Why Are Your BMW's New Brakes Squealing?


While they may have once had a bit of a reputation for being garage queens, modern BMWs are now relatively reliable vehicles. However, driving a high-end car often means that BMW owners demand a high standard of performance, so small problems can be frustrating. These problems can be especially troubling when they occur with a system as critical as your car's brakes.

You probably know that aging brakes will begin to squeal, but what does it mean if relatively new brake pads are making noise? These sounds may be especially confusing if there are no other signs of trouble, such as a brake warning light or reduced stopping power. This guide will help you understand why your BMW's brakes are suddenly so loud and what you may be able to do about it.

The Causes of Noisy Brakes

Brakes tend to make loud noises for the same reasons as any other component: physical contact between parts where none should occur. In the case of brakes, these noises typically occur when an immobile part of your braking system touches the spinning brake disc. The squealing noise produced by brake pad wear indicators is one example, but there are others.

For example, most BMWs use a floating caliper setup that only presses a single brake pad against the rotor. The other brake pad sits loosely, usually held in place by a single spring clip or similar mechanism. If the opposing pad is too loose, parts of the metal backing plate or the clip itself may make contact with metal surfaces, ultimately producing a squealing noise.

In other cases, some contact is relatively normal. The design described above results in parts of the brake pads occasionally sliding against parts of the caliper. Technicians address this problem by using a lubricant on these areas. Still, a poor application can allow the lubricant to wear away and cause your brakes to turn noisy, even if plenty of pad material is left.

Solving Your Noisy Brake Issue

While noisy brakes aren't always a safety issue, they can be embarrassing and frustrating. Fortunately, a qualified BMW mechanic should be able to quickly locate and diagnose the problem, allowing you to get back to enjoying a smooth and quiet ride. In many cases, they may only need to replace a spring clip or add extra lubrication.

However, it's important not to ignore these issues for too long. While they're rarely severe, in some cases, they may be a sign of problems such as a stuck caliper or uneven brake wear. Since most BMWs only have one brake sensor per axle, you won't necessarily get a brake warning light if the side without the sensor wears more quickly than the side with the sensor.

When it comes to your brakes, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Even if you know your brake pads are relatively new, having a trained technician investigate any noises is a good idea. This approach ensures your car remains safe to drive while eliminating the embarrassing squeal whenever you bring your car to a stop.

For more, take your vehicle to a BMW brake repair service near you.


21 June 2022

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