A grinding sound from your car can never be a good sign. When this sound is being produced by the brakes, it is even scarier. Grinding brakes mean that there is some blockage or friction present in the car braking system. And it becomes dangerous to keep driving a vehicle with faulty brakes, on roads and highways.
Here, you will learn some causes of grinding brakes, how severe each of those is, and what to do about them.
Worn-out and overused brake pads:
Anything that has seen the test of time gets worn out and needs a change. Brake pads are no different. When they have been overworked, the layer of backing on top of them becomes thin and starts to wear off. This causes the metal pieces to rub against each other and create grinding.
Something stuck in the caliper:
The caliper is a vital part of the braking system but it is prone to the possibility of getting exposed to impurities like dust, debris, tiny pebbles. When these are stuck in between the caliper and the rotor, they cause grinding, even without the active push of brakes.
Bad quality brake pads:
If you think that buying subpar brake pads is going to save you money, you are thinking too small. In the long run, low-quality brake pads are known to cause way more problems, earlier than good ones would. You can end up having to spend more money trying to fix the problems, than you would have, if you had just bought better brake pads.
The grinding brakes might be a product of broken shims, rubbing against the metal rotor. This can be dangerous as it might damage the rotor or any other part of the braking system if not fixed immediately.
Worn-out metal rotors:
Brake pads are not the only thing we need to prevent from wearing out. The metal rotor can also get effected, in time, by rust or friction. This would damage them and reduce the performance of your brakes, producing grinding or screeching.
Wheel bearing issues:
The ball bearings inside the wheels can come in contact with friction or even debris. This would cause a vibration sensation as well as a grinding sound.
Lack of lubrication:
In any machinery, the use of oil or lubricants is the most important. No matter how expensive or well-maintained your car parts are, they would not work if not lubricated properly. This is shown by the low performance due to friction, and unpleasant grinding sounds coming from your vehicle.
Not operating the car for a long time:
Say your car is just sitting there, in perfect condition, for a few months. You do not drive it even once in this time. When you go back to it, the brakes will produce a lot of loud grinding sounds. The reason for this is the rust and corrosion gathered on it over time, especially in rainy weather when the car is not kept covered. If you take it out and drive once or twice a month, this will be prevented and you can rest easy.
What to do with all these issues?
There are many ways to fix each of these issues, according to the depth of the damage and the time since it started. In any case, it is important to get your car checked as soon as possible. Usually, mechanic or car technician will look for debris stuck inside a part of the brake. Then they would check and maintain the lubrication. They might apply extra lubricant on top. Other than that, they would replace any part that has been damaged by friction, rust or grinding.
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