Grinding Noise When Braking But Pads Are Fine : Causes & How To Fix It

Brakes squeaking

Many times, vehicles have a grinding noise when braking, but pads are fine, and this grinding noise is more intense at the beginning of the vehicle’s run.

There are many different causes of this type of problem in the brake system of a vehicle. If you have a grinding noise when you apply the brakes but the pads are fine, you should have a professional vehicle mechanic examine the cause and fix it.

In this post, we will discuss in detail the causes of grinding noise when braking, even if the brake pads are intact, and how to fix this problem.

Why is Grinding Noise When Braking But Pads Are Fine?

If you hear a grinding noise when braking your vehicle, but the pads are fine, possible causes are lack of lubrication, dust or foreign debris on the brake rotors, warped brake rotors, worn brake calipers, or bad wheel bearings.

Because these cause the rotor and pads to be unable to make proper contact when the vehicle brakes, even if the brake pads are in good condition.

Causes of Grinding Noise When braking But Pads Are Fine

  • Worn Brake Rotors
  • Rust on Rotors
  • Foreign Objects or Debris
  • Caliper Issues
  • Lack of Lubrication
  • Loose or Misaligned Brake Components
  • Worn Wheel Bearings
  • Incorrect Brake Pads

1. Worn Brake Rotors

dirty brake rotor

Often, a grinding noise can be caused by problems with the brake rotors in vehicles when braking. Even if the brake pads are in good condition.

If the vehicle’s brake rotors are warped, uneven, or have developed grooves, the grip between the brake pads and the rotor may not be formed. Which can cause a grinding noise when braking. In this case, the brake rotors may need to be re-grinded, resurfaced, or replaced.

2. Faulty Brake Calipers

Brake calipers in a vehicle’s brake system are responsible for squeezing the brake pads against the rotor. Brake calipers work with pistons.

If a caliper is stuck or not working properly, it can cause uneven pressure on the brake pads and poor grip on the rotor, causing a grinding noise when braking.

So to investigate and troubleshoot the cause of this problem, inspect the calipers for any signs of damage or sticking, and repair or replace them if necessary.

3. Worn Brake Components

A vehicle’s brake system also includes other brake hardware, such as clips, springs, and shims. These parts wear out or become damaged over time.

This can cause the brake pads to vibrate or rub against the calipers or rotors, resulting in a grinding noise. Therefore, a replacement of the brake system hardware by a professional mechanic can often solve the problem.

4. Dust or Debris on Rotor Surface

Sometimes in vehicles, dust, dirt, or debris can accumulate on brake components. Due to which grinding noise starts coming when the brakes of the vehicle are applied.

To troubleshoot this problem, you should try thoroughly cleaning the brake system to remove any buildup and see if the noise persists. If the grinding noise still persists, you’ll need to check other components and replace them if necessary.

5. Other Factors

Often, a grinding noise when a vehicle’s brakes are applied can be caused by damaged wheel bearings or loose suspension components.

Because loose suspension or a broken wheel bearing can cause wheel wobble, resulting in a loss of grip between the brake rotor and the pads and a grinding noise when braking.

How to Fix Grinding Noise When Braking But Pads Are Fine

To fix a grinding noise during braking, you must first thoroughly investigate the cause and then work towards a solution. For this, you can follow the following steps.

1. Inspect Brake Pads

Always check the brake pads to make sure they are in good condition when a grinding noise occurs when applying the brakes. If they are worn or near their minimum thickness, replace them with new ones.

Many times, the brake pads appear to be fine from the outside, but in reality, the wear and tear of the brake pads can be the cause of this noise.

2. Check For Dust or Debris

In most cases, dirt or grime on the brake rotor or pads is what causes the grinding noise when braking. Because of the debris between the brake rotor and the pads, proper grip is not created, and the brakes start to make noise.

So clean the brake system thoroughly, removing any noise-causing dust, dirt, or debris. Use compressed air or a brush to effectively clean brake components.

3. Check Brake Rotor

If a vehicle’s brake rotors are warped, rounded, or worn, they may need to be resurfaced or replaced. Consult a professional mechanic who can assess the condition of the rotors and recommend the appropriate course of action.

In many cases, improper alignment of the brake rotors can also cause a grinding noise when braking.

4. Inspect Calipers

In most cases, bad brake calipers in vehicles can also cause grinding noises when braking. So if this is the case, make sure the calipers are working properly. If the brake calipers are not returning or are corroded, they may need to be repaired or replaced.

5. Check & Replace Worn Hardware

Some minor hardware also functions in the brake systems of vehicles. But this hardware can cause a grinding noise when braking due to wear. So check brake hardware, such as clips, springs, and shims, for wear or damage. If any components are found to be worn, replace the components that may be causing the grinding noise.

6. Check Wheel Bearings

Bad wheel bearings or a loose suspension system in most vehicles can also cause a grinding noise when braking, so the wheel bearings and suspension system should be checked, and repair of loose wheel bearings or suspension components should be considered if needed. If necessary, have a professional mechanic inspect and repair these areas.

How To Check Brake Pads?

  • To check the brake pads of your vehicle, first of all, park it on a safe and level surface. Next, inspect them through the wheel spokes or brake caliper.
  • Look up the thickness of the brake pad material and compare it to the minimum thickness recommended by the brake pad manufacturer.
  • If brake pads are worn beyond the recommended thickness, they should be replaced.
  • Additionally, check for signs of worn brake pads, listening for any screeching noises during braking.
  • Such noise often indicates the need for brake pad replacement.
  • However, this noise may indicate other components in the brake system are failing. so it should be checked if it happens.

Grinding Noise When Braking At Low Speed

Sometimes, vehicles will make a grinding noise when braking at low speeds, and the noise is often caused by worn brake pads, damaged rotors, worn calipers, brake dust or debris, or loose or damaged brake components.

In fact, a grinding brake noise is a warning sign that should never be ignored. This can cause your vehicle’s brake system to fail in an emergency. When this happens, you should get it inspected by a qualified mechanic immediately so that the problem can be properly diagnosed.

Why Are My Brakes Grinding After New Pads And Rotors?

If you have replaced your vehicle with new brake pads and rotors and are still experiencing a grinding noise, there are a few common reasons for this.

Often, grinding noises in vehicles even after new rotors and brake pads have been replaced are due to bedding-in procedures, improper installation, rough surfaces of the brake rotors, brake calipers issues, and wear or tear on other components of the brake system. However, in some cases, dust between the rotor and the pads can also cause this.

Temporary Fix For Grinding Brakes

If your brakes are making grinding noise, the first thing you need to do for a temporary fix is to clean and lubricate them.

  • For a temporary solution, remove the wheel and inspect the brake pads and rotors for excessive wear. If they are still fine, clean the debris and remove the dust from it.
  • Apply a thin layer of high-temperature brake grease to the back of the brake pads and caliper slides.
  • Also, check for any loose or damaged brake system components and tighten or replace them as necessary. Keep in mind that this is a temporary solution.
  • If you still hear a grinding noise from the brakes, it should be inspected by a professional mechanic to rule out the underlying problem.

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