Why Do My Brakes Squeak After New Pads and Rotors? Understanding the Causes and Prevention


Nothing can be more irritating than a constant squeaking noise coming from your car’s brakes. It can be even more annoying if you’ve recently replaced the brake pads and rotors only to find that they continue to squeak. Not only is it bothersome, but it can also signify underlying issues that may threaten your car’s safety. In this article, we’ll explore the main causes of brake squeal, why it occurs after replacing pads and rotors, and what preventative measures you can take.

Understanding the Causes of Brake Squeak

Before diving into the reasons why brakes squeak after you’ve replaced the pads and rotors, it’s essential to understand the main causes of brake squeal in general. These causes can include friction and vibration in the braking system, the materials used in brake pads and rotors or warped or incorrectly installed components.

Friction and vibration in the braking system

When you press on the brakes, the brake pads press against the rotors, generating friction and heat that slow down or stop the vehicle. If the pads or rotors are faulty or installed incorrectly, abnormal vibrations can occur, leading to the squeaking noise you hear.

Materials used in the brake pads and rotors

The materials used in the manufacture of brake pads and rotors play a significant role in how noisy your brakes are. For example, ceramic brake pads are generally quieter compared to their semi-metallic counterparts. However, these ceramic pads may be less effective when driving in high-temperature conditions.

Warped or incorrectly installed components

Another common cause of brake squeak is warped or incorrectly installed components. Warped rotors may cause an uneven surface, leading to high-frequency vibrations and brake squealing. Incorrectly installed components such as calipers, brake pads, and rotors can also cause brake squeal.

Common Reasons for Brake Squeak After New Pads and Rotors

After installing new brake pads and rotors, you may still hear squeaking noise. Understanding the underlying causes of these occurrences will help you take proactive steps towards preventing future brake squeal. Below are the common reasons why this squeak may continue.

Glazing on brake pads

Brake pad glazing occurs when the surface of the pads becomes hard and polished, reducing its effectiveness. When brake pads overheat, it causes resin and other substances to burn and stick to the pad surface. This glazing can cause squeaking as less surface area of the pad is in contact with the rotor.

Residue or debris on rotors

An accumulation of dust, debris, or other foreign substances can lead to brake squeal. This buildup of materials can create high-frequency vibrations that lead to the squeaking noise you hear.

Loose or worn calipers

Worn or loose brake calipers can cause brake squeal. As the caliper loses its grip on the rotor, it causes the brake pads to move out of place, leading to vibrations and squeal.

Low-grade brake pads or rotors

Low-quality pads or rotors can also lead to brake squeal. These low-grade components may not have the same level of effectiveness and durability, leading to abnormal sounds produced during braking.

Lack of proper Break-in procedure

After replacing brake pads and rotors, it is essential to go through a break-in procedure to transfer friction from the new pads onto the rotor’s surface. This process helps to ensure even wear of the brake pad and rotor and can bring down the noise from the brakes.

Preventative Measures and Remedies for Brake Squeal

Fortunately, there are several preventative measures and remedies that can help to eradicate brake squeal from your car. Any of the measures below can be done by an experienced technician or a confident DIYer.

Use of OEM quality brakes

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are usually higher quality than aftermarket components. When selecting brake parts, choose those that are OE recommended. OEM brake parts conform to factory specifications and are manufactured to the exact standards of the vehicle’s manufacturer recommending them.

Proper Break-in Procedure

Adhering to a suitable break-in procedure after installing new brake pads and rotors can reduce the occurrence of brake squeal. Follow the recommendations of your manufacturer to ensure that the brake pads are adequately bedded to the rotor’s surface.

Cleaning of brake components

Ensure that there is no accumulation of dust or debris on your brake components. Wipe down the rotors and calipers and brake pads using brake cleaner before installation. This process will help to remove any surface contaminants that may cause vibrations.

Greasing of brake pad backing plates

Another effective way to reduce the squealing noise from your brakes is to use grease on the brake pad’s backing plates. Use a silicon brake grease to lubricate the brake pad metal surface’s back to prevent any abnormal noise when the brake pads are squeezed against the rotor.

Installation of brake pad shims

Adding a new layer of brake pad shims can absorb vibration and noise from the brakes. This synthetic layer helps to cushion the brake pad vibration and noise from coming into contact with the car’s metal structure.

Proper maintenance of the vehicle’s brake system

Keep your brakes regularly maintained to reduce the risk of brake squeal. Schedule regular tune-ups with your mechanic, change the brake fluid, and periodically inspect the brake parts to ensure that they’re in optimal condition.


Brake squeal can be an irritating and potentially hazardous problem for any driver. It’s essential to understand the causes of brake squeal, mainly when replacing brake pads and rotors. Regularly schedule brake maintenance and take proactive steps to prevent brake squeal from developing in the first place. We hope that this article has given you useful information on how to eliminate brake squeal, keeping your car safe and quiet on the road.

Final tips and advice for readers to prevent brake squeal in the future

  • Choose higher quality or OEM brake pads and rotors.
  • Ensure that the brake components are clean and free of debris build-up or residue.
  • Regularly change the brake fluid and inspect the brake parts to ensure that they’re in good condition.
  • Follow proper break-in procedure as recommended by the manufacturer to avoid brake squeal in the future.

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