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Driving conditions can occasionally cause brakes to make odd noises with temperature and humidity having an impact along with how hard you break.

If the noise is brief and infrequent, then there’s probably nothing to worry about. But if it’s more persistent, then you should get it checked out. Here are a few reasons your brakes may be making a squealing sound.

Build-up of dirt and grime

This isn’t as common as it used to be thanks to the improved design on many cars, however, dirt and grime can build up underneath your vehicle affecting the braking system.

You should monitor your brakes carefully for signs of damage or wear, especially during the winter as the salt used to grit icy roads is highly corrosive and can erode your braking system.

Generally, all that’s required to clean up the problem is one hour’s labour. Special grease can also be applied to reduce squealing noises.

Worn brake pads

The average lifespan for a set of brake pads is around 50,000 miles, but there can be wide variations with some drivers getting 70,000 miles from a set of pads while others only achieve 25,000 miles.

Your make and model of car, the way you drive it, and the type of usage your vehicle typically sees can all have an impact. For example, if you predominantly drive on motorways, you may find your brake pads last longer than if you drive shorter journeys or are always in cities. Stopping and starting at roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights will cause you to use your brakes more.

Corroded brake discs

Brake discs should be checked every 10,000 miles and reground or replaced if damaged. Your brake discs should be relatively shiny and may have small ridges. If there are rough spots or irregular grooves visible you will need a brake disc change to ensure road safety.

Light corrosion can be cleaned off, but if it gets worse, it can lead to surface pitting. Pitting used to be a reason for MOT test failure, but now discs will only fail the test if they’ve become significantly weakened.

It’s normal to have to replace front brake discs and pads during your car’s life because of wear as when you hit the brakes, load is transferred to the front wheels, therefore, your front brakes do most of the work to stop your car. The rear pads and discs are more likely to fail because of corrosion.

Vehicle manufacturers specify a minimum thickness for brake discs, and when they reach this point they must be replaced, and pads renewed at the same time.

Change your brake fluid

Brake fluid should be replaced every two years, regardless of mileage as it absorbs water from the atmosphere. If your brakes get hot, they can heat up the brake fluid and in extreme cases, cause any water in the fluid to boil and vaporise. It this occurs, your brakes will start to feel spongy and not perform as well.

Does your car need a brake check?

Foster & Heanes in Fleet Hampshire offer car servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of vehicles including classic and vintage cars. Free collection and delivery can be arranged if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres.

 

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