e-brake. Since the e-brake only triggers the back brakes, screeching indicates that the back brakes are the ones that need work 

  • Make sure no cars are behind you when you do this experiment.
  • Remember that this trick only tells you if the rear brakes need work but doesn’t tell you if the front ones are worn out too. If you replace your back brakes and still hear screeching, then the front ones need work as well.

Install new brake pads to stop the screeching. 

Once you’ve confirmed that the brake pads need replacement, install new pads to fix the problem. Either take the car to a mechanic or if you know how to, replace the pads yourself. 

  • Remember to get pads that fit your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure what kind of brake pads your car uses.
  • Drive around and apply your brakes. The screeching should stop after the pad replacement. If you still notice brake problems, take the car to a mechanic for an inspection.

If you still have more questions about your brakes for your vehicle, give us a call at Callahan Automotive to have your questions answered by one of our trained technicians.