Why are My Brakes Grinding?

This article addresses a question commonly asked by car owners which is “why are my brakes grinding?” also known as brake scrubbing.

Brakes are likely to produce grinding Noise for some reason when applied, what then should you do if you hear grinding Noise especially when braking or stopping?

This is a matter that needs urgent attention, not only because of the unappealing Noise it makes but because it’ll cause serious damage if not fixed on time.

Before I proceed, faulty Brakes make three types of noise, a grinding noise when applied, a thumping noise when braking, a scraping sound when driving /braking, and a squeaky sound when driving or braking.

And the interesting part is that; new brakes aren’t exempted from making this squeaky sound. However, if you’re wondering “why are my brakes grinding” then this article is for you.

In this article, I’m going to show you probable reasons why your brake pad is grinding and how to fix it.

Why are my New Brakes Grinding?

Brakes come in different brands and quality, a grinding brake is an indication of total wear and tear of your brake pads.

A brake pad is supposed to be changed between 10,000 to 20,000 miles when the wear is minimal, if you ignore possible squeaky sounds and it starts to grind then it’s your fault.

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A grinding noise should be treated as urgent to avoid breeding other car faults.

Here are two main reasons why your brake pads will make a grinding noise when you apply brakes.

1. Cheap and Low-Quality Brake Pads

The most common cause of frequent grinding even when the brakes are is inferior brake pads.

While the price might look cheap, they won’t be able to serve you as the high-quality ones would. This is mostly because of the large metal flakes embedded in the brake material which would frequently squeak when it comes in contact with the rotor.

If you’ve used a high-quality brake pad before now, you might not notice when these inferior pads will wear out and greet you with a grinding noise.

The best way to get out of this situation is to avoid low-budget brake pads and go for quality.

2. Brake Wear indicator making contact with the rotor

As time goes on, the brake pad becomes uneven and needs replacement. During installation; there’s a tiny metal attached to the brake pad which relays signal on the condition of the brakes.

Once brake pad wear occurs, the brake Pad Wear indicator will lose balance and start making contact with the rotor which makes a rotational movement.

It’s important that you get a regular check on your rotor and pads for uneven wear or build-up.

3. Glazed Rotors

Over time, the rotors can create build-ups that’ll make it look irregular, at this point making it hard for new brake pads to fit in.

While you can get a rotor replacement, you can likely check if your mechanic can help resurface them.

If you forcefully install the new brake pads, it’ll cause your car to produce a squeaky sound as a result of friction between the two bodies.

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This will also cause increased wear and tear on the new brake pads which eventually produce a grinding sound in no time.

4. The brake pads material

Semi-metallic brake pads are the best choice for car owners, we also have ceramic brake pads which work perfectly for some cars, but it produces lots of noise.

So to get rid of hastened brake pad wear, get a brake pad with the best material.

4. Insufficient lubrication

Cars that come equipped with the drum braking system usually encounter this issue and both new and old brake pads can be affected as a result.

The pistons press against the drum braking and if there’s Insufficient oil, it’ll give out a squeaking sound.

You can resolve this by applying brake lubricant to the affected point which is the backing plate.

How to Fix a Grinding Brake

The only way to fix a save your brakes from grinding is by replacing the worn-out brake pads with a new high-quality ones.

How to Stop Brakes from Grinding?

The recommended way to stop new brakes from grinding is to install high-quality brake pads and replace worn-out uneven brake pads.

If you’re on the highway when you hear the grinding noise, park your car and seek the service of a towing company.

Take your car to a mechanic and have the brake pads replaced and don’t forget to inspect the damages that might have been done to the rotors.

You can get a rotor replacement if the damage is too much or better still avoid driving for long after the grinding noise comes up.

Let’s get to the details of these fixes.

1. Always install High-Quality Brake Pads

Avoid using cheap and Low-Quality Brake Pads on your car, while they are cost-friendly they won’t serve you half the period a quality brake pad will.

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Using high-quality brake pads will also boost your morale on the highway since the inferior brake pads could fail at any time, producing a grinding sound.

2. Rotor Resurfacing or Replacement

If your rotors have developed irregularities that’ll make them not accommodate the brake pads then it’s important that you either resurface or replace them.

A rotor can last between 50,000 to 70,000 miles before a mandatory replacement can be required.

The Resurfacing can be done manually by applying sandpaper on the irregular surface to get rid of metal build-up.

3. Brake Pads Replacement

The best fix to a grinding noise while driving is replacing worn-out brake pads.

Do well to change your brake pads after running between 10,000 to 20,000 miles for minimum wear.

That’s all you need to know about why your brakes are grinding and its fixes.


Q: Can I drive with brake pads grinding?

No, it’s not advisable to continue driving with grinding brake pads. Call the attention of a mechanic and get the worn-out brake pad replaced immediately.

Q: Should I be worried if my brakes are grinding?

Yes, a grinding brake is an indication that your braking system is problematic and it should keep you worried because failure to make necessary fixes on time will escalate the issue

Q: Will replacing brake pads stop grinding?

Yes, replacing worn-out brake pads will stop the grinding noise in your car.

Q: Why are my brake pads grinding?

A grinding brake denotes that the brake pads have totally worn out and its bare metal is now making contact with the rotor.