When your car’s brakes aren’t working properly, the sound they make is one of the most noticeable. It’s important to keep an eye out for high-pitched noises or grind sounds when braking at low speeds, as this indicates that something is wrong and has to be fixed. But what are the reasons for the grinding sound when braking at low speeds?
The most common of them is worn-out brake pads. This indicates that the brake pad has worn down, and there is no metal-to-metal contact between the caliper and rotor. Other reasons include solid particles between rotor and caliper, worn-out rotor discs, broken shims, broken down wheel bearing, and others.
Let’s get to know more about the grinding sound when braking at low speeds.
Why do my brakes grind at low speeds?
You should be cautious if you hear a grinding sound when braking at low speeds. These sounds may warn of impending danger. There are a number of main reasons for grinding brake noises; let’s have a look at them:
1) Worn-Out Brake Pads
One of the most common reasons for grinding noises at low speeds is due to worn-out brake pads. If the brake rotors or pads become severely worn or completely worn out, they will no longer function smoothly, resulting in noise when the brakes are applied.
Ridges, surface scratching, and cracks can form on old rotors. They can also rust, particularly around the wheel hub, which can cause strange noises when the brakes are applied.
2) Trapped Dust between Rotor and Caliber
A piece of debris from the outside could become stuck in your brake system and cause it to malfunction. The caliper can become clogged with debris, such as a piece of rock or gravel.
Then, the rotor and caliper will be in contact with the debris, which may generate a grinding sound when braking at low speeds.
Even if you stop applying pressure on the brake pedal, you will continue to hear these sounds. If the debris is not removed, your rotor may become damaged and require at least resurfacing, if not a replacement.
3) Worn-out rotor disks
Rotor disk wear can be caused by utilizing brakes with worn-out or low-quality brake pads that damage the rotor’s surface. As a result, your rotors’ surface will never remain perfectly level over time. Surface deflection will result, and you’ll notice noises and erratic sensations when you apply the brakes.
4) Broken Shims
Brake pad shims are thin pieces of rubber or metal adhesive placed between the brake caliper and the brake pad to cover any small gaps that may result in undesirable noise.
A worn shim will produce metal-on-metal contact, resulting in a grinding noise. Moreover, you may likely hear a knocking sound when braking at low speeds. Replace them before performing any brake work.
5) Sticky Brake Caliper
As brake calipers age, they may become less efficient, resulting in a squealing noise from the vehicle’s brakes. When the brake caliper doesn’t squeeze and release the brake pad smoothly, it’s known as a “sticky caliper.”
Squeaky brakes, pulling to one side when braking, a burning brake pad or rotor smell, and brake fluid leaks are all signs of a stuck brake caliper.
6) Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads are known to be noisier than conventional brake pads, particularly at low speeds. This is because they are tougher than conventional pads and do not hold the rotors as effectively when cold.
Their surface brake material is composed of a clay and porcelain mixture to which copper flakes have been added to improve thermal conductivity. Due to their unique features, they may not be ideal for all brake systems and won’t come standard on the majority of vehicles.
7) Parking for too long
Rust can build on the brake rotors if you leave your car in the garage for an extended period of time in rainy or humid conditions. In addition, this might lead to the formation of rust on the rotors and other braking system components.
Why are my brakes grinding after new pads and rotors?
In order to become used to new shoes, you have to wear them for a while before they feel right on your feet. The same is with brake pads and rotors. It takes some time to get used to the new brake pads. It’s called “bedding in” when new brake pads are getting their bearings settled in.
You may hear some squealing, screeching, or grinding when your pads are getting used to each other. However, as you continue to drive your car and the brake pads break-in, you should hear less of this noise.
How long can you drive on grinding brakes?
Avoid driving your automobile with grinding brakes as much as possible. Although some individuals have claimed they were able to drive their vehicle for almost two weeks with grinding brakes, we advise against doing so. Two weeks of driving with grinding brakes are too lengthy and dangerous.
It is preferable to purchase a new set of brake pads and replace the old ones as soon as you hear a grinding sound when braking at low speeds. Alternatively, you can consult a professional mechanic for assistance if the reason is not the brake pads.
How to resolve grinding sound when braking at low speeds?
There are a number of things you can do to fix a car’s grinding sound when braking at low speeds:
- Replace the worn-out rotors with new ones.
- Get replacement OEM-quality brake pads.
- Check and replace brake calipers that are squeaky. Removing any debris that has built up in this area is important.
If you don’t know the reason, consult a mechanic and resolve the issue as soon as possible.
What can happen if you ignore brakes making grinding sound?
Grinding noises can put your safety at risk; therefore, you should never ignore them. When you press the brake pedal, you’re causing the car to produce a lot of heat energy due to friction.
This movement is required, but it can wear down the brake pads over time, causing damage to the rotor and caliper and eventually resulting in a brake failure. Leaving a set of brakes that aren’t working properly can lead to an accident that takes lives.
This was all about the grinding sound when braking at low speeds. Now you know the reasons behind it and how you can get it fixed. If this ever happens with your car, always get it repaired as soon as possible, as it can ultimately result in brake failure.
We hope this article was helpful & informative. Please leave your valuable thoughts & suggestions in the comments below!
Thank you for reading!
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