Why Are My Brakes Grinding?

  • Mar 25,2020
Foot on a brake pedal Foot on a brake pedal

Do you hear a metallic scraping sound when your car comes to a stop? If so, your brakes might be grinding. Brake grinding may be a sign that something is wrong with your braking system, which may lead to extensive repairs and dangerous situations. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that faulty brakes may be a factor in 25% of all vehicle crashes. So, be proactive! Read on to find out why your brakes are grinding and what you can do about it.

Why Are My Brakes Grinding?

Hearing strange noises coming from your car can be pretty unnerving, and a grinding sound can be downright scary! Grinding brakes usually sound like a gritty, metal-on-metal sound. It’s a pretty distinct noise that’s certainly not pleasant on the ears. If you hear this sound, it likely means you’ve worn out your brake pads to the point of exposing their metal backing plates, which are now rubbing against the metal of your brake rotors.

Not only does this put you in danger of brake failure on the road, but it may also damage the rest of your braking system, including the rotors and calipers. While replacing brake pads is simple, neglecting to do so can lead to more complicated problems!

How Grinding Brakes Affect Stopping Power

Not sure how a worn-down brake pad can make it harder to stop your car? Here’s how it works.

When you press down on the brake pedal, brake fluid is sent to the calipers — a metal device on your wheels. The brake fluid causes the calipers to squeeze the brake pads, which press against the brake rotors. The friction from the brake pads against the rotors slows and eventually stops the wheels from spinning.

If your brake pads are excessively worn, the metal backing on them can become exposed, allowing the rotors and metal to grind against each other when you brake. Not only does this cause an unpleasant sound, but it can also damage your rotor, reduce your brakes’ responsiveness, and lead to brake failure.

Grinding from worn-out brake pads and rotors is just one of many brake problems that may reduce your stopping power. Your brakes can make all kinds of noises throughout the life of your car, whether or not there’s an issue with their parts.

That’s why it’s important to get a free brake check when your brakes start “acting” funny, so you can find out if you have brake problems, what they are, and how much attention or which services they require.

What To Do When Your Brakes Are Grinding

Your safety on the road can depend on each part of your brake system working together correctly. Thankfully, you can help avoid accidents due to brake failure with a free brake inspection from an expert technician near you.

Don’t spend a pretty penny to stop on a dime. Schedule an appointment at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care at the first sign of brake grinding. After all, your brakes’ one job is to stop your car, and even a minor issue can have a big impact on your safety on the road.

At Firestone Complete Auto Care, we'll examine your brake system and provide you with a thorough report of its health. If repairs are needed, we'll make sure you know about all of our latest brake coupons and discounts to help keep your car running newer, longer.

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