Grinding Brakes? If You're in Automotive School, Check Out 4 Possible Causes Behind This Annoying Problem
If a driver suddenly hears their brakes making an awful grinding noise, this could spell trouble. Not having properly functioning brakes means not being able to bring the car to a complete halt, and presents a possible accident risk. Should a car owner ever hear any strange brake noise, it’s a good idea to bring it to the attention of a professional to prevent further damage from a possible underlying issue.
With that in mind, here are four possible causes behind grinding brakes to know about!
1. Rocks or Other Debris Getting Stuck Between the Brakes
One telltale sign of grinding brakes is if external elements (e.g. rocks, gravel, and stones) get stuck between a brake pad and a brake disc (also known as a rotor). When this happens, the driver can attempt to reverse and accelerate back and forth to try and remove them. While these solid objects are stuck, high-pitched scraping noises are likely to be heard, even while not braking. Should this solution fail, the brakes will need to be dismantled in order to remove the debris. Not removing them can lead to uneven pad wear and brake disc damage.
2. Those With Auto Careers Should Watch for Brake Pad Wear
Regardless of how much mileage a driver has racked up, their brake pads will eventually wear down. This is especially the case if the driver hits the brakes harshly on a regular basis. If the driver brakes and hears a loud grinding sound, it could mean the brake pads are on their last legs. These are also parts that need to be replaced at fairly regular intervals, though this depends on the brake pad make’s service life. Brake damage can result if worn out pads aren’t replaced, potentially leading to damage to both the brake disc and the caliper.
3. Not Driving Often Enough, or Not Braking Hard Enough
This might surprise students training for auto careers, but grinding brakes can be a byproduct of drivers not driving frequently enough, or by not applying enough pressure to the brakes. A major reason for this is because inactivity can lead to the brake disc rusting, which can lead to grinding noises. While some rust can eventually go away by itself, the brake disc will need resurfacing if it’s too rusty. If drivers are not applying the brakes forcefully enough, rust can also appear as a result. This can act as another root cause of grinding brakes.
4. In Some Cases, The Brake Pads Are of Poor Quality
Lastly, students in automotive school shouldn’t just sound the alarm when the brake pads are starting to wear out. Sometimes, the brake pads were of poor quality to begin with. With that in mind, always use the highest quality pads whenever possible. Although some car owners may opt to buy cheaper brake pads for the sake of saving money, this can actually do more harm than good. For example, pads of inferior quality sometimes have chunks of metal in their material, which tend to scrape against the brake disc surface and create further damage.
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