On the long list of things you do not want to have go wrong on your vehicle, brakes might be number one. The thought of not being able to stop when you need to is scary, and a random noise will certainly amplify any nervousness you feel. It is important to know what noises you should be concerned about and need your immediate attention. Luckily, you may find out that the jarring, annoying noises are a good sign.
When the brake pads squeeze a metal rotor together, it might cause a vibration and the vibration may emit a noise. It is important to know that some noises are okay and totally normal. It depends on the conditions you most regularly drive in, and how often your vehicle comes into contact with dusty, sandy, or humid conditions, as well as the prevalence of extremely quick braking. Sometimes, you will find that your brakes are making noise because they are working perfectly fine. In addition, sometimes compact cars will make a high-pitched squeal during the first few minutes of running the car, and usually it is nothing to worry about.
Brake pads used to be made with asbestos, and in the following years it has been replaced with a semi-metallic material – so if you find that your brakes are squeaking, that might actually be a good thing, even if it is annoying. The metallic is harder, safer and lasts longer, yet it can make a sort of high pitched noise when you brake.
Usually the fix for getting rid of that horrible noise is easy, but it is important to have any maintenance performed by an expert. Their approach will vary, and sometimes your brake pads simply need a bit of lubricant, or need to have a part of the surface sandpapered off. Sometimes, your mechanic may decide that the brand of brake pads is the issue, and if so, you can try a different brand and see if the sound goes away.
However, brake pads are also built to make noise when they need to be replaced, so ultimately, if you hear a noise that just does not seem right, call your mechanic. It is important to check in with your mechanic if you hear any sudden noises, as it is better to err on the side of caution. It is better to get a second opinion and find out that everything is okay, than to keep it to yourself and find yourself regretting that decision.