Do you hear an unsettling disc brake squeal when you press the brake pedal? Discover the common causes behind this noise and why neglecting it can lead to brake failure.
In this article
The tell-tale strip can cause disc brake squeal
The disc brake squeal when braking is usually the tell-tale strip contacting the disc brake rotor when the brakes are applied. The tell-tale metal strip or tag comes in contact with the brake disc known as the brake rotor and alarms the driver your brake pads are worn out and need replacing. It can even sound like you have screeching or squeaky brakes too. The common culprits are the brake pads and brake rotor (if undersized) are worn out. Very important to have them replaced before the metal backing contacts the disc/rotor causing squeaky disc brakes when not braking and damage to the disc rotor.
Image showing completely worn disc brake pad causing disc brake squeal
When checking disc brakes, inspect the thickness of the brake pad linings. Brake pads should be replaced when the thinnest (most worn) part of the lining is no thicker than the metal backing part (approximately 3mm). When doing a car inspection most brake pads can be sighted through the wheel. You should be able to get an idea if they need replacing now or at some point in the future. Learn more on how to inspect a used car when buying a car from a private seller.
Metal-to-metal contact causes disc brake squeal when not braking
Here the brake pad is completely worn down to the metal backing plate. The backing plate from the pad makes contact with the rotor. In severe cases, loss of the inner brake pad completely then results in the brake calliper piston contacting the disc rotor and brake failure. Here you can see how the disc rotor is scored and is unserviceable.
7 signs your car brakes need checking
When should you do a brake pad replacement?
It’s important to keep an eye out for any indications of wear and decreased braking effectiveness in your brake pads. These indications may manifest as:
- Squeaking or squealing sounds when you apply the brakes
- Longer stopping distances
- The brake pedal feels spongy
- Visible thinning of the brake pads
There are other warning signs, as shown in our infographic titled ‘7 Signs Your Brakes Need Changing.’
Regularly inspecting your brakes is crucial, for ensuring the safety of your vehicle and to maintain optimal braking performance. The brake pad thickness and disc rotor thickness can be measured using a calliper gauge that measures in millimetres (mm). This way you can budget for when brake pad replacement is due* (affiliate link).
Also, some vehicles may display a warning light on your dash that comes on when your brake pads need changing.
Best brake pads for the daily driver
If you’re looking for the best car brake pads for sale to suit your driving needs we can help. Brake pads are one of the most important components in your vehicle. They provide the friction that is needed to stop your car in an emergency. If you have a daily driver and want to find the best brake pads for it, read on!
The first thing to consider is the material used to make the brake pads. Most passenger vehicles use a semi-metallic compound for their brake pads. This compound provides more stopping power than organic compounds and also lasts longer. The trade-off with this type of compound is that it generates more dust than other types of compounds due to its higher friction levels. If you are not as concerned about stopping power or need less dust, organic brake pads have an organic compound and might be a better choice for you.
Are ceramic brake pads good?
If you’re in the market for brake pads, you might be wondering what’s the difference between ceramic and metal brake pads. Ceramic brake pads use the latest friction materials that offer new stopping performance, low dust, low rotor wear and improved durability. They are often more expensive than metal, but it’s well worth the extra money to pay for quality. Brake performance is excellent with ceramic because they don’t wear down as fast as metal, so there’s less need for change-outs. One other thing to consider is metal brake pads are metal and create a lot of brake dust. You get a disc brake squeal after cleaning which is annoying.
How long should ceramic brake pads last?
Ceramic brake pads are designed to last longer than traditional brake pads. They are designed to be more resistant to heat and wear, which means they can last up to 70,000 kilometres depending on the type of use before they need to be replaced.
What are the best ceramic brake pads for day-to-day use?
The best brake pads for day-to-day use are the general CT brake pads from Bendix Brakes* (affiliate link). General CT brake pads are designed to reduce brake dust and noise. The use of the highest-quality friction materials guarantees performance, which means your brakes will not only be clean but also noise-free. Advanced technology uses diamond-shaped pads to eliminate noise and vibrations. They have a blue titanium stripe that provides instant friction and doesn’t require bedding-in. Learn more and buy car brake pads online in sets to save money.
What are performance brake pads?
Performance brake pads are the perfect upgrade for all your braking needs. Bendix has a wide range of pads that will be ideal for most vehicles. These brake pads are engineered to meet OEM quality standards and provide long-lasting reliable stopping power. Performance front brake pads from Bendix are designed to increase stopping power and reduce wear on the rotor. This performance brake pad is designed for European vehicles including Audi and Volkswagen. Add these to your cart today!
Which company is best for brake pads?
The best company for brake pads is the one that has good customer service, high quality, and competitive prices. To save money, you also want to buy the best car brake pads online from eBay to suit your needs and wants. Do you need brake pads for everyday driving or for more performance? Having some idea as to what you need will help you decide your budget. Be careful buying the cheapest brake pads because they can lead to unnecessary brake squeals.
How much should a complete set of new brake rotors and brake pads cost?
Before you proceed with replacing the brake pads and rotors it’s worth considering checking out eBay for discounted brake parts* (affiliate link). They stock premium brands like Bendix, Protex, Bosch, DBA and others. This is especially beneficial if you need brake parts for Audi or BMW vehicles. Keep in mind that the cost of the brake job can vary depending on factors such as the type of brakes, the make and model of your car and the service provider you choose.
For example, a complete set of four rotors and pads typically costs between $350 to $450, at auto parts stores while independent mechanics may charge $500 to $600. The total expense can change based on the services related to your vehicle brakes that are required.
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