Squeaking brakes after a hiatus
STANDING START - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - July 13, 2020 - 12:00am

A follower who just wants to be named Aliceinchains79 emailed me last June about his car that has squeaky brakes after a few weeks in the garage during the quarantine period. He just wants to know if it’s safe to drive. He goes on saying that the car’s brakes were perfectly fine when he parked in last April and after using it rarely for the past two months, the car had developed a sharp squeaking sound every time he applies the brakes.

Understandably, squeaky brakes are one of the things in a car that can panic a driver. Brakes are arguably the most important safety feature in automobiles. Sometimes the concern is warranted, as the brakes are so bad or make unusual sounds. Other times, however, there may be nothing wrong at all.

Some brake noises are considered normal, to some extent. Different driving conditions can affect brake noise, including severe braking, dusty or sandy conditions, or even humidity, which we have a lot of, considering the equatorial location of our country.

Certain high-pitched brake noises happen usually when the semi-metallic brake pads used on newer cars. These brake pads are safer, more durable and longer-lasting alternative to the asbestos material it replaced. But, yes, the noise can be annoying.

But why does the squeak happen after a garage hiatus? Let’s understand the workings of the brake system.

The brake system on the cars operates with the use of a hydraulic system converted to friction. When you apply your brakes, hydraulic fluid pushes metal components together in the brake system to create clamping power to stop the wheels from rotating.

The brake metal rotors or metal drums that the brake pads squeeze together as you apply the brake pedal can, most of the time, corrode, causing a squeaking noise as the metals on the brake pads come into contact with it. Luckily, it’s not necessarily broken.

It may be okay after a day of use. But some will need cleaning and servicing by a trusted mechanic. If you fancy some DIY, you will need to use Mr.Youtube and some sandpaper to sand off surface hardening of the brake pad/shoes and corrosion on the brake rotors. You will also need to get some brake cleaning spray after the sanding. DO NOT use lubrication oil like WD40 or grease as it may make the brakes slip.

Some brake pads, especially cheaper replacements do make annoying squeaks. Try a different brand of brake pad and buy the better brand, or better yet, the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) from the manufacturer.Why? Because brakes are the most vital part of your car.

If the noise persists, it’s important to have an expert perform the checking. It’s very possible a completely different problem is causing your brake noise, like jammed brakes. Have a trusted mechanic make sure it’s not a more serious problem before you dismiss it as “normal brake noise.”

Remember that brakes are also designed to make noises when they’re going faulty to warn you, so it’s actually a good thing. It’s certainly better to find out your brakes are going bad hearing a squeak than jamming on the brakes and not being able to stop.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with