How to Stop Brakes from Squeaking

Whenever any part of your car is not working properly, the first signal you get, is a different noise. The noise you hear comes from the hood and may be due to belts and bearings, which are worn out and needs to be replaced. If you hear a long squeak or squeal,  it is coming from the brakes. Try to identify what part of the car is creating the sound, as you will have to take immediate action for diagnosing the problem. How to stop brakes from squeaking will need a visual inspection, and a few simple steps to solve your problem.

Whenever you hear a squeaking sound while stopping the car, follow the below steps and solve your problem.

Things Required:

  • Hydraulic floor jack
  • Automotive jack stand
  • Wheel block
  • Brake cleaner
  • WD-40 spray
  • Brake pads
  • Lug nut remover
  • Allen wrenches
  • Open end wrenches
  • Brake fluid
  • Bleeder valve tubing
  • Rubber mallet
  • Cup


  • To stop the car’s brake from squealing, you will have to diagnose and correct the damaged, warped, and worn out brake pad, and scarred disc brake rotor. Place your vehicle on a flat surface without engaging the parking brake. Now, you will have to lift the wheel and tire assembly, which makes the noise, using a hydraulic floor jack and a jack stand that will support the weight of the car. Keep a wooden block on the back of the rear wheel for some extra security while the vehicle is supported by the jack stands.
  • Take out the tire and wheel, which is covering the disc brake assembly because that is the area that creates the squeal. Start inspecting the pads and rotors visually for any signs of wear and tear. Check if the rotors are scarred or worn in waves showing that it is warped. Now, look on the inside of the caliper to check the left brake pad. See if the brake pads are worn out so much, that they are not effective anymore. Spray and wipe the exposed rotor and brake caliper for removing the built up brake pad dust, before you start separating the brake assembly.  
  • Now, you will have to use an Allen wrench for separating the caliper from the disc brake rotor. Two Allen head bolts will be securing the caliper on the mounting bracket from behind the caliper. You will have to reach the caliper with the Allen head wrench, so that you can loosen and take out the two fasteners. Start turning each bolt counter-clockwise for loosening the bolt before you remove it. Clean the bolts properly and then wipe it with WD-40 with a rag. Cleaning and lubricating the brake assembly is one way for getting rid of the squealing brake pads or rotors.
  • Pull out the caliper from the rotor and remove the two brake pads that are present inside the caliper. These pads will have a small retainer, which secures each pad on the caliper plunger. You will have to remove the pad from the plunger and the clip will come out along with it. Retain the clip after this and check both the pads for wear or hot spots. In both these conditions, you will have to replace the brake pads, if you want to stop the squeaking sound from the brakes. Start cleaning the inside of the caliper with the brake cleaner and wipe it with a rag.
  • Place a new pair of brake pads with retainer clips that are clipped on the backside of the pads and insert them inside the caliper’s plungers. It will be necessary to depress the caliper plunger for inserting and installing the new pair of brake shoes and the caliper on the width of the brake rotor. Now, use a C-clamp and the old brake shoe for depressing the plunger.
  • Clean the rotor and inspect it for any kind of damage. A squeal will come from the small grooves, which are present on the faces of the disc brake rotor, which may be present on the brake pads that are completely worn down. A warped rotor will be harder to define if the rotor shows that there has been more contact on the brake pad only on one side. In this case, you will have to replace the rotor. Tap the backside of the disc brake rotor for removing it from the spindle.
  • Now, you will have to install a machined or new rotor on the spindle and tap it back with a mallet. Start sliding the caliper, new brake pads on the rotor and position so that both the retaining bolts are secured in place. The new rotor and brake pads have to be cleaned again with the brake cleaner before you bleed the brake line.

Tips and Warnings:

  • If you want to repair the damaged rotor, then take it to the Autozone for machining service. The technician will be able to measure the width of the car rotor and check if it can be fixed by machining the damaged portion. Bleeding brakes will help in eliminating squeaks, which is caused by the calipers that are unable to depress the brake pads in a proper way. A good bleeding will happen only when you bleed every brake assembly that is located at the end of the axle, back and front.
  • Always remember that the brake lines can be damaged if the caliper is allowed to hang freely on the short rubber hose on which the caliper is attached. Damaged brakes will lead to loss of braking power and the vehicle won’t be able to stop. This is obviously dangerous.

Related Content:

  1. How to Adjust Caliper Brakes
  2. How to Adjust Disc Brakes
  3. How to Adjust BMX Brakes
  4. How to Adjust Drum Brakes
  5. How to Adjust Cantilever Brakes

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