Why Is My Brake Pedal Squeaking?

Most likely, squeaky brakes are either the result of your pads rubbing against your rotors or your rotors rubbing against their mounting brackets.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what causes brake squeaks and give tips on how to fix them if they happen to pop up in yours.

What Causes Squeaky Brakes?

When you apply the brakes, friction causes your brake pads to rub up against your rotor or brake drums. This applies enough pressure for them to engage with the brake calipers, which then bring you to a stop.

As your brakes wear down over time (and with repeated use), this rubbing will create an irritating squeal. Often, the squealing happens when you first apply your brakes and seems to go away after they’ve warmed up.

This is because the pads are slightly glazed over when you first apply the brakes, which lessens how much they will squeal. When your pads are completely worn out, this is when you’ll hear the loudest squeak. It can be because of many reasons. We have listed most common here:

Worn Brake Pads

The most common reason your brakes squeak is that your brake pad material has worn down and needs to be replaced. However, if you’re hearing a squeal when you first apply the brakes, it could be because your brake pads are rubbing against the rotor or brake drum. To determine which, check underneath your vehicle so that you can see what they’re rubbing up against.

Rusted brake rotors

If your rotors are glazed over with rust and debris, this is most likely what’s causing your squeaks. If this is the case, try to power wash them with warm water and soap to remove the debris. This should eliminate the squeaking noise almost immediately.

Brake Rotor Fretting

If your rotors are rubbing against themselves when you press down on the brakes, you’ll experience a much louder noise. This is known as brake rotor fretting – or “self-excitation” in some cases. Over time, your rotors will wear down so that it’s no longer possible for them to rub against each other.

When this happens, you’ll have to replace the rotors on your vehicle. If the damage is too great (the rotors are severely warped, dented, or cracked), you’ll probably need to replace your brakes.

How to Fix Brake Squealing?

If you’ve washed off your rotors with soap and water to alleviate the squealing noise on the first application of brakes, try applying one of many brake pad compounds or a dab of hand lotion to the rotors.

If none of these quick fixes work, it could be that your brake pads are worn down completely or that the brakes are self-exciting. In either case, you’ll need to have them replaced by a professional mechanic at your earliest convenience so you can drive safely!


If you’ve noticed a squeak coming from your brakes over time – especially when you press on the braking pedal – be sure to get it checked out by an expert mechanic at your earliest convenience! Most likely, you will need a brake pad replacement, but other issues like rotors or self-exciting brakes should be taken care of by a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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