Low Rumbling Sound When Braking (Causes & Solutions)

If you are an experienced driver, you’d always be alerted by any irregular noises your vehicle makes.

Whenever you hear an unusual noise coming from your car, you need to pay attention to it immediately to avoid further complications. One of such noises you hear is a low rumbling sound when braking.

This article will discuss everything about the low rumbling sound when braking, its causes, and how to fix it.

Let’s get started.

What Causes a Low Rumbling Sound When Braking

If you hear a low rumbling sound when braking, it’s usually caused by worn brake pads. Your brake pads can Sometimes wear unevenly because of poor alignment or bad bushing. Replacing your vehicle’s brake pads will fix this issue.

What Causes a Low Rumbling Sound When Braking

There are two main reasons why your car makes a low rumbling sound when braking, they are:

1. Worn Brake Pad or Brake Shoe

Most times, whenever your car makes a low rumbling sound when braking, it could be as a result of a worn brake pad or brake shoe.

However, if the noise stems from the above reason, it can result in too much heat build-up from friction within the braking system because when these parts wear out, they can no longer dissipate heat.

You can liken a brake pad to a bar of soap. You’ll use it all one day, and it won’t cost you much to get a new one.

But, if you fail to replace them, your brakes will only worsen to the grinding point, thereby costing you a lot of money, especially when you continue to use them.

To avoid excessive wear, you must replace brake pads and brake shoes as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you should go for a cheaper brake pad or brake shoe that will wear out too quickly to save cost.

2. Sticking Caliper or Wheel Cylinder

If your vehicle has a sticking caliper in its brake system, it can constantly jam every brake pad against the brake rotor, causing a low rumbling sound when braking.

Again, As soon as the rotor disc touches any part of the brake caliper, it will cause a noisy grinding sound.

However, brake grinding occurs in a drum brake system if a stuck wheel cylinder frequently compresses the brake shoe against the brake drum.

Related: Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied (Solved)

How to Fix Low Rumbling Sound When Braking

How to Fix Low Rumbling Sound When Braking

If your car makes a low rumbling sound when braking, you need to take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic to change your brake pads immediately.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll only be required to change the brake pads alone, to stop them from grinding your rotors down to a tissue.

Replace your brake pads as soon as possible to prevent damage to your rotors.

If you insist on driving as your vehicle makes a low rumbling sound when braking, the worn brake pads could damage your brake rotor too, causing you to pay more for a brake pad replacement and a rotor replacement.

A quick fix to a vehicle that makes a low rumbling sound when braking is to lubricate the brake calipers, and this works only if the brake pads are not worn.

If your vehicle features a disc brake system, you will have to bring out the brake caliper and apply grease on its slides; if it is a drum brake, you’ll have to grease the scrubbing points of the wheel cylinder. If the problem persists, then you can change the parts.

Whenever you compress the brake pedal and hear a low rumbling sound when braking, it could mean that the rotor disc and part of the caliper are starting to touch themselves, which happens whenever your brake pads wear out.

Some situations might even require you to change your brake discs.

Loud Grinding Brake Noise

Most times, you could confuse the low rumbling sound or grinding noise that occurs whenever you brake to a sound caused by something that hits a rumble strip along the edge of a highway.

However, you always have to be awakened to this noise and stop your vehicle immediately because a grinding sound when braking is a sign of completely worn-out brake pads.

The brake drums and rotors are rubbing against each other without any material to separate them.

Squealing Brake Noise

Squealing Brake Noise

In the event you hear a squealing noise while you apply the brakes, it could be that the group of tabs attached to the brake pads has been slowly exposed, and the brake pads have worn out to the point where they need to be replaced.

In addition, it causes the metal tab to come in contact with the steel of the brake rotor to create a squeal, which is an indication that you need to replace it.

If the tab is absent in particular pads, then the squealing noise tells you that only the metal backing plate itself is the only left, and it is rubbing against the spinning rotor.

This situation needs your immediate attention as it is a more severe condition.

Also Read: Car Shakes When Accelerating but Not When Coasting

Frequently Asked Questions – Low Rumbling Sound When Braking

Why Does My Car Make a Rumbling Noise When I Brake?

Rumbling noise when braking could result from worn-out brake pads, making the calipers continue pressing against the rotor and causing damage. When this happens, your rotor gets warped, thereby leading to brake thumping or on-off touch when you brake. You could also have undersized brake parts, which force the pads or caliper into constant friction or activities that produce frustrating brake rumbling sounds.

Why Do I Hear a Gurgling Sound When I Press My Brake at a Slow Speed?

If you hear a gurgling sound when you press your brake at a slow speed, it could result from a problem with the coolant system and not the brakes. Nevertheless, braking may create a situation in which a gurgling noise occurs, perhaps in the coolant overflow tank.

Why Do My Brakes Rumble When I Stop?

The most obvious reason is a bad brake rotor. If your rotor is in a poor state, it can force the brake pedal to rumble when you stop. In addition, if the rotor is excessively scarred, warped, cracked, or rusted, it can have an uneven grabbing of brakes, thereby creating a pulsating feel when applying the brakes.

Can I Hear Brakes When Braking?

You can hear a noisy grinding sound when braking as long as a touch occurs between the rotor disc and a caliper component that happens once your brake pads begin to wear out or become completely worn out. Sometimes, it could be caused by a faulty brake disc that needs replacement.

What Do Faulty Brake Pads Sound Like?

A faulty brake pad creates a metallic grinding sound because the backing plate has started rubbing against the rotor or drum. Meanwhile, most brake pads feature a metal wear indicator, which forces itself on the rotors once the brake pads become worn out, thereby producing a grinding noise or squealing sound.


If you hear a low rumbling sound when braking, it’s usually caused by worn brake pads. Your brake pads can Sometimes wear unevenly because of poor alignment or bad bushing. Replacing your vehicle’s brake pads will fix this issue.

Having gone through the above article, we believe that you don’t need to be a professional or go through the stress of looking for a means to get your vehicle to a mechanic workshop to check for the possible cause of a low rumbling sound when braking and its solution. It will also help save you cost, labor fee, and time.

However, suppose you happen to hear any sound coming from your vehicle. In that case, it’s advisable to adopt often the safer option, which is stopping the car, turning off the engine, and checking for the possible cause and solution, to avoid developing further problems that may subsequently occur.

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