What Causes Brake Noise during Cold Weather

automobileglobe.comDriving your  car during cold weather is not the most relaxing ride you particularly if you hear suspicious brake sound or noise. You may start wondering if your vehicle will ever stop or if your brakes will give, creating an accident which might not only be difficult to fix, but equally traumatic. But what causes these noises and how can you stop them? One thing to bear in mind is, that not all sounds that issue from your brakes implies that there are problems or damage, but just the same, you should regularly inspect your brakes and where in doubt, get professional opinion.

What are vibrating brakes

The main reason for a brake squeal is the high-frequency vibrations that happen when your brake pads have contact a rotor that has an irregular surface. This will make the pads bounce and vibrate, transferring the vibrations to the calipers and caliper pistons leading to a squealing sound.

Irregular rotor surface can occur when while driving you pass through a small puddle of water which freezes around the rotor, making a temporary irregular surface. As the brakes heat up, the ice will melt and the surface of the rotor gets smooth once again stopping any vibrations.

Dust Drums

Vibrations are equally a result of dust built up over the course of a few years. Most of the dust issues from the shoes of your brakes wearing down, which begins coating the drum and cause the vibrations mentioned earlier. These vibrations can become stronger during cold conditions or because of morning dew since apart from dust coming from the brakes, frozen water droplets and dust from the road also cover the drum temporarily. Once the brakes warm up, the sound should stop a little but with the use of dust and contaminant removing products, the brakes should be cleared from dust once again and the sound is stopped.


Cast iron brakes rust overnight and the rate of rusting quickened with cold, humid weather which will create gritting sounds and vibrations. This rust can often be cleaned away easily and prevented by replacing the brakes from iron to ceramic and keeping the vehicle in a dry environment such as a garage when not in use especially during the night. If constantly wet, during cold conditions, water can freeze around the brake, increasing the rate of rusting and permanent damage to the rotor.

Being one of the most vital components of your car’s safety, brakes should be inspected and regularly well maintained. Even if most noises indicate nothing, checks from professional mechanics and preparing your car before the cold season starts are a must. If a sound is not usual or louder than usual or is related to the vehicle also acting funny, it will probably imply that the wear and tear of the brakes has approached an advanced stage. Always bear in mind that the cold and freezing conditions, usually speeds up the process of damage and wear and thus extra care must be taken.


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