Why are your car brakes squealing?

One of the last noises you want to hear while driving is a loud squealing sound when you press on the brakes. This can happen for a number of reasons, but no matter the reason, you’ll want to get it taken care of as soon as possible. We’ve put together some of the possible causes for squealing brakes below.

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What to check when your brakes are squealing

Squealing breaks are most often the result of a vibration of the brake pads. However, your brake pads could be vibrating for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Worn brake pads – After about 40,000 miles (could be more or less depending on the vehicle), your brake pads should be replaced. In many cases, the squealing is a built-in indicator that the brake pads are nearing the end of their life and must be switched with new ones.
  • Loose or broken brake parts – If you’ve recently had work done on your vehicle, it’s possible that the pad insulators, anti-rattle clips, or calipers weren’t tightened correctly. Those parts may also be broken, which could be causing the squealing.
  • Glazed brake pads and rotors – This can occur when the brake calipers stick and the brake remains partially applied, even when you take your foot off the brake pedal. The pads can overheat, harden, and crystalize. That results in less friction, diminished braking power, and squealing.

No matter the cause of the squealing, we recommend having a professional take a look at your brakes. If you’re located in the Boston area, we invite you to schedule a service appointment with our team at Quirk Volkswagen. We can check out what’s causing the squealing and take care of the issue.

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