What Causes Noise When Braking At Low Speed? And Fixes

Every driver knows that brakes are one of the most important components when it comes to keeping your car safe. But what do you do when your brakes start making an obnoxious noise whenever you slow down or come to a complete stop? Have no fear, because in this blog post we’ll discuss the causes noise when braking at low speed and how to troubleshoot them. We will also provide some handy tips on what parts need changing and how often they should be replaced. So keep reading if you want insight into why your brakes might be giving off strange noises!

How Does The Breaking System Works?

The braking system of a car is one of its most important safety features, and how it works can be fascinating to observe. When the brake pedal is pressed, hydraulic pressure is created in hydraulic hoses due to the mechanical action of the brake master cylinder. This hydraulic pressure then acts on each individual wheel’s brakes, pushing pistons that are located in calipers against the surface of the brake disc. Due to this contact, friction is caused which causes the car to slow or stop. The caliper can also swivel and adjust itself as needed to best apply the brakes at any given angle. As with most safety features, it’s always important for drivers to regularly maintain their cars’ braking system by having it checked and adjusted when necessary. Doing so will ensure reliable braking performance that protects both passengers and pedestrians alike!

Types Of Noises When Braking At Low Speeds

When your car is braking at low speeds, a variety of different noises may emanate from beneath the hood. Some of the most common sounds you may hear include:

  • Grinding Noise: If you hear a grinding noise while braking at low speeds, this indicates that the brake rotor has been worn down and is exposing metal on metal contact points. This means that your brake pads need to be replaced as soon as possible in order to ensure safe braking performance.
  • Squealing Noise: When your car is braking at low speeds, you might even hear a squealing noise. This can be caused by two different scenarios; either the brake pads are too loose, or there’s something wrong with the calipers. The best way to troubleshoot this issue is to first check and make sure that all of the brake pads are securely in place, and then inspect the calipers for any signs of damage or wear. If everything seems okay, you may need to replace the brake pads with higher quality ones as this could be causing the squealing noise.
  • Squeaking Noise: If your car makes a squeaking noise while braking at low speeds, this could be due to a build-up of dirt and debris on the brake pads. The best way to deal with this issue is to take your car in for servicing and have the mechanic clean off the brake pads. This will help improve the performance of the brakes and reduce the amount of noise they make.
Types Of Noises When Braking At Low Speeds
Types Of Noises When Braking At Low Speeds

5 Causes Of Sounds Noise When Braking At Low Speeds

One of the most annoying and potentially dangerous problems a driver can face is encountering sounds noise when braking at low speeds. Such grinding could indicate any number of issues with the vehicle, ranging from having built-up brake dust to needing a complete replacement of brakes and rotors. Here are five common causes of this problem:

Trapped Dirt Or Rust On Brake Pads And Rotors

If your brakes make a grinding or squealing noise when you step on the pedal it could be caused by trapped dirt and rust on the brake pads and rotors. Over time, dirt, mud, and road grime can accumulate in the grooves of the braking system causing an obstruction that results in strange sounds while braking. This issue can easily be fixed by cleaning the brake pads and rotors with a quality cleaner.

Worn Out Brake Pads, Brake Rotors Or Brake Shims

Another common cause of brake noise when braking at low speeds is worn out brake pads, rotors or shims. Brake pads, rotors and shims all wear down over time due to friction and heat generated by the braking action.

When they become too thin they can no longer grip the rotor surface correctly causing an obnoxious squealing when the brakes are applied. Replacing the pads and rotors will usually solve this problem immediately.

If only one side of the vehicle has noisy brakes it could indicate that one of the brake calipers is sticking which can cause friction on only one side of the braking system.

Warped Rotors

Warped rotors can also cause noise when braking at low speeds. Warped rotors occur when the metal expands and contracts due to excessive heat generated by the brakes.

The heat actually causes warping of the rotor surface which can then create a grinding or squealing sound as it rubs against the brake pads. This problem is usually solved by having the rotors machined or replaced altogether.

A Sticky Brake Caliper

A sticky brake caliper can also cause noise when braking at low speeds. The caliper can become stuck due to corrosion, dirt or wear on the piston inside the caliper.

When this happens, it will drag against the rotor creating a grinding sound as you apply brakes. This is usually solved by having the caliper cleaned and lubricated or replaced altogether.

Ceramic Brake Pads Fitted Instead Of Semi-Metallic Pads

The last and least common cause of noisy brakes when braking at low speeds are ceramic brake pads. Ceramic pads are usually softer than semi-metallic pads and can wear down faster.

When this happens, the back plate of the pad will start to make contact with the rotor which can create a grinding sound. This problem is solved by replacing the pads with semi-metallic or ceramic pads.

Noisy brakes when braking at low speeds can be caused by a variety of different issues such as trapped dirt and rust on the brake rotors and pads, worn out brake pads and rotors, warped rotors, sticky calipers and ceramic brake pads fitted instead of semi-metallic pads.

Causes Of Sounds Noise When Braking At Low Speeds
Causes Of Sounds Noise When Braking At Low Speeds

How To Fix The Brake Noise Problems

Brake noise is an unfortunate reality for many drivers, but fortunately the issue is often a simple one to fix.

  1. Find Loose Parts: The first step when you ever hear a rattling or clunking sound when braking, it is likely due to loose components like bolts, nuts and clips. Check the brakes system thoroughly for any missing hardware that needs to be replaced. Make sure all bolts are tight and secure before driving the vehicle.
  2. Apply Dampening Paste: Dampening paste is a type of lubricant that helps to reduce any kind of rattling or squealing sound when braking. It should be applied on the back plate of the brake pad and in between two components to prevent them from vibrating against each other.
  3. Inspect Brake Pads Or Brake Shoe: If the brake pad is too thin, then it can start to make noise when you hit the brakes. If the brake shoe is damaged or worn out, then they can also cause noises and vibrations while braking. So check both components carefully and replace them if necessary.
  4. Check Brake Rotor: If the noise is still there after taking care of brakes parts and applying dampening paste, then you need to check for rust and dirt on the brake rotor. Usually this part gets stuck due to dirt accumulation or rust buildup. Clean them carefully with sandpaper and a wire brush so that they are free from any kind of dust or corrosion.
  5. Extra Check: Some additional checks can be done just in case you are still hearing noises when braking at low speeds. Check the brake lines for any kind of leaks or clogged pipes, check the master cylinder and fluid levels. Make sure that all these things are working correctly and not causing any issues with your brakes.

How To Maintain Brakes?

  • To prevent any kind of noise or vibration when brakes are applied, it is important to maintain the brakes system regularly.
  • Regularly check for any wear and tear on the brake pads, calipers, rotors and wheel cylinders. Replace them if necessary to ensure that your car’s braking system is efficient.
  • Inspect all bolts and nuts for any looseness and replace them if they are not secure.
  • Check the brake fluid levels regularly and top it off whenever required.
  • Clean the rotors with a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any accumulated rust and dirt.
  • Apply lubricating grease or dampening paste on the back plates of the brake pads and where two components are in contact with each other.

By following these simple steps and maintaining your brakes system, you can ensure that your car’s braking system is working properly and there won’t be any noise or vibration when brakes are applied.

Brake Noise At Low Speed-FAQs

What Do Bad Brake Pads Sound Like?

Bad brake pads will usually make a high-pitched squealing or grinding noise when the brakes are applied. This is due to the metallic back plate of the pad rubbing against the rotor and causing an abrasive sound.

Why Are My Brakes Making Noise When I Slow Down?

Noise when slowing down can often be caused by trapped dirt and rust on the rotors, worn out brake pads or warped rotors. Make sure to inspect all components of the brakes system for any issues and replace them if necessary.

Is It Normal For Brakes To Squeak At Low Speeds?

No, it is not normal for brakes to squeak at low speeds. Usually this indicates an issue with the brakes system that needs to be addressed such as worn out brake pads or trapped dirt and rust on the rotors.

Can Bad Brake Pads Damage Rotors?

Yes, bad brake pads can damage rotors if they are not replaced in time. When a pad becomes too thin, it can start to wear down the rotor and create grooves or indentations on its surface. This will reduce the efficiency of your brakes system and cause more noise when braking.

Why Does My Car Make A Scraping Noise When I Drive Slow?

Scraping noises when driving slow can be caused by worn out brake pads or rotors. In this case, make sure to inspect the brakes system and replace any worn out components. Applying dampening paste might also help reduce the noise if it’s caused by trapped dirt and rust on the rotors.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Brake Pads?

The cost of replacing brake pads will vary depending on the type and make of your car. Generally, most brake repairs can range from $100-$400 but in some cases it can be higher. Be sure to get a detailed estimate from a mechanic before proceeding with any repair work.


Brake noise at low speeds can be caused by several different components of the brakes system. It is important to inspect all parts and replace them if necessary in order to ensure that your car’s braking system works properly. Additionally, make sure to maintain the brakes regularly by checking for any wear and tear on the brake pads and rotors. By following these simple steps of eMotorsWest, you can help keep your car’s brakes system in top condition.

David Gavi

I'm David Gavi living in the US, a mechanic with 25 years in the auto industry. I have a great deal of experience in both the automotive repair and service industry as well as vehicle customization. My passion for cars and engines has led me to blogging, where I share my knowledge and insights with others who are passionate about vehicles. I strive to provide valuable information on the latest technologies, car modifications, performance parts, maintenance tips, and repair techniques. On my blog I also provide in-depth reviews of aftermarket parts, detailing the pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision about what to buy for your vehicle. I have worked on various types of cars over the years, from luxury imports to classic muscle cars and everything in between. I take great pride in my work and I'm always looking for ways to improve the performance of any car or truck. I'm excited to share my knowledge, experience, and passion with you. So if you're looking to improve your vehicle's performance or just want to learn more about cars, then please visit my blog today! Thanks

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