Posts Tagged ‘rotor’

18
Oct

Why Do My Brakes Sound Bad?

Ken,

The other day I was driving on the freeway and had to stop suddenly because of traffic.  Ever since, my brakes have made a strange scraping sound.  What is the problem, and how do I fix it?

-Wesley G., MI

Wesley,

It sounds like you might have warped your brakes.  This is a common problem that is usually resolved with time.  What probably happened is that some of the brake material has lodged in the disc, or the disc has been malformed.

I would drive carefully, giving myself plenty of space to slow down for a while.  After driving for a few days, the problem should resolve itself.  If it doesn’t fix itself after a few weeks, I would take the car into the shop to get everything checked out.

- Ken the Car Guy

29
Aug

Why Do Brakes Squeal?

Ken,

I just had new brakes installed, and they’re already squealing.  What’s wrong?  Why do brakes do that?

- Mickey M., SC

Mickey,

Oddly enough, brakes should always squeal.  Without friction between the brake pads and the rotors, the brake pads would be ineffectual.  The only way to make driving a car bearable for your ears is to set up the brakes so that they squeal at a frequency beyond the range of human hearing.

Making this happen can be difficult.  You may need to change the finish on the rotor, grease the contact point of the pads, or replace the brake pads entirely.  It’s interesting to note that all these modifications won’t remove the squeal entirely, they’ll simply increase the frequency that the brakes vibrate at until you can no longer hear it.

- Ken the Car Guy

25
Aug

What’s Wrong With My Brakes?

Ken,

A few days ago, while braking, I heard a popping noise from the front of the car.  Now whenever I use the brakes, there’s a really loud scraping noise.  It sounds like I’m dragging something under the car.  What is it?

- Paul S., IN

Paul,

It seems unlikely that you’re actually dragging anything under the car when you hit the brakes.  What is probably happening is that the popping noise you heard was a brake pad breaking.  Now whenever you hit the brakes, the rotor is scraping up against the broken brake pad and making the annoying sound you hear.

If you haven’t already, you need to stop driving the car immediately.  Without brakes, you’ll only be seconds away from an accident.  Find a mechanic who does house calls and he should be able to fix you up.

- Ken the Car Guy