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8 Reasons Your Car Is Making Grinding Noise When Braking

Sometimes, your car makes grinding noise when braking. It’s a warning sign telling you that there’s something wrong either with the brakes or the rotors. Many car owners like to ignore such sounds for fear of an extensive repair. Well, you shouldn’t do this mistake! Ignore your automobile’s moans and groans and it may cost a fortune to repair down the road.

What Happens When You Ignore Brakes Making Grinding Noise?

Vehicles can make various sounds and some are normal and harmless. Nonetheless, you should never turn a deaf ear to grinding noise when braking because it could endanger your safety! The car has to generate plenty of heat energy through friction every time you push the brake pedal. As a result, the brake pads can wear out over time, causing the damage of rotor and caliper and the brakes to fail. Faulty brakes are never good news because it may lead to major accidents. So, ignoring brakes grinding will only make the problems worse.

The Causes Of Grinding Noise When Braking

All the parts and components of a vehicle are supposed to fail or wear out at some point. However, what is important is to identify the problems before these become serious. So, find out the causes of brake noises and take the car to the repair shop if necessary.

Brakes Making Grinding Noise
(photo source: Scotty Kilmer @ Youtube)

1. Worn-out Brake Pads

Worn-out brake pads are one of the reason making grinding noise when braking. If your brake pads are used for quite a long time, the backing plates will gradually lose its material. This causes metal touching other metal, resulting in squeaking noises. Besides, the rotor can also rub the caliper and scrape its meal surface. Thus, if you do not replace the pads immediately, your brakes will be severely broken. Moreover, the backing plate and the caliper will destroy each other, causing grooves and damage.

2. Low-Quality Brake Pads

Many people think buying a low-quality pads is a good way to save some bucks. But actually it’s a wrong decision. The poor quality brake pads often contain metal chunks, which will rub and scrape on the surface of the rotor, causing heavy damages. So if you are planning to replace the pads, choose good products from a renowned brand.

3. Solid Objects Between Rotor And Caliper

It’s normal for the components to catch dirt, dust, and grime. However, sometimes small rocks or other solid objects from the road can between the caliper and rotor and create brakes grinding noise whether you push the brake or not. The frictions created from such an object can damage these parts.

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4. Broken Shims

Another reason responsible for the grinding noise when braking is  broken shims. A worn-out shim will make a contact with a piece of the braking system, such as the rotor. When metal comes together with other metal like this, they will create a grinding sound from your braking system.

So anytime you get a brake job done, you must replace the shims. Sometimes, your mechanic may avoid this as they want to do their job rapidly, so make sure that they do replace them for you.

5. Not Driving The Car Often

It’s another reason your car is making grinding noise when braking. Brake pads have an average lifespan of 20,000 miles. Nonetheless, they may not last that much longer for some reasons. One probable cause is leaving the automobile in your garage for weeks. Idleness and bad weather can cause the forming of rust and corrosion on the rotors. It that case, the rust will spread to other parts too and destroy them. You should drive the car regularly, at least for a while, to avoid this problem.

6. Worn-out Rotor Discs

Worn-out rotor discs cause grinding noises when braking.
Worn-out rotor discs cause grinding noises when braking. (photo source:

Worn-out rotor discs are possible culprit creating annoying noises from the braking system. Rotor discs that aren’t flat will cause squeaking sounds. Rotor discs that are too worn-out will create scraping sounds instead. Moreover, worn-out rotors will cause a lot of vibrations from the braking system. These vibrations come at irregular forms and you can easily feel them through the brake pedal. This case is less popular than the first one.

7. Faulty Wheel Bearing

If you hear the grinding noises from your wheels or observe vibrations which alternate from quiet to loud, then you may have a worn-out or damaged wheel bearing. So check the wheel bearings carefully and replace them if needed to get rid of annoying sounds.

8. Unlubricated Caliper Bolts

Caliper bolts will make grinding sound when braking if they are lack of lubrication. This case is rarely occur, but it could. A auto mechanic will automatically replace new caliper bolts for you during his repair work.

Frequent Asked Questions About Grinding Noise When Braking Issue

1. Are Grinding Noises From Braking System Dangerous?

Your brakes are one of the most important safety parts in your vehicle. So if you notice any warning signs like squeaky or grinding sound when braking, it’s time to get a pro to check your vehicle or else your safety will be in danger.

2. How Much Does It Cost To Have Your Brakes And Rotors Replaced?

A brake repair job for one wheel including new calipers, pad replacement, new rotors and labor can cost you from $300 to $800 depending on your car and other factors. If all of these parts need to be replaced, the fee can easily expand to $1000+. The average cost is around $500.

3. Can I Drive My Car With Bad Rotors?

Bad rotors have a low ability to absorb and disperse heat causing the braking system to overheat. Though you still drive a car with bad rotors, but these bad rotors will create the point that the brakes can not work effectively and might entirely fail, putting you and your vehicle in danger.

How to stop your brakes from Squeaking? Check out the video below: 

Did you enjoy our article? If you have any question related to this topic or any car maintenance tips, feel free to leave it in the comment section, then we will answer it for you later.

  1. Mwangi says

    Hallo, why does brake make a cracking sound when I release

  2. Nixon says

    I have been following your information because I find them very useful! Thank you.

  3. Peter Griffiths says

    Thanks for the info – my car has started making a scraping noise and after reading this I’ll get it checked – hope it isn’t going to be too expensive! :/

  4. Danyel Saulsbury says

    My dad’s van is making a noise when he is pushing on the breaks and. When he turns a corner. I need to know what could it be.can you please help me

  5. Martin says

    When i press on emergency breaks, the pedal goes down smoothly then some grinding noise, so in case i am speeding, i have to press on the breaks twice to get the instant breaks. I have done skimming, i have changed the pads, the break fluid as well but nothing. Then a springing sound comes out after i park for a long time and start moving on pressing the breaks i hear the sound of the spring. I did diagnose the car and got two errors, C1261 solenoid malfunction, what could it be

  6. Bob says

    Hi I did wheelbearing change on the left of my clio 3 1.4 2006 the Abs light when on the brakes is perfect when the light goes off it gives a grinding sound when brakes is pressed down then the light comes on its works well again please help

  7. Jeanette says

    I have a 2015 toyota rav 4 with 56,000 Mike’s on it. I have replaced rotors break pads tires and rear windshield wipers. When I drive I dont hear the noise but when I reverse or break u hear a thump sound. I have taken this car back 2 times and they said it’s safe to drive although I dont feel safe driving it. What can be the issue this car. When I turn the steering wheel to park I hear a cracking sound. Please any infor.ation I may get is helpful. Thank you sincerely concerned driver.

  8. Kacie Goodman says

    Sometimes our car makes grinding noise while braking. It is a warning sign that tells us there is some problem in the brakes or brake rotors. Here the author has mentioned top reasons behind this grinding noise. These are- solid objects between rotor and caliper, low quality brake pads, damaged friction pads and not driving the car often. Many car owners ignore such noises for fear of extensive repairs. But we shouldn’t do that mistake. If the grinding noise persists for long, you should take your car to a certified auto repair shop for brake repair.

  9. […] Grinding Noise When Braking […]

  10. car revoval melborne says

    HI Kacie Goodman ,
    This was a great information about the resolving of issue permanently in a car during driving easily by using the service of Victoria car removal in Melbourne with in a short period of time a start your journey safe and fast without any trouble shoot ,If your car is still running before you sell it to the junkyard due to any kind of issue then you must use the service of car removal in Melbourne , you might want to use up the gasoline in the tank before you have it towed away. Depending on the size of the tank in your car or truck, the value of the gasoline in the tank can represent a substantial portion of the total value of the price you’re getting from the junkyard. If your car isn’t running, be careful if you attempt to siphon gasoline from the tank. Use only approved containers to carry the gasoline, and never start a siphon using your mouth. Don’t worry about the value of the gas to the junkyard. They’ll have to drain all the fluids out of your car before recycling or scrapping the parts, and gasoline in the tank is a nuisance for them.
    Thanks .

  11. Karen Plunkett says

    The braking system is a crucial part of the vehicle which needs regular maintenance like other components of the vehicle. Driving a vehicle with damaged components could lead to an accident. So, the appearance of the abnormal sign while applying the braking system could be due to the use of damaged components. The source of origin of such sign should be identified and repaired in time to ensure the smoother performance of the vehicle.

  12. […] Grinding Noise When Braking […]

  13. […] Grinding Noise When Braking […]

  14. Yonten says

    I have problem with such noise and tried of going to workshops time again till date. I have changed my break pad and the cutting o disc be carried out. But its has not worked out.

    Please suggest.

  15. […] foreign object jammed between the rotor and caliper could be another reason for this grinding noise. The regular […]

  16. Adrian labuna says

    All my brake are fine but the grinding sound still do noises sound, when i remove the abs fuse the grinding sound stop noises

  17. Ade says

    My brake is fine but makes grounding sound when brake pedal is depressed. After a few minutes of driving, ABS fault shows up and grinding sound stops.
    Any advise please?

  18. benjamin guzman says

    the rear brakes on my 2008 pontiac solstice started making a noise after the brake pads were changed for the first time at around 100,000 miles…there was plenty of pad left but the pads were “dry” and were starting to “squeak” so we decied to change them then.
    after several days, the RIGHT rear brakes started to make a “clinking” sound, and then after a few days of that, a noise like “dragging”
    since then we’ve changed the new pads (suppossedly they were not original parts) to original pads. the noise went away, but after a few days, the two noises came back again, first the “clinking”, and then eventually the “dragging”
    so we changed the pads again to original pads and resurfaced the rotors. noises went away, but after a few days…all over again
    so we changed the caliper, noises went away, but after a few days, again the noises have come back..first the “clinking” for 2-3 days, and the the “dragging” noise starts
    this is a problem ONLY with the right rear brake

  19. John Muriithi says

    Your advice was so helpful.

  20. Chris McKee says

    I have a 2000 lexus rx300. I replaced all the brake pads and i have constant sqeuling noise coming from front driver side. Except when brake pedal is pressed. I did buy the cheaper pads. But dont think thats the problem. As noise only comes from driver front. How likely is it that its the hardware or guide pins thats creating this noise?

  21. Matthew Hutton says

    Thanks for this info, I do not do too many miles in my van, I had my pads and disc replaced at my last MOT, I am now thinking the pads were cheap hence why they are worn out in just eight months!!

  22. jim says

    brakes started grinding – not to bad _on thursday morning by friday afternoon they were grinding so bad i was afraid
    to drive the car. IS THIS NORMAL for the brakes to go from barely making a sound to god awful in 24 hrs

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