Grinding Noise when braking at low speed – Causes & Solutions

When the braking devices do not work as they should or start to wear out, they may start to make strange noises, especially when braking at low speeds.

As a general rule, noise when braking at low speed may be due to worn brake pads, worn or deformed rotors, dirt or rust on the brakes, and adhesive brake calipers.

If you hear a new sound while braking or the brakes sound different, it’s a good idea to check them out as soon as possible. Sometimes the noise can be due to something common such as stuck dirt or stones or rust on the rotors if your car is parked for a while. Or it could be a sign of something more serious, such as a distorted or cracked rotor or a leaking sealed caliper or brake fluid.

The article is all about the reasons noises come from a vehicle when braking at low speeds and the solution to those problems. So, let’s get started with it.

How does the Braking System Work?

Your engine produces power that allows you to drive your car at high speeds. Going fast is half the job of your car. It also needs to stop. This is why the car is braked.

Although your car has several safety features, brakes are the primary safety feature that keeps passengers safe.

The principle on which the brakes work is friction. The force transfer to the brake pads may vary, but eventually, when the brake pads are involved, the vehicle is stopped using friction.

In most vehicles, the brakes are fitted using a hydraulic system and disc brakes are seen in most modern vehicles. Usually, all four wheels of a car have brakes. In some vehicles, you will see four-wheel disc brakes.

On the other hand, the rear wheels will have drum brakes while the front wheels will have disc brakes. The front wheels work best to stop the car. Thus, they are often fitted with disc brakes.

Most modern cars have a hydraulic braking system. So, to understand how the braking system works, let’s take a look at the hydraulic braking system.

The force you apply to the paddle with your foot needs to be transferred to the brake pad. It not only needs to be moved, but it needs to be expanded. First, the amplification of energy is done by mechanical leverage.

The ball is multiplied many times when you press the pedal using your foot.

Then, the hydraulic system comes into play. A piston enters the cylinder when you push the pedal and expel the hydraulic fluid from the cylinder. Through a system of brake hoses and lines, hydraulic fluid spreads throughout the braking system.

The distribution of hydraulic fluid sends an equal force to all brake pads. When the brake pads are pushed by this force, they come in contact with the wheels. Then friction is created between the brake rotor and the brake pad which stops the car.

This is the whole process of stopping a car through the brakes. Any one of these elements can be defective. When this happens, it often produces a noise when braking at low speed.

Types of Noises When Braking at Low Speeds

You can hear a few kinds of noises while braking at low speeds. Different noises are often caused by different problems. Thus, distinguishing one word from another allows you to more accurately identify the cause of the problem, which will make repair procedures easier.

Grinding Sound

This is one of the worst sounds you can hear. There is always a serious problem associated with sound humiliation from brakes. This is not a problem you ignore and keep driving. If you hear a squeak when braking at low speeds, you should not continue driving.

Grinding noise is often followed by large damage to your brake rotor and caliper. You can reduce the damage quickly by checking the sound. If you continue to drive ignoring the grinding noise, you have a good chance of losing your brakes quickly.

Squeaking Sound

Squeaking sounds can do more harm than good. But squeaking sounds are often the most annoying. This is often caused by poor-quality brake pads. Low-quality brake pads have large metal flakes.

When they come in contact with the brake rotors, they make a squeaking or scraping sound.

Low-quality brake pads are not the only problem you will face. Low-quality brakes will also affect your brake rotors. So, if you hear screams, you need to check the quality of your brake pads.

Worn breaks can also emit a similar sound. If this is the case, the brake wear indicator will tell you the condition of the brake. Using it, you can detect when your brakes need to be replaced.

Squealing Sound

This is often the result of rust on your brake rotors. If you park your car in a wet or damp place for a long time, you may start to hear a scream when you brake at a low speed.

This occurs when a layer of rust covers the rotors. When the rust comes in contact with the metal, it makes a screaming sound.

If you notice a screaming sound when you brake at low speeds after sitting for a long time without driving your car, there is nothing to worry about. After a few breaks, the rust will slowly begin to clear.

Eventually, the screams will disappear.

Causes behind the noise when braking at low speed

Now you know how to distinguish one word from another. These words can arise for a variety of reasons. To solve the problem and stop the noise coming from your brakes, you must first identify the cause. Only then can you think of a solution to the problem.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons why you can hear noise when braking at low speeds.

Worn-out brake pads

This is a common cause of noise when braking at low speeds. The brake works through friction. Due to friction, the brake pads wear out.

Brake pads are made from a mixture of materials such as copper, graphite, and iron. This is the layer that comes in contact with the rotor to create friction during braking. When this layer is finished, the outer metal coating comes in contact with the rotor.

Since it is not a material that would come into contact with the rotor, the outer metal layer will actually hear an unusual sound when it comes in contact with the rotor.

This emits a squeaking sound. Often, worn brake pad indicators will also illuminate. Brake pads are the only surface that is meant to come in contact with the rotors.

When the metal surface comes in contact with the rotor, the rotor is likely to be damaged. So, if you do not replace your brake pads when they are worn out, you may also need to replace the rotors.

Dirt and debris

The brakes of your car are so close to the road that they are constantly bombarded with dirt Most of these impurities are blocked by a protective coating, but some foreign particles have to find a way through them.

These particles get stuck between the brake pad and the rotor. When the brakes are engaged, they come into contact and make an unusual sound.

Different particles of different sizes can emit different sounds. So, there is no way to say for sure what kind of word it might be. You may hear squeals, screams, or screams when braking at low speeds.

Brake pad replacement may not be necessary for this situation. You can try to break the brakes and clean them.

Worn Out Rotors

A worn-out rotor is caused by other maintenance errors that you may have. If you use low-quality brake pads or if you use worn-out brake pads, you can scratch and damage your rotor discs.

Wear and tears will affect the surface of the rotor in such a way that they are no longer flat. So, when the brakes are attached to a worn or damaged rotor disc, you may hear a scream.

You can damage your rotor as soon as you try to clean your car. The brakes become much hotter after driving. If you try to wash your car with cold water and if the water comes in contact with the hot rotor, a rapid temperature change can damage the rotor.

It is difficult to predict what kind of damage your rotors will suffer. So, you may hear strange noises while braking at low speeds. You may notice vibrations when you apply the brakes.

Brake pad components

Since the introduction of automobiles, brake pads have been manufactured using a variety of materials. Brake pads can heat up to 600 to 700 degrees Celsius or 1100 to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.

This indicates that the brake pad needs to be able to withstand the burning temperature.

Finding an ideal component for brake pads is not easy. For this reason, numerous materials have been tested on brake pads. Ingredients such as asbestos, Kevlar, ceramic, and metal alloys are some of the ingredients that were candidates for brake pads.

Today, brake pads made of other materials are available, except asbestos. The words that these materials emit vary greatly from one another. In general, Kevlar and ceramic pads produce much less noise than other brake pads.

So, if you recently change the brake pad material, you may hear noise when braking at low speeds.

Damaged shims

Shims are a thin rubber straps or a metal adhesive that is placed between the caliper and the brake pad to reduce the noise emitted during braking. These are spoiled or spoiled over time.

When the beans don’t work as well, you start to hear more noise than usual when you break.

If your beans are made of metal, you may also hear the sound of grinding. This happens when the shims come in contact with the rotor. Metal-on-metal communication produces grinding sounds.

If your beans are worn or damaged, replace them as needed.

Lack of lubrication

For a friction-based system, you might be wondering, where does lubrication come from?

Although the main components of the braking system do not require lubrication, there are some components in your braking system that require lubrication. The caliper screws and bolts need to be lubricated as needed.

Lack of lubrication in these components can lead to grinding or screaming when braking at low speeds.


With all those metallic components inside the braking system, there is plenty of room for rust. No matter where the rust settles, it can ruin your car. To hear your sound when braking, your brake rotors may rust.

If you keep your parking lot in a damp or wet place for a long time, rust will form. When your rotors get rusty, you will hear a scream when you apply the brakes. Since the rotors are scrubbed by the brake pads, the rust will clear itself.

How to Fix The Noise When Braking At Low Speed?

First, you need to diagnose the problem. The easiest way to do this is to separate the word from what you hear. While it will not directly identify the cause of the noise, it will limit the number of suspects. This is why we have seen different types of sounds before.

General procedure

There are not many ways to fix a faulty brake. Although noise can compress the list of suspects, you need to repair it.

Usually, an unusual sound is heard when your brake caliper is worn out. The best way to deal with this problem is to have a physical examination. Remove tires and inspect brake pads.

While you are in it, also inspect the rotors. Check for wear and damaged signs. If not here’s a new product just for you!

Now proceed to check the shims. You rarely see damaged shims. But if they are damaged, replace them. Finally, lubricate the caliper screws and bolts if they need to be lubricated.

Now inspected, you can work on the solution for the noise. If you notice anything wrong with these components, replace them.

But what if everything is fine and no material is worn out or damaged?

If the components are not responsible, the problem may be due to loose parts. Try wiggling the material by hand. They should not move when you try to move them with your hands. If they do, you need to tighten those elements.

Loose components make strange noises when braking at low speeds. If you have already disassembled the brake pads, clean them to make sure there is no dirt on them.

Apply a damp paste as you reassemble everything. Dampening paste is a water-based compound that significantly reduces vibration. This is an effective solution to reduce noise during breakage.

Once you have applied the paste, leave it to dry for 2 to 3 hours before reassembling your brakes. This should solve the noise problem when braking at low speeds. But if that doesn’t happen, it’s still a way to get your brakes checked by a professional.

How to Maintain the Brakes?

It is essential to have your brake in peak condition to make driving safe. By maintaining your brakes properly, you can extend the life of the components that make up your brakes. Proper maintenance will definitely save you money in the long run.

Now the question is, how do you maintain the brakes?

Brake fluid is an important part of the braking system. Like any other fluid, the brake fluid needs regular attention. Check your brake fluid levels every 3 months and turn it off if necessary. In addition, the brake fluid must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles in a row.

The lifespan of a brake disc depends on many factors. Generally, this is determined by your driving style and the road you drive. So, there is no way to estimate how often your brake discs need to be replaced.

Inspect your brake discs regularly and replace them if necessary. The brake disc lasts about 100,000 miles.

Finally, inspect your rotor and brake pads regularly. Brake pads need to be replaced every 50,000 miles. Be sure to replace the brake pads before damaging your rotors.

By maintaining your brakes in the following ways, you can be sure that you will not have any braking problems while driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my car make noise when I brake?

There are many possibilities to make a brake sound when stopping. Some of these are related to the use of worn-out braking pads and low-quality marked brake pads. There is another reason why clips or beans are not installed properly or are defective. Thus, vibration occurs and it leads to high breaking noise. Another reason is that the braking rotors have an uneven surface. It may sound while braking. All you have to do is check the reason behind the sound and its early detection can save you from a big danger.

Why does my car make a cracking noise when I brake?

This may be because the shims and clip bolts are not fitted well and the brake unit is moving while driving. So, to solve this cracking sound, you need to check if all the above parts are well-fitted and firmly attached. Otherwise, you will need to replace the defective one.

Do you need to flush the brake fluid?

Yes, the brake fluid needs to be flushed. If the liquid remains unclean for a long time, it can become unclean. The rubber of the valve of the system will be damaged. These sediments block the hose or abstract the flow of brake fluid.

You need to make sure you flush your brake fluid every 2 years or every 30,000 miles.

When did you know you needed a new brake disc?

The easiest way to test this is with a physical examination. Examine the discs by looking at the surface of the brake disc. Notice if the disc is smooth or grooved.

You can also notice the sound when braking. If your brake discs do not work properly, you will hear a scream while braking. Excessive vibration will also be present when applying the brakes.

Why does my brake crash occasionally?

The biggest reason behind the noise from the brake pads is the worn-out brake pads. When the pads become worn out from driving around, the metal surface becomes exposed. Thus, the metal comes into contact with that metal and the rotor disc. As a result, you get to hear that terrible humiliation. Now, you must replace the brake pads as soon as possible. If you don’t want to pay a lot of money for other damaged components, it is best to replace them in advance.

Final Thought

Brakes are the primary safety feature of your automobile. Before you take your car out for a drive you need to make sure they are always working properly.

If you hear a noise while driving at a low speed, it indicates something is wrong with your brakes. Depending on the noise, you can narrow down the possible causes. While some issues can be managed, some issues will force you to stress.

You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Once you figure out the problem, you need to work on solving it. The best way is to break your brakes and perform a physical inspection.

If you hear a sound when braking at low speeds, your problem should never be ignored. Repair work immediately. If you can’t fix the problem, have your brakes inspected by a professional


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