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A Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Squeaky Brakes When You Become a Mechanic

Published on April 11, 2019 by in Blog

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Few sounds are as annoying as squeaky brakes. When you become a mechanic, brake noise will likely be one of the top complaints you’ll hear from customers. In some cases, squeaky brakes are completely normal, but in others they could indicate a very serious problem, such as the brake pads needing to be replaced.

In your training, you’ll learn about brakes so that you can better diagnose what is causing your customers’ brakes to squeal. Below, we’ll take a look at some steps you can take to diagnose and fix squeaky brakes during your career as a mechanic.

People with Mechanic Training Know That Not All Brake Squeaks Are Problems

First, you should know that squeaky brakes are sometimes completely normal. Some brakes will emit a high-pitched squeal if applied at high speeds or while hugging a curve, for example. Other normal brake squeals can be caused by the weather.

For instance, brakes often squeak first thing in the morning after the vehicle has been sitting outside overnight. This is because rain or condensation collects on the rotor surface, which causes a thin layer of rust to form which the brake pads then scrape off. This noise is harmless and will usually go away once all the rust has been scrapped off. The best way to avoid it is to simply tell your customers to store their vehicles in a dry place overnight, such as in a garage.

Wet weather can cause brakes to squeak temporarily, but the sound is usually harmless

Wet weather can cause brakes to squeak temporarily, but the sound is usually harmless

Changing the Brake Pads Can Reduce Annoying Squeaking Noises

Even if there’s nothing wrong with the brakes themselves, when you become a mechanic you may have customers who still want to reduce the squealing sound their brakes make. One option is to simply replace their current brake pads with pads that are designed to produce less noise. If your customer has metallic pads, for example, these can be particularly noisy, although they also tend to last longer than other types of pads.

Organic brake pads, on the other hand, are the quietest, although the downside is that they fade down the fastest. Semi-metallic pads aren’t quite as quiet as organic pads, but they are longer-lasting and represent a good compromise between organic and metallic pads. Some pads also have lubricating materials built into the pads themselves. These materials are released as the pad wears down, thus reducing any noise that the brakes may cause.

Organic or semi-metallic brake pads can reduce some squeaking noise

Organic or semi-metallic brake pads can reduce some squeaking noise

Listen for Brakes That Emit a Metallic Sound When You Become a Mechanic

One sound you should definitely take seriously after finishing mechanic training is a screeching, metallic sound. Many brake pads are designed with a small steel tab that scrapes against the rotor once the pads have worn down to a low level. This is a warning system built into the pads that is designed to alert drivers that their pads need to be changed.

If this sound is ignored, the pads could soon wear down completely to the metal base, at which point their effectiveness will be compromised. Worn down brake pads are dangerous to drive with, so if a customer complains of brakes emitting a metallic squeal then make sure they get their pads replaced immediately.

Are you interested in an automotive career?

Contact CATI to learn more about our mechanics school.

 
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