Creaking Noise When Braking: Proven Root Causes And Measures

If you have ever heard a loud creaking noise when braking, you know how startling and unnerving it can be. Tons of culprits can lead to this hurdle. And each one requires different solutions.

Instead of feeling nervous with a thousand of posts online, you should read this post as it can be a game changer.

After reading it, you will know what you should do next, DIY or visit the automotive repair service.

Off we go!

Creaking Noise When Braking: Why?

creaking noise when braking
The Reason To Creaking Noise When Braking

Why do brakes make a creaking noise? 

The car creaks when braking for some of these reasons: poor brake pads, subpar brake pads and brake shoes, rotor disk breaking, lack of lubrication, damaged brake pad shims, parking for too long, and hard particles between the rotor cover and brake pads.

Broken Or Worn Brake Pads

Many vehicles’ front and rear brakes sound creaky when you press them since the brake pads are worn out or otherwise deteriorated.

After some use, the metallic portion of the brake pads wears, and the cover makes a knocking sound by touching the rotor.

Whenever you brake at low revs, the mechanism described above usually causes several more brake parts to crack, resulting in the creaking noise from front of car when braking.

If you’re a seasoned driver, you probably already know this, but in case you’re a novice, we recommend getting the brake pads examined or changed once you reach 20,000 miles.

Due to their main components being hard iron and graphite, these parts offer little friction and can be worn down at any time.

Poor-Quality Brake Shoes Or Brake Pads

Because of the low prices, some drivers try to economize by changing their parts with cheap brake pads.

These low-cost ones mostly come up with substandard quality, resulting in the following types of noise:

  • It is normal practice for brake shoes to make noise whenever any component breaks.
  • Poor-quality brake shoes have several manufacturing errors or flaws leading to various potential issues, including the generation of a creaking noise when braking low speed.
  • Warped rear rotors or disc rotors, manufacturing defects, and inaccurate measurements can negatively impact brake pad performance.

Broken Rotor Disk

The rotor disk of brake pads or brake shoes breaking is one of the common reasons for the creaking noise when braking slowly.

  • The rotor cover breaking could be due to several factors. Incorrectly washing the rotor cover while it was still hot is a common recipe for damage, for instance.
  • Poor rotor disk will begin vibrating and deflecting solely in one direction, notably at low speeds.

Insufficient Lubrication

All drivers have a general idea of whether or not they should use lubricants, such as brake oil. When braking at low speeds, it usually generates the brake creaking noise.

Usually, odd squeaky brake noises might be heard when slowing to a stop because lubricating oils like brake oil are in short supply or unavailable.

Not lubricating screws, nut bolts, and other elements might cause unexpected car noises.

This occurs when regular maintenance is neglected for an extended time, typically during extended periods of travel.

Damaged Shims

Shims (thin rubber strips or a metal adhesive) are installed between the calipers and the brake pads to dampen the brake squeal. In time, these usually break or wear out.

More noise than average is easily noticed during braking when the shims aren’t doing their job correctly.

Besides the creaking sound when braking, you can also hear the clear grinding sounds simultaneously with metal shims. This takes place when the shims rub against the rotor.

Alter your shims soon if they show signs of wear or damage.

Parking The Car For Too Long

All the moving metal parts within the braking system allow rust to form. Corrosion may ruin your car regardless of where it grows.

Rust on the brake rotors will trigger creaking when braking and a grinding sound when you hit the noisy brakes.

If you leave the car in the rain or a damp parking lot for too long, its parts will get corroded. Squealing sounds can pop up once you apply the brake pedal with rust rotors or warped rotors.

Hard Particles Between The Rotor Cover And Brake Pads

Inadequate maintenance is another common source of automotive trouble.

When a vehicle has been driving for an extended period in a dusty environment, such as a rural location, the brake pads can become contaminated with hard, dusty particles, culminating in a loud squealing sound when applying the brakes suddenly and at low revs.

It’s safe to state that when you hit a patch of mud on the road, the tricky bits of mud will settle into the brake pads or just next to the rotor disk.

How To Fix The Creaking Noise When Braking At Low Speed?

car makes creaking noise when braking
Repair The Creaking Noise When Braking At Low Speed

Creaking noise can be handled with some quick procedures, like with the engine grinding noise at idle.

Common Procedure

Repairing broken brakes is a challenging task. Even if the noise seems tolerable to you, you should still have it fixed soon.

Strange sounds usually indicate that your brake calipers or caliper bolts get worn out. A physical inspection is optimum to address this issue. Take the wheels off and check the brakes.

Have a look at the rotors while you’re at it. Check for deterioration and cracks. If none exist, then there is no cause for alarm.

The shims should now be inspected. Broken shims are a rarity, but if any of them are broken, change them at once. Finally, if necessary, oil the caliper’s screws and bolts.

Now that you’ve finished looking things over, you can begin developing a plan to eliminate the noise. Replace these parts should you see any damage or wear and tear.

Once the brake pads have been taken apart, get the brake clean to remove all the brake dust and debris.

Add dampening paste as you reassemble the parts. The paste needs several hours to dry before the brakes can be applied again.

Check whether a strange roaring sound persists whenever you brake at low speeds.

If yes, you should get your brakes inspected by a specialist, a brake service, an auto shop, or an auto maintenance center.

Find Loose Parts

Any loose element could result in a problem. When slowing down, loose parts do make gurgling sounds.

To begin with, remove the car’s front wheels. After that, give the brakes a quick once-over by jiggling the pads, calipers, rotor, and everything else that has to do with stopping.

All these pieces must remain still and not be wobbled or manipulated by hand. If it has missing, broken, or loose clips and bolts or it vibrates when shaken, get those issues resolved immediately.

This way halts the brakes from creating a grinding noise and vibrating when used.

Apply Dampening Paste

Squealing and groaning sounds during braking may reveal excessive vibration from braking systems. To this end, use the dampening paste after addressing missing bolts, broken clips, and shims.

The water-based product can be helpful in halting vibrations and noises emanating from brake parts.

Apply a thin layer of this material to the brake pad’s metal portion between the caliper piston and pad.

As mentioned, before reassembling the brake unit, allow the paste at least 2-3 hours to dry, preferably longer. When dry, it will become denser and darker in color.

Inspect Brake Pads Or Brake Shoes

Inspect the brake pads to see whether they need replacing. For many, this is the most frustrating aspect of driving. Worn-out components can easily create noise.

Different-sized aftermarket brake pads are available. Wear on a brake pad will be uneven due to installing the incorrect ones for your car.

You may hear a grinding noise after you brake the pads. Also, new brake pads usually trigger a grinding noise as they do not conform to the rotor’s surface.

Here, sanding the lip and making it even can lengthen the life of the brake pads and eliminate the noise.

Check Brake Rotor

The brake rotors may be damaged due to driving the car carelessly and replacing the brake pads incorrectly. When the brake rotor is warped, your brake pad will bounce and move around.

The rotor surface must be extremely smooth. Therefore, if the wear is not lousy, you may need to have the rotors polished to smooth off the surface.

Before any machining, the rotor’s thickness should also be checked for the sake of braking safety. Rotor replacement is urgently required for extreme wear, complete distortion, or insufficient thickness.

Extra Check

After completing any work on the braking system, it is vital to double-check the brake lines and brake oil. Be sure to check the concentration.

The manufacturer  Dot 3, Dot 4, and Dot 5 indicate the required oil levels for your vehicle. Fill up with the engine oil if needed.

Inspect your brake fluid’s color as well. The fluid needs to be crisp and bright. A brown color indicates that it needs replacing. Also, fix the brake line leaks right after you find any.

How To Maintain Brakes To Minimize The Creaking Noise?

creaking noise when i brake
Maintain Brakes To Minimize Noise

The condition of your brakes is crucial to your safety while driving. Regular maintenance can lengthen the lifespan of the parts that make up your brakes. In the end, you will save money this way.

Regarding stopping safely, the brake fluid needs checking frequently, just like any other fluid. Examine its level every three months and add more if necessary.

Also, change your brake fluid every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Brake discs have a variable shelf life affected by several different variables. It typically depends on how you drive and the roads you frequent.

So, you can only assume how often you’ll need to replace your brake disks.

Overall, brake discs need regular inspection and replacement. Standard brake discs can serve you about 100,000 miles.

Replace your brake pads if needed. Every 50,000 miles may be great for replacement. Once you spot something wrong, do it sooner, before irreparable damage to your rotors occurs.

Assuring that you have no braking issues while driving is as simple as keeping your brakes in excellent condition.


What Do Bad Brake Pads Sound Like?

Sounding like the scratch of chalk on a blackboard, brake pads perpetually squeal or screech.

If you hear this, it’s because the wear indicator is dragging into your rotor or because your brake pads are made with subpar brake pad material, and there’s a metal flake in the hook between the rotor and the pad or other brake pad contact points.

How Long Do Ceramic Brake Pads Last?

Ceramic products are more costly and often used in high-end vehicles. This good durability contributes to its high cost.

The average lifespan of a set of ceramic brake pads is 75,000 miles. On the other hand, organic ones can last from 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

What Is The Best Material For Brake Pads?

Ceramic brake pads are a best-seller for car replacements. They are resistant to high temperatures, silent, and rust-proof. Also, organic brake pads are a sought-after alternative.

When Do You Know That You Need A New Disc Brake?

Physical inspection is the most straightforward approach to confirm this. Examine the braking disc’s exterior to ensure its integrity. Check to see whether the disc has a smooth surface or grooves on it.

A squeaking noise when applying the brakes shows that the brake discs are worn or otherwise not performing as they should. When putting on the brakes, there will also be an excess vibration.

Can I Spray WD40 On My Brakes?

No, we don’t recommend doing so. For more explanation, you can click here.

Even though WD-40 is cheap, improper use can be unsafe since it lessens the braking system’s efficiency.

To avoid problems, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when utilizing WD40 on the car’s brakes. Ensure to do so sparingly and only after speaking with an experienced mechanic.


The creaking noise when braking can signal a risk to the car, a degraded part, or simply a sign of age.

Knowing the bottom of this issue, you could cushion yourself and the vehicle from potential damage and a safety hazard.

With sufficient knowledge and tools, you can troubleshoot the problem and have your car running seamlessly and safely again.

Remember to share this post with other car owners as well!

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