Brakes are a very important part of your car, I mean come on, they make it stop. But all of a sudden you hear a loud screeching noise when you hit the brakes and you are afraid something is wrong. Don’t panic it is not as bad as you think, but if you don’t do anything that screeching noise will happen any time your car is moving. Well, this is a tell tail sign that you need new brake pads.
What is this stupid screeching sound coming from though?
If you hear this screeching sound you most likely have disc brakes. The disc brake is made up of a few parts, and the pads go bad a little more often than the other parts and since they are in a hard to see area, we need a way to know when they need to be changed.
Let’s review how most disc brakes work:
Your car’s axle is spinning at a very high speed, and is connected directly to the wheels, and that is how the car moves forward. In between where the wheel and axles meet, we have our brakes. The disc brake has a large disc made of smooth metal at the end of the axle. This disc has a brake press around it (on both sides) with a hydraulic piston inside that pushes metal (brake) pads against the disc to cause friction. This friction is will slow the disc down, and since the disc is attached to the axle, it slows both the axle and wheels down at the same time. Obviously slowing the car down
Now brake pads have a special metal formula that will deteriorate over time. As the pads deteriorate they became smaller and smaller, and need to be replaced. If not changed, the brake press will eventually be all that’s left and ruin your brake discs.
There is a brake pad on each side of the brake disc, and the exterior brake pad has a small strip of metal attached to it. The metal strip is cut to about a 3rd of the thickness of the brake pad, and as the brake pad gets smaller, the metal strip will get closer to the brake disc. When the pad deteriorates enough, the metal strip will begin to rub against the brake disc, causing the loud screeching sound.
In the beginning, the metal strip will only touch the brake disc when you push on the brakes, but as the pad wears down more, it will be in contact with the brake disc all the time. If you hear a grinding or screeching sound all the time, you need to get your pads changed as soon as possible.