Brake Noise Rancho Cordova CA - Superior Automotive

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Brake Noise Rancho Cordova CA

We've all heard it. That annoying squeak, squeal or screech coming from a car's brakes. Maybe it's coming from your car or one that's just passing by. Either way, it's an awful, awful sound. The question of "How do I make it stop" has few simple answers.

If it's a repetitive, regular sound, "squeak, squeak, squeak", while your car is rolling but the brakes are NOT being applied, then it could be a "wear sensor" or a warped rotor or drum with uneven wear.

If it's a repetitive, rythmic sound, "squeak, squeak, squeak", when the brakes ARE being applied, the rotors or drums may be warped. If the sound is a prolonged "squeak" or "squeal", the pads or the rotors may have become glazed from exceesive heat caused by prolonged use. They not only make noise but may lose effectiveness because the pads can't grip the rotor properly. On cars with drum brakes, the inside of the drum, the brake shoes, or both, may have become glazed.

With disc brakes, the pads may have become loose or unevenly "seated". This can sometimes be corrected with shims, bonding compounds, or adhesive fabrics. On either disc brakes or drum brakes, dust may also be the culprit. As the components press against each other, material from the pads or shoes is ground down to a fine dust and this may also be the source of the problem.

Yet another culprit could be a sticky caliper. The piston(s) needs to extend and retract smoothly, without excessive friction or snags.

Sometimes the problem is specific to a particular make or model of car or a brand/type of brakes. Jeep, (learn more in detail here and here) for example, is known to have had problems with the hubs of the rotors. The hubs are stamped steel and the wear surface is cast iron. Exposure to salt can compromise the integrity of the hub and cause separation (Recall ID# 29637). This design can also cause brake noise because turning (resurfacing) the rotors won't solve the problem since it's the hub that is warped and not the rotor. The whole unit need to be replaced.

Some high performance brands are thought to have issues with excessive noise, for example Brembo.

The cures for these problems vary and there is no "one size fits all" solution.

Brake shoes and pads are made of many materials. There are ceramic, organic and metallic pads and shoes.

Organic pads and shoes are made of natural materials like glass and rubber, as well as resins that can withstand high heat. Sometimes Kevlar is added to enhance strength and heat resistance. At one time, asbestos was the material of choice, but it's no longer used because its dust causes a fatal disease named mesothilioma. Organic brake pads are generally quieter that ceramic or metallic, but they are softer, so they produce more dust and wear out quicker.

Ceramic brake pads are made of ceramic fibers, filler material, bonding agents and sometimes small amounts of copper fibers. They work very, very well, last a long time and don't produce much dust. What dust they do produce doesn't stick to the wheels. They also dissapate heat very well so they're great for high performance cars that are driven hard. Why doesn't every car have them? they are very expensive and can be noisy.

Metallic brake pads, made from iron, copper, steel and graphite, are the most common type in use today. They last longer and stop the car better than organic pads. Better yet they cost a lot less than ceramic pads. The downside it that they can be very noisy. It's to be expected when you have a metal surface being pressed hard against another metal surface. Noise just happens.

If you're getting noise from your brakes, it may be a good idea to switch to an organic brake with a slightly harder formula.

This process is largely trial and error, searching for the solution thats "just right" for your vehicle and the way you drive. Come on in and we'll work with you to find the answers.

Call us at 916.638.9963 and we'll take care of the rest!