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why is my brake pedal squeaking

Why Is My Brake Pedal Squeaking? 6 Causes & Fix

If you hear a high-pitched noise or a squeaking sound when you apply the brakes, you may wonder, “Why is my brake pedal squeaking?”

The brake system causes this annoying sound for some reasons, such as worn-out parts or lack of lubrication. Even when you’re fine with the noise, do not overlook it because it indicates certain problems in the brake system. 

The brake is one of the most important safety components in your car. So let’s find some tips to eliminate the noise and keep the brake system in its best condition! 

Why Is My Brake Pedal Squeaking

Why Is My Brake Pedal Squeaking?

Several factors cause your brake pedal to squeak, including worn-out brake pads, rusty brake lines, and low brake fluid. Simply stated, any issue in the brake system will be likely to make a weird noise. 

When your brake pedal squeaks, it means that there is a squeaking, high-pitched noise when you apply the brake. If you do not solve the problem soon, the brake system will fail, making it dangerous to drive, just like when you drive with a broken wheel stud

The possible causes of squeaky car pedals for this noise include the following:

Worn-Out Brake Pads

Brake pads contact the brake rotor directly. Pressing the brake pedal applies pressure on the brake system that pushes the pads against the rotor. This friction will generate heat, slowing the rotor and stopping the car’s wheels. 

Worn-out brake pads have a thin layer of debris on the surface. Then, you will hear a squeaking noise whenever you step on it. 

Other signs of worn-out brake pads are a shaky pedal and terrible braking performance. You may also notice a grinding noise when pressing the brake.

How to fix it?

You can’t fix the worn-out brake pads. So the only solution for this case is to replace them. Here is what you should do:

  • Pull over and stop your brake. 
  • Loosen the wheel that connected to the faulty brake pad by removing its lug nuts. 
  • Set jack stands underneath your automobile and lift it. 
  • Remove that wheel. 
  • Detach the old brake pads. 
  • Install the new pads. 
  • Reinstall the wheel. 
  • Lower your vehicle and test if you have solved the squeaky brakes
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Low Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is the hydraulic fluid used in the brake system. It transfers force into pressure and amplifies the braking force. 

In other words, when you step on the brake pedal, the fluid turns this force into pressure to the rear and front brakes to stop your car. 

With the too-low brake fluid level, the brake pads can’t grip the rotor properly, creating a squeaking noise. Another consequence of the low brake fluid level is the limited braking power. 

This issue occurs when you forget to refill the fluid. The leakage in the system may reduce the fluid level, too. 

How to solve it?

Check the brake fluid level when the pedal starts to squeak. If it’s too low, follow these steps to refill it:

  • Turn off your car. 
  • Open the hood. 
  • Find the brake fluid reservoir, which is often on the driver’s side. 
  • Remove the reservoir cap and pour new fluid into it. 
  • Put on the cap and test the brake. 

Rusty Brake Line

This line is the tube that delivers brake fluid from the cylinder to the brake. Over time, it gets rusty, and the rust will block the line. As a result, the fluid can’t make its way to the brake. 

If the brake line wears out, you will hear a squeaking noise in the brake pedal. The pedal also feels spongy whenever you press it. 

How to solve it?

How to stop brake pedal from squeaking? Your brake system will fail without the brake fluid. Hence, replacing the rusty brake line as soon as possible would be best. The instructions are as follows:

  • Stop your car and handbrake it. 
  • Remove the negative cable of the car battery. 
  • Lift your car and place jack stands underneath. 
  • Detach the wheel connected to the rusty brake line. 
  • Remove the old brake line from the fluid reservoir and caliper. 
  • Install the new brake line and secure it with hose clamps. 
  • Reinstall the wheel. 
  • Lower your car and test the brake. 
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Lack Of Lubrication

Moving mechanical parts of your car need regular lubrication to maintain their optimal working condition. Similarly, the brake pedal can work well thanks to the lubricant that minimizes its friction against other parts. 

However, the brake pedal can’t deal with continuous friction if you don’t catch up with the lubrication schedule. It will squeak as a result. 

How to solve it?

How to lubricate brake pedal? Here are the steps:

  • Set your car to park mode
  • Loosen the nuts of the wheel connected to the problematic brake pedal. 
  • Lift your car and place jack stands underneath. 
  • Remove the brake caliper and brake pages. 
  • Lubricate the pedal with high-quality brake lubricant. 
  • Reverse the steps above to assemble the brake system and the wheel. 
  • Lower your car and test the brake. 

Rusty Brake Rotor

As discussed earlier, the brake pad and rotor friction will generate heat and stop the wheel. When the rotor gets wet or rusty, it causes the pad to shake, creating a squeaking noise. 

Moreover, rust forms a rough layer on the rotor. When contacting continuously, the brake pad will wear out too. 

How to solve it?

You can clean the rotor to get rid of the rust layer. Here is how to clean it properly:

  • Set your car to park mode. 
  • Loosen the nuts on the wheel connected to the dirty brake rotor.
  • Lift your car and place jack stands underneath. 
  • Remove the brake caliper and brake pads to access the brake rotor. 
  • Clean the rotor using a wire brush. 
  • Assemble the removed parts. 
  • Test your brake. 

Worn-Out Brake Shoes

The brake shoes are a part of the drum brake system. When you step on the pedal, hydraulic pressure pushes the brake shoes against the brake drum, creating friction to slow your car. 

Like brake pads, brake shoes are prone to wear and tear. When worn out, they can’t deliver the proper amount of pressure. As a consequence, the brake pedal will squeak. 

How to solve it?

You can replace the worn-out brake shoe with the new one to improve the situation. The following steps will help:

  • Like other replacements, you need to lift your car, secure it on jack stands, and remove the wheel with the defective brake shoe. 
  • Remove the brake caliper and brake pad. 
  • Release the screws holding the brake shoes using a screwdriver. 
  • Remove the springs of the brake shoes. 
  • Now, you can detach the old brake shoes and insert the new ones. 
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Can You Drive With A Squeaky Brake Pedal

Can You Drive With A Squeaky Brake Pedal?

No. The squeaky brake indicates problems with the brake system that will compromise your car’s stopping ability. 

For example, if the brake pads cause noise, it means that the friction between the pads and rotors reduces. Then, you will find it hard to stop your car. This issue may put you in danger when you want to stop in an emergency situation. 

Similarly, the lack of lubrication only slightly affects the braking ability. But when left untreated, the entire brake system will fail. 

Other Symptoms Of A Faulty Brake Pedal

Finding what causes a squeaky brake pedal is not enough to guarantee the performance of your brake system. You should check for these signs, too:

  • Hard brake: If the brake pedal feels hard and you need to apply excessive force to press it, there must be some problems with the brake line. 
  • Shaking brake pedal: If the pedal shakes when you step on it, it can indicate that the brake rotor is warped. 
  • Spongy brake pedal: Due to the air leak in the brake line, your brake pedal will feel soft and spongy when pressed. 


Why is my brake pedal squeaking? The brake system consists of multiple comments, including brake pad, rotor, shoe, and line. Once any of them wear out, they will affect the whole performance of the system. The squeaking noise is the first consequence.  

Besides, the lack of lubrication will make your brake pedal squeak. So, remember to lubricate the brake system regularly to maintain its best condition. 

The noise is the first symptom of a faulty brake system. If you don’t solve it, the brake pedal will fail, leading to dangerous situations. In the end, the rule for every driver is to check their car regularly and act quickly when there is any problem.

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