How to Fix Squeaky Brakes On a Car: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

As a car owner, there are few things more annoying than hearing the high-pitched squeaking of brakes every time you come to a stop. Not only can it be embarrassing, but it can also be a sign of more serious issues with your vehicle.

Fortunately, fixing squeaky brakes is often a simple process that can be done at home with the right tools and knowledge.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what causes brakes to squeak and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix them.

Understanding the Causes of Squeaky Brakes

Before we dive into the specifics of how to fix squeaky brakes, it’s important to understand what causes them in the first place. The most common causes of squeaky brakes include:

Worn Brake Pads

One of the most common causes of squeaky brakes is worn brake pads. Over time, the pads can become worn down, which can cause them to make a high-pitched noise when they come into contact with the rotor.

Glazed Brake Pads

Glazed brake pads are another common cause of squeaking. This occurs when the brake pads become overheated and a layer of glazed material forms on the surface.

Dirty Brake Components

Dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on the brake components over time, which can cause them to squeak when they come into contact with each other.

Rusty Rotors

Rusty rotors can also cause brakes to squeak. This occurs when the surface of the rotor becomes corroded, which can cause the brake pads to make noise when they come into contact with it.

How to Fix Squeaky Brakes: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’ve covered the common causes of squeaky brakes, let’s take a look at how to fix them. To fix squeaky brakes, you’ll need a few tools and some basic mechanical skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

Before you start fixing your squeaky brakes, you’ll need to gather some tools. These include a lug wrench, a jack, jack stands, a C-clamp, a wire brush, brake cleaner, and new brake pads.

Step 2: Raise the car and remove the wheels

Use the lug wrench to remove the wheel nuts and then lift the car with a jack. Secure the car with jack stands and then remove the wheels.

Step 3: Inspect the brake pads and rotors

Inspect the brake pads and rotors for wear and damage. If the brake pads are worn down, you’ll need to replace them. You should also check the rotors for any cracks or damage.

Step 4: Remove the brake pads

Use a C-clamp to compress the caliper piston and then remove the brake pads.

Step 5: Clean the brake pads and rotors

Use a wire brush and brake cleaner to remove any buildup on the brake pads and rotors. This will help prevent brake noise in the future.

Step 6: Replace Worn Brake Pads

If the problem is caused by worn brake pads, the next step is to replace them. This can be done using a brake pad replacement kit and a few basic tools.

Step 7: Resurface the Rotors

If the problem is caused by rusty or glazed rotors, the next step is to resurface them. This can be done using a rotor resurfacing tool and a few basic tools.

Step 8: Lubricate the Brake Components

Once you’ve replaced or repaired the necessary components, the final step is to lubricate the brake components. This can be done using a brake lubricant spray.

Step 9: Reinstall the wheels and lower the car

Reinstall the wheels and use the lug wrench to tighten the wheel nuts. Lower the car and then tighten the wheel nuts again.

Read Also: In case you are interested in understanding the steps to take in case of brake failure please read “Brakes Fail in Automatic Car“.

Tips for Preventing Squeaky Brakes

Now that you know how to fix squeaky brakes, let’s take a look at some tips for preventing them in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to keep your brakes from squeaking:

Use High-Quality Brake Pads

Using high-quality brake pads can help prevent squeaking and prolong the life of your brake components.

Keep Your Brake Components Clean

Regularly cleaning your brake components can help prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris that can cause squeaking.

Avoid Overheating Your Brakes

Avoiding hard stops and excessive braking can help prevent your brakes from overheating and becoming glazed.

Get Your Brakes Inspected Regularly

Regularly having your brakes inspected by a professional can help identify potential issues before they become bigger problems that lead to squeaky brakes.

Avoid Driving in Wet Conditions

Driving in wet conditions can cause your brake components to become wet and increase the likelihood of squeaking. Try to avoid driving in wet conditions as much as possible.

Don’t Ride Your Brakes

Riding your brakes for extended periods of time can cause them to overheat, which can lead to glazed brake pads and squeaking.

Importance of Regular Brake Maintenance

Regular brake maintenance is essential for preventing brake noise and ensuring your safety on the road. It’s recommended to inspect your brake pads and rotors every 12,000 miles and replace them when necessary. You should also clean your brakes and rotors regularly to remove any buildup.

Expert Opinion

As an experienced mechanical engineer, I’ve seen my fair share of squeaky brakes over the years. In my opinion, regular brake maintenance is the key to preventing brake noise and ensuring your safety on the road.

By inspecting your brakes regularly and replacing worn components, you can avoid costly repairs and potential accidents. Don’t ignore brake noise and always take action to fix it as soon as possible.

In my experience, using high-quality brake pads and rotors is also important. They may be more expensive upfront, but they are designed to last longer and reduce noise and vibration.

Remember, your brakes are one of the most important safety features on your car. Always take them seriously and never hesitate to seek professional help if you’re not confident in your abilities.

The Pros and Cons of Different Brake Pads

Here is a table outlining the pros and cons of different brake pad materials:

Brake Pad MaterialProsCons
CeramicLow dust, quiet, long-lasting, good performance in wet conditionsExpensive, less initial bite, can be hard on rotors
OrganicAffordable, good initial bite, quietHigh dust, less durable, less effective in wet conditions
Semi-MetallicGood performance in high temperatures, affordable, good initial biteNoisy, high dust, less effective in wet conditions
MetallicGood performance in high temperatures, durable, good initial biteVery noisy, high dust, can be hard on rotors, less effective in cold temperatures

How to Choose the Right Brake Pads for Your Car to Avoid Squeaky Brakes?

Choosing the right brake pads for your car can help prevent squeaky noise and ensure safe braking performance. Here are some factors to consider when selecting brake pads:

  1. Vehicle make and model: Different vehicles may require specific brake pad types or sizes. Consult your vehicle’s owner manual or a trusted mechanic to determine the appropriate brake pads for your car.
  2. Driving habits: If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or heavy braking, you may want to choose a brake pad with higher durability and performance. If you do mostly highway driving, a brake pad with lower dust and noise may be preferable.
  3. Material type: As mentioned earlier, different brake pad materials have their own pros and cons. Consider the type of driving you do and your personal preferences when choosing between ceramic, organic, semi-metallic, or metallic brake pads.
  4. Brand quality: It’s important to choose a reputable brand with a history of quality brake pads. Cheaper or off-brand options may be tempting, but they may not perform as well or last as long as higher-quality options.
  5. Budget: Brake pads can range from affordable to very expensive. Consider your budget and balance it with the need for quality and safety when choosing brake pads.

By considering these factors and doing your research, you can select brake pads that are best suited for your car and driving habits, while also minimizing the chances of experiencing squeaky noise. It’s always a good idea to consult with a trusted mechanic or brake specialist to ensure proper installation and performance of your brake pads.


Squeaky brakes can be annoying and potentially dangerous if left unaddressed. However, with the right tools and knowledge, fixing them can be a simple process that can be done at home. By understanding the common causes of squeaky brakes and following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can get your brakes back to working properly in no time.


Can squeaky brakes be dangerous?

A: Yes, squeaky brakes can be a sign of more serious issues with your vehicle and can potentially be dangerous if left unaddressed.

Do I need to replace my brake pads if they’re squeaking?

A: Not necessarily. Squeaking can be caused by a number of factors, including worn brake pads, glazed brake pads, dirty brake components, or rusty rotors. The best course of action is to identify the source of the problem before determining whether or not the brake pads need to be replaced.

How often should I have my brakes inspected?

A: It’s recommended to have your brakes inspected at least once a year, or more frequently if you notice any issues with their performance.

How can I tell if my brake pads are worn?

A: You can tell if your brake pads are worn by inspecting them for signs of wear, such as a thinning pad material or a worn-down metal backing. Additionally, you may notice a grinding noise when you apply the brakes, which can also indicate worn brake pads.

Can I fix squeaky brakes myself, or should I take my car to a mechanic?

A: Fixing squeaky brakes can be done at home with the right tools and knowledge. However, if you’re not comfortable working on your own car, or if you’re unsure of the source of the problem, it’s always best to take your car to a qualified mechanic for an inspection and repair.

How long does it take to fix squeaky brakes?

A: The time it takes to fix squeaky brakes can vary depending on the severity of the problem and your mechanical skills. On average, it can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.

Can I drive with squeaky brakes?

A: Yes, you can still drive with squeaky brakes, but it’s not recommended. Not only is it annoying, but it can also indicate a more serious problem with your brakes.

How much does it cost to fix squeaky brakes?

A: The cost to fix squeaky brakes can vary depending on the severity of the problem and the cost of replacement parts. On average, it can cost anywhere from $100-$300 per axle.

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