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Brake Noises

Chances are you’ve heard a squealing noise while braking at some point in time. More often than not, this bad brake noise is a sign of trouble. Brake noise can serve as an indicator that you have a little time left before it’s time for a brake replacement service. It can also mean your brakes have worn down completely and you’re ruining your brake rotors and other brake components.

Types of Brake Noises

The two most common types of bad brake noise are squealing and grinding. The next time you are in your car – pay close attention to the sound your brakes make when you press the brake pedal.


Squealing or squeaking noises usually indicate that your brake pads require replacement. Some brake pads are equipped with wear indicators in the form of small steel clips, which make a squealing sound when the pad has worn down. While tire squealing can indicate that you need new brake pads, it can have other implication s and the sound continues, we recommend making an appointment at your local store for a brake system evaluation.

Glazing on the brake pads can also cause them to squeal. Glazing occurs when brake calipers stick, causing the brakes to stay partially applied, which results in excessive friction and heat. This heat causes the pad(s) to harden and crystallize or glaze. Squealing can also be attributed to broken anti-rattle clips (clips that hold the brake pads in place) and/or worn-out brake pad insulation. In any case, it is recommended to have your brakes evaluated as soon as possible if you hear this noise.


Grinding noises are an indication that something is seriously wrong with your brake system. Sometimes, this brake noise could indicate that a small rock or a bit of debris has gotten inside the brakes, and the obstruction simply needs to be removed. Other times, a grinding noise can be heard when your brake pads have worn out completely, causing the steel backing of the worn-out pad to grind against the brake rotor. In this case, not getting the brake pads replaced immediately could do serious damage to the brake rotors, resulting in expensive repair costs. If you do hear a grinding noise, get your car off the road and looked at by a professional immediately. Not doing so potentially puts you and your passengers in an unsafe situation. If you are in this situation and are concerned, Pep Boys offers a brake system evaluation as well as comprehensive brake replacement service packages. .

If your brakes are making a lot of noise, they’re probably trying to tell you something. Don’t let a brake sound go ignored – drop by your local store immediately or schedule a service appointment online today.