What Are the Causes of a Brake Growl?

by Laurie Brenner

Your car talks to you if you have an ear to listen. Brakes especially make all kinds of noises, whether newly installed, half-way worn, or biting into the rotor or drum. Pay attention when your brakes start speaking, whether minor or serious. Never ignore your brakes when they growl.

Newly Installed Brakes

Newly installed brakes make high-pitched screeching or "mouse" noises as they wear in and seat themselves. Most brake replacement kits come with a brake greaser to eliminate these noises on new brakes. Install the grease on the back of the pads, not on the pad face that meets the rotor.

Dirt, Debris and Uneven Pad Deposits

Brakes pads burn off as used and leave black dust around the inside of a car's wheel. If you travel a lot on gravel or dirt roads, rocks and bits of debris often become lodged between the pad and the rotor or drum and will make loud noises until it falls out or is removed. Cheap brake pads don't wear normally and may form uneven pad deposits, which result in brake shudders or growling noises.

Down To Metal

When you hear loud growling noises, this usually means you have no brakes left and the bare metal of the brake clamp is wearing against the brake's rotors or drums, depending on the kind of brakes in your car. This is not a good scenario to experience. Stop and fix the brakes immediately, which more than likely will include a costly drum or rotor replacement as well.

About the Author

As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com