Brembo brakes

Grinding Noise When Braking

Hearing a grinding sound when braking? The sound of metal-on-metal can be alarming, especially if it happens when you hit the brakes.

Why Are My Brakes Grinding?

Here are five possible reasons for the sound:

Road Debris

In the case of disc brakes, road clag can get caught between the brake pads and the rotor disc. Remove the wheel and look between the rotor face and the pad surface for any debris caught in the gap. (More about rotors here.)

Crusty Build-Up On The Rotor Edge

The face of a disc brake rotor is largely self-cleaning, thanks to all that pad friction. Over time, the edges of rotor discs may rust and/or have build-up. Remove the wheel and inspect the rotor edge. Clean if need be.

Worn Brake Pads

Constant friction between the pad assembly and the rotor face grinds the pad material down. Over time, the pad material can disappear and the backing plate can come in contact with the disc rotor. If this is the case, replace your pads! (Click here for more info on that.)

Caliper Failure

Sometimes one or more caliper piston pins fail. This can cause an imbalance between the angle of the pad assembly and the rotor face. Over time, this can cause irregular pad wear, which results in a worn-through portion of the pad backing plate to come into contact with the rotor face. In this event, both the pad assembly and the calipers need replacing. (Learn more about calipers.)

Rotor Warp

If you hear a grinding noise when braking and turning simultaneously, it is likely that the disc rotor has become warped. Remove the entire brake assembly, replace the brake calipers, and turn the rotors until the surface is smooth across its radius.        

Any grinding sounds coming from a brake system are serious. Don’t wait to inspect and correct your brakes!

Grinding Noise When Braking
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Grinding Noise When Braking
Hearing a grinding sound when braking is a particularly concerning experience, since any time you hear what seem to be metal-on-metal contact sounds in your brake system, there’s clearly something wrong.
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