Why Brakes Squeak When Wet? How To Fix Squeaky Brakes?

Brakes squeak when wet is one of the most common problems faced by drivers. But not many of them, especially novices, know the root of the issue and what to do in this case.

What causes this brake noise issue? Is it a serious problem? How to fix and prevent it? Let’s dig in to find the answer.

Why Brakes Squeak When Wet?

Why Brakes Squeak When Wet

Worn out or loose brake pads, weather conditions are the top common causes of squeaky noise while braking.

Besides, warped brake rotors, condensation building up on rotors, and rust accumulation on the disc brake are also popular reasons causing this problem.

Worn Out/Loose Brake Pads

The worn brake pad is one of the most common causes of squeaking brakes. This irritating sound occurs if a metal wear indicator of brake pads becomes exposed.

It will make a squeaky noise to alert you that your brake pads are nearing the end of their life expectancy. It requires maintenance or replacement.

Therefore, when you notice the brake pad material is flat with the brake pad wear indicator, you should replace these pads.

Unlike the vehicle oil or windscreen wiper fluid, your brake pads cannot be visually checked regularly. Thus, it is essential to pay close attention when they begin to squeak.

Furthermore, loose pads also produce squeaking noise. A braking system of a car is made up of numerous components.

They include brake calipers, disc brake pads, rotors, and brake hose pipes. These components can jiggle and make this type of brake noise if they are loose.

Condensation Collecting On The Rotors

Do car brakes squeak when wet? Yes. Squeaking brakes can also be induced by rain, snow, and moisture.

Whenever the temperature falls down to 32°F, ice and snow can accumulate on disc brakes and rotor blades. Sometimes water may stay there and be frozen, making an ice buildup after periods of time.

It can result in a screeching or squeaking brake sound, but it just lasts in a short term because the ice will melt down, and humidity will disappear.

Sloughing brake pads or rotors also occurs whenever the pads become overheated.

Pressing the brake excessively, dragging the brake, and system issues render the brake to adhere more to the rotor than usual.

Excessive heat in the pads also turns them tough and shiny, reducing friction.

When brakes become glazed, the material will build up on the rotor, causing braking disruptions and producing squeaky sounds.

Warped Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are circular and are supposed to be flat. The brake pads should be flat on the surface to which they come exposed. “Honest” refers to an entirely flat surface of the rotors.

The vibrations will occur when any rotors are not honest due to the pads being bumped on the rough cover. It may result in additional damage and misalignment of other components.

In this case, squeaky brakes are most likely preceded by noise from either the brake pedal or steering column.

Brake Pad On Rusty Disc

Rust accumulation on the disc brake can produce a squeaky or screeching noise at the brake.

Humidity from rain, snow, excess water, or dampness can gather on the exterior of the disc brake when you leave the car outside overnight.

Because of the condensation, the rotor surface will become rusted. When you press the pedal, this layer of rust will be washed away, accompanied by squeaky sounds.

How To Fix Squeaky Brakes?

Braking Hard When It’s Safe To Do

When you notice a squeaky noise from the brake, you should know that they’re not functioning properly. In this case, you need to reduce the speed and drive more carefully till it comes to a stop.

Once the squeaking is particularly loud or prolonged, you can brake hard when it’s safe to do so. You have to look around very carefully not to trigger any problems during hard braking.

This braking process will warm up the brakes faster and push excess water out of the slot between the brake pad and the rotor.

Dry Brakes Out

Dry Brakes Out

If brakes squeak in reverse when cold or wet, you need to warm and dry the brake.

Water can be removed from your brakes when you blow it out or warm the brakes. A hairdryer is the only item of equipment that can help you do it.

First, detach the hubcaps from your vehicle and do a brake inspection on the rotor and the pad.

Although the pads and the rotors don’t absorb water, they don’t reject it. So you may notice water accumulating at the rotor’s rock bottom or vapors under the pads.

Next, you need to turn on the hairdryer and begin at the rotor top, then gradually direct the dryer downwards.

You need to pay attention to the area under the brake pad and make sure to distribute heat over the entire surface.

To ensure the brake is completely dry, make a driving test to turn the wheel half a turn.

In this way, you can be certain that the water or excess moisture from rain has been completely eliminated or not. Normally, the drying process of each wheel only takes 5 minutes.

Cover Brake Grease

Cover Brake Grease

Another option is to cover the disc brake grease. Some calipers lack extra travel in the piston pipe. Thus, when the brakes are dragged, they may vibrate, making even new brakes squeak when wet.

If this situation happens, or when the shims don’t work, you just need to cover the back side of the braking plate with brake grease at high temperatures.

This way, you can get a desirable acoustic decoupling.

However, water, road debris, and dust will eventually wash away this layer.

Change Your Brake Pads/Lining

Change Your Brake Pads

The next simple solution is to apply a brake pad replacement or new friction material.

When deciding which type of brake pad to install on your vehicle, manufacturers take into account several factors, such as pad life, vibration, grip, dust accumulation, and price.

Replacing an aftermarket metallic or ceramic brake lining can alter the resonant frequency among the brake pad and disc vibrations.

Thus, it can change a tune and produce less squeaky noise than the old one. Aftermarket brake pads are created mainly for favorable features like low noise or less debris.

Cover Anti-Seize Compound

Suppose you don’t have brake grease to detach the pad from the caliper; you can apply anaerobic glues like anti-squeal.

They are used in the form of a lipstick-like or toothpaste layer. Carbon ceramic brake squeak when wet will not occur if you apply enough anti-squeal.

Remove and wash the old pads or replace them to apply this anti-squeal. It would be best to clean the place where the backing plate exposes the piston and caliper.

Next, reinstall the pads and assemble your brakes and other components.

These anaerobic adhesives will remain sticky till the brakes are applied and the oxygen is squeezed out. Then they’ll stick together.

While installing the brake, you must carefully clean all corrosion, buildup of dirt, or road debris from the mating surfaces. The pad and piston have to be capable of sliding in and out to function correctly.

To do it, you may need a brake cleaner, a scrubbing brush, or a file to sweep up any movable parts.

On another note, you should ensure that nothing seizes and causes your caliper to drag.

How To Prevent Brakes Squealing In Wet Weather?

Park The Car In The Garage Overnight

To prevent squeaky noise caused by rain, ice, or excessive water, you should place your car in the garage overnight or put it in a climate-controlled spot, such as an underground or enclosed parking garage.

Parking in the garage helps remove the remaining water on the brakes and prevent the car from getting wet when left out in the rain.

Regular Maintenance

In addition to regularly checking brake components, you also need to bleed, change, or flush brake fluid and bleed the brake lines.

Change Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is critical as it acts as a connector between you and your vehicle’s brake.

When you press the pedal, pressure is generated and transmitted through this fluid from the cylinders, then transferred to the pads and rotors.

However, brake pads attract humidity, which can be highly detrimental to your disc braking.

Condensation in brake fluid induces rust in the metal brake parts, lowers the fluid’s boiling temperature, and decreases brake efficiency.

Therefore, brake fluid should be evaluated and replaced every 25,000 miles. Any signs of cloudy or creamy appearance remind you that the fluid needs to be replaced.

Bleed The Brake

Bleeding the brake to eliminate excess air regularly is a good option to maintain the brake system. Only small amounts of air stuck in the brake line can lessen the braking system’s performance.

Bleeding the brake lines involves removing extra air from the line by pressing the pedal and modifying the bleeder valve at the same tim

. Also, it should be completed every two to three years as a part of routine brake checking. Remember to pick the right brake bleeder hose size.


Is It Normal For Brakes To Squeak When Wet?

Wet brake squeaking is a very normal thing that any driver encounters. Especially when you often drive in rain, snow, or ice.

Thus, when driving in wet conditions and the brakes emit a squeaky noise while being pressed, you don’t need to worry much about it.

Why Brakes Are Squeaking When Not In Wet?

In addition to wet brake pads, other reasons make the brake squeak.

Worn-out or loose brake pads, excessive heat, lack of brake lubricant on rear drum brakes, or poor braking style can also contribute to your brake squeaking while it’s not wet.

How To Check My Brakes After Driving Through Water?

To check your brake, you need to slow down first. When the road ahead is clear, slowly press the brake pedal.

You may notice your brake squeal or squeak, but it is totally normal. As long as the brakes have a grip, they will perform normally.


Why do brakes squeak when wet? Worn-out or loose brake pads, driving conditions, warped brake rotors, and rusty discs can be the common culprits.

Through this post, we believe that you’ve found the solution to this issue.

See you in the next posts!

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