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If your brakes are grinding, making noises and you haven’t changed your brake pads and rotors for a long time, everyone can tell that it’s time to change the pads and rotors.
But what if you noticed that your brake is still grinding after you just replaced your brake pads or rotors?
Most of the time when brakes are still making noise after being changed it is because the rotors were not ground down so the new brake pads are having to get grooves in them to match the grooves on the rotors.
Typically when brakes are changed at a shop they will grind the rotors down a bit to make them smooth to prevent this squeaking and grinding but if you’ve changed the pads yourself (or had a friend do it for you) then it’s likely the squeaking or grinding is just the new pads getting used to the uneven rotors.
In this article, I will give you some other possible causes behind why your brakes are grinding or making noise even after being changed and the possible solutions.
Reasons Why New Brakes Still Grind Or Squeak
If you go to any car mechanic and the brakes are making noise, the first thing he will do is look at the pads and rotors to possibly change them. While most of the time, changing them is enough for you to get rid of the grinding and noise, sometimes the brakes will still squeak or grind after being replaced.
Possible causes of brake noise include:
- The backing plate, located just behind the rotor, got bent and is touching the rotor. Fixing this is pretty easy; the mechanic will just bend it in place.
- The tape weights inside the wheel can hit the brake caliper after each wheel rotation.
- The metal shims of the brake pads can come loose and scrape the rotor.
- And many more.
As I mentioned earlier if you changed the brake pads yourself it’s likely that the noise will go away with time if it’s the pads being shaped to the rotors that is causing the noises. If you notice the noise continues for multiple months of normal driving it is a good idea to take your car tk the shop and make sure that nothing else is wrong.
Is It Normal For Brakes To Make Noise After Replacing Them?
After you have changed the brake pads and rotors, it is unlikely that you will get any noise coming from your car’s brakes.
If you only changed out the rotors or the brake pads and not both then noise can still happen and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However if you replaced both the pads and rotors still having noise isn’t normal.
However, if it still happens, there may be a couple of possible reasons why.
Moisture in the form of rain, ice and snow has come between the rotor and brake pads.
Sometimes overnight condensation will result in surface rust, which will get cleaned off after you drive the car for some time. This moisture can generate a squeaky sound as you apply the brakes.
This noise can also happen if you haven’t driven the vehicle for a while and it has rained, snowed, etc. recently.
Constant and heavy use of brakes can make the brakes really hot, which results in a squeaky sound.
Most of the time overusing the brakes won’t make them squeak but it has happened before. So if you just drive through the mountains or had a lot of braking during your morning commute it could be because of that.
If the sound is more of grinding than squeaking, there is reason to worry as that could mean your pads are down to nothing or that they are hanging up on the rotors because of a stuck caliper.
However, some brake hardware and brake pads make more noise than others and it can be completely normal even if there is some grinding.
How Do I Stop My New Brakes From Grinding?
If your new brakes are making grinding noises, there have been instances where the following steps proved beneficial.
To stop your new brakes from grinding you can try adding grease to the brake pads, cleaning off the brake dust, installing shims for your brakes, or have the rotors ground flat.
These methods are all quite popular among car owners and mechanics but for grinding the rotors yoh likely will have to take your car to a shop.
Applying Grease To The Brake Pads
If your new brake pads are still making noise, the problem could be because of lack of lubrication. Apply some grease in all the contact points to see if that helps your brakes to stop grinding.
First, remove the brake pad from the calipers, and then apply grease everywhere, so that every contact point including the backside of the brake pad and caliper carrier are covered in a thin layer of grease.
This could smooth out any grinding touch.
To make sure you are not getting the noise because of excessive vibrations, you can install shims on your brake pads. They may already be installed in your car, and if it is making noise somehow it is better to replace them.
Shims are installed on the backside of the brake pads and they work by taking up space so that the brake pads can not move around. They have a small piece of rubber to ensure it is dampening any vibration generated, however, that may generate a squeaking sound.
Remove The Brake Dust
Another reason for your brakes grinding can be the dust trapped between the brake caliper and the rotor. If there is too much dust there, when the car is driven, it gets heated up and generates grinding sound even after you change the brake pads and rotors.
How Long Does It Take For New Brakes To Stop Squeaking?
Even if you have just changed the brakes and rotors, the new set can still generate grinding and squeaky sounds.
Typically it will take driving the car a few hundred miles under normal braking conditions (city driving) for the new brake pads to get worn in. However depending on your driving habits this could take longer or shorter.
Basically the brake pads have to heat up after running the car for some time as heating can get rid of the squeaking sound.
Another way is to simply let the new brake pads wear in. It takes nearly 300- 400 miles for the brake pad compounds to develop even transfer film on the rotors so you should expect it to take that long before the squeaking will stop.
However, if the car is rarely driven then it could get rust on the rotors between each driver which means the squeaking could never stop.
Can You Put New Brake Pads On Old Rotors?
When you are changing your brake pads, it is always recommended to change the old rotors if they are gouged or worn down quite a bit. But what if your rotors are still plenty thick and aren’t gouged or warped?
You can absolutely just replace the brake pads and not the rotors however you will want to have the rotors ground down so as to ensure they don’t make a lot of noise. Old rotors with new brake pads will have a decent amount of squeaking or grinding if they aren’t ground down.
Like brake pads, rotors will also get worn out over time.
They should be of a certain thickness to be considered safe. If they are thinner than that limit, they should be changed along with the pads.
However if they are not too thin, you can just choose to resurface (or grind down) the old rotors and not have to spend the money on replacing them.
What Can You Spray On Your Brakes To Stop Squeaking?
If your brakes are squeaking and they were recently replaced there are a variety of things that you can spray on them to help with the squeaking. However, if you haven’t replaced your brakes recently the squeaking could be a sign that the pads need to be replaced and you shouldn’t try to silence them with sprays!
You can purchase brake cleaner in a spray can, which is easy to use. You just have to spray the cleaner on the rotors directly. Although it dissipates quickly, the solvent stays on lubricating the rotor surface.
These brake cleaners are generally tagged with something like “Quiet brakes” or something similar and they are known for making the brake sound disappear.
Some people will also spray WD-40 on the rotors, but it should not really be used for this purpose. Although there can be a temporary reduction in the brake noise, the brakes will not function properly because there will not be enough friction!
Why Do Brakes Squeal At Low Speeds?
The brake noise can be generated by high frequency vibration of the brake pads against the rotors. These vibrations are generated as the caliper pushes the brake pads against the rotor, and that’s why making the brake pads fit tighter will help to make things better. .
Usually adding shims and grease between the brake pads and rotor will dampen the vibration. However, the level of vibration depends on a lot of other factors including but not limited to humidity, outside temperature, road conditions and the brake pad material.
All these are the possible causes of the squeaking and even grinding sounds. If nothing can successfully stop the grinding, you should go to your car mechanic for a thorough car check up or the brakes to make sure that nothing serious is wrong.