Why Are My Brakes Grinding?

December 5th, 2020 by


We’ve all heard it—that grinding noise when you hit the brakes. While your first instinct may be to panic or despair, identifying the problem and taking action quickly is bound to save you time and money in the long run. What exactly does that grinding noise mean, however, and what causes it?

There are many reasons as to why your brakes are grinding, but no matter the reason, it’s always important to fix the issue as soon as possible to avoid vehicle damages and accidents. To ensure your safety, here are a few situations where your brakes can make a grinding noise and what you need to do to fix the problem.

Brakes Grinding When Stopping

If you hear your brakes grinding when stopping or slowing down, then your brake pads, or lack thereof, are to blame. Your brakes pads need to be thick enough to ensure optimum performance and stopping power. With time, though, your brake pads can wear down.

When your brake pads are below the recommended thickness, they will start to emit a squealing noise every time you press on the brake pedal. This unpleasant sound is generally referred to as brake scrubbing, and it lets you know that it’s time to replace the pads. If you ignore this audible warning, the brake pads will wear down completely, and that squealing sound can turn into a grinding noise.

If your brakes emit a sharp grinding sound while braking, it’s likely that the brake disc and the caliper are rubbing together. The sound is usually heard when you stop your car, but you may also feel the brake pedal rumble as you step on it. The best way to fix this issue is to have your brake pads replaced immediately, but at this point, you may also need to replace the discs or rotors.

Brakes Grinding When Driving

You may also hear your brakes grinding when you’re driving at a constant speed. This can be caused by rocks and debris lodged between the caliper and the rotor. In this situation, you’ll want to have the debris removed from the system right away. Usually, this problem is an easy fix. However, failure to do take action quickly can result in severe damage to the brake system and other performance parts.

While you can remove rocks and debris from your brakes yourself, it’s always best to go to a professional, especially if you don’t have any experience working with cars. Just schedule a service appointment with a dependable dealership and tell the service professionals that your brakes are grinding when you’re driving. Then, take your car in, and they’ll remove any debris from your brakes. Once that’s complete, the grinding noise should disappear.

Brakes Grinding When Stopping Suddenly

Another common instance where your brakes may cause a grinding noise can be when you suddenly slam on the brakes. If you slam on the brakes in a panic-stop situation, you’ll hear a grinding noise and feel the brake pedal rumble. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern if your brakes pads are sufficiently thick.

If you hear grinding when you stop suddenly, it’s likely due to your Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). In a panic-stop situation, the ABS will automatically activate to prevent wheel lockups and skidding. The system works by pumping the brakes to ensure stability and control which causes the grinding noise and the rumbling brake pedal.

Once the car has stopped or when you take your foot off the pedal, the grinding should stop. If your brakes continue to grind, you’ll want to schedule a brake repair immediately because this could be a sign of worn brake pads.

Stop the Grinding and Schedule Your Service Appointment Now!

Still wondering, ‘Why are my brakes grinding?” Brake grinding is a common issue, but it can lead to severe accidents and vehicle damage if left untreated. What’s more, brakes making a grinding noise are often quite easy to fix! So, if you hear your brakes grinding when stopping or traveling at a constant speed through San Diego, Kearny Mesa, and Lemon Grove, schedule a service appointment at Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego and have your brakes repaired today. We offer plenty of service specials and coupons to make your next visit that much more enjoyable.

Posted in Tips