A weird sound or smell is the most common sign that a component has gone out of order, which may be due to inconsistent car repair and maintenance. For instance, a squeaking brake pedal could be caused by various issues.
If your brake pedal squeaks, you may have a brake pedal and spring that has lost lubricant, worn-out rotors, loosened brake lines, or clogged drum brakes. Even if these parts still have plenty of lifespans left, low-quality brake parts squeak from the start and perform poorly. Make sure to install genuine parts.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to fix this problem without spending a lot of money, and anyone can do it on their own to prevent a noisy and bothersome ride.
- 1. How does the braking system work?
- 2. Worn-out brake pads
- How to replace brake pads
- 3. Brake pedal has dried out or lost lubricant
- 4. Rotors that are worn out
- 5. Overused or loosened brake lines
- How to fix overused or loosened brake lines
- 6. Clogged drum brakes
- Final words
- Now you know why the brake pedal squeaks.
1. How does the braking system work?
The brake pedal has a lever-like action. It considerably increases the force exerted on the braking fluid in the master cylinder in conjunction with the brake booster. Additionally, the master cylinder raises the pressure of the brake fluid, which is then delivered to the brake calipers and wheel cylinders via brake lines and hoses.
The pressurized fluid acts as the caliper piston, which causes the disc brake pads to be squeezed inward and clamped against the brake rotors. Drum brakes use wedging and jamming to force the brake shoes against the drum as the wheel cylinders slide outward.
Friction and heat are produced by the energy of the braking shoes pushing against the drums and the brake pads clamping on the rotors. This heat friction reduces the rotation of the rotor and axle (and wheel), together with the friction created between the tire and the road surface, ultimately bringing the vehicle to a stop.
2. Worn-out brake pads
Before diving into why your brake pedal squeaks, we must first establish that you are 100% sure that the squeaking sound comes from the brake pedal. Because if it’s not, it must be from the outside, your brake pads and rotors.
Now, the most common cause of squeaking sound when you brake is that the pad friction surface is already worn out. As a result, it will make metal-on-metal contact with the rotor, and this causes noise. Brake pads are designed to last for about 30,000-70,000 miles, and if the pad wear exceeds this limit, you’ll hear a squeaking sound when you apply the brakes.
You can tell this because the noise occurs when the brakes are applied and goes away when you release them. This is more common on front brake pads than rear ones because they wear faster due to heavier use.
How to replace brake pads
If your brake pads are already squeaking, there’s only one way to fix them: replace the pads. Here’s a video on how to replace brake pads easily:
3. Brake pedal has dried out or lost lubricant
The cable that connects the pedal to the pedal box forces fluid through the master cylinder to haul the engine. The dry contact region occurs over time between the wire and pivot point and causes squeaking sounds when the brake pedal is pressed and withdrawn.
Like the brake pedal, the frequent use and temperature variations typically erode the protective layer of oil from the spring, resulting in squeaks whenever the brake pedal is applied or released.
How to fix a brake pedal spring that has dried out or lost lubricant
- Spray WD-40 or white lithium grease spray on the place where the wire is linked to the pedal box and the spring right above the brake pedal
- If the noise originated from this point, it would presumably stop.
4. Rotors that are worn out
Due to frequent contact, the interior of brake drums and the shiny outermost part of brake rotors are inclined to deteriorate with time. Pressing the brakes can generate a squeaky noise that sounds like it originates from the brake pedal but comes directly from within the wheels.
How to fix rotors that are worn out?
If the brake drums get worn, they can be fixed or replaced, but since the rotors are beyond repair, you will need to purchase a new set of rotors. Always use OEM rotors over aftermarket ones since they will last longer and not wear out quickly.
5. Overused or loosened brake lines
If your automobile has more than 100,000 miles on it without ever having had a brake line repaired or replaced with a brand new one, there’s a chance that it has a worn-out or strained brake line. The brake lines become weaker over time due to the high pressure of the brake fluid, and eventually, they risk rupturing.
The brake lines are additionally protected by a kind of plastic skid plate that is typically affixed to the underbody of most cars. Brake lines must be routinely inspected to look for signs of wear and strain because they can occasionally break after running over speed bumps or pebbles.
How to fix overused or loosened brake lines
Ensure your brakes are checked whenever you take your car to the shop for regular maintenance. If your car is older or has been driven more than 100,000 miles, it is a smart option to update them. Because damaged brake lines can be harmful, new steel brake lines are inexpensive and a wise investment.
6. Clogged drum brakes
As a result of friction between the brake shoes and the drum, soot and dust are produced, clogging up the drum brakes. One of the causes is that all of these brakes are sealed in a drum and gradually accumulate dirt.
The soot can impair the drum brake’s effectiveness, which can cause the brakes to screech. Sometimes these squeaks are mistakenly attributed to the brake pedal when they result from the rear brakes.
How to fix a clogged drum brake?
You may clean your car’s drum brakes on your own; remove the wheel and tap the brake lightly to release the top cover. Apply oil to each point after cleaning the brakes and the interior of the cover with a brake spray cleaner to prevent having to go through the trouble again.
This article has detailed what causes squeaky brake pedals and how to solve them. Hopefully, it provides answers to “Why does my brake pedal squeaks?” You should fix the problem at a repair shop to ensure your safety. Additionally, this component’s breakdown is not just indicated by the sound of the decelerating bar squeaking. Pay attention to further symptoms and sounds to rapidly spot the brake pedal squeaking.
Although the issue is not isolated in older cars, some 2020-2022 model year Chevy Trailblazers owners observed a squealing sound coming from the front of the vehicle under light braking.
Now you know why the brake pedal squeaks.
If you have attempted all these solutions and nothing has changed, sending your car to a qualified mechanic is better. Tell him everything you’ve tried so he can clearly understand what’s happening with your car, not only with the squeaking of your brake pedal but also with other brake-related issues like if your brake lights won’t turn off.