Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied (Solved)

Why do car brakes make a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied? Are these noises ordinary in the first place? What could cause a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied? Is there any way they can be stopped?

If you have trouble finding answers to these, look no further because we have the answers you need and more.

This article will help you know about the squeaking noise while driving, but not brakes applied, the reasons behind it, and the remedy to this problem. Read more to learn about them.

Other Causes of Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied?

The following are some reasons why your car makes a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied.

1. The Brake Pad Material

Today, numerous brake pads are mostly made of ceramic which works well in stopping the vehicle and lasts for a long time. Unfortunately, they cause terrible noises on iron rotors.

Use a butter knife to scrape across the ceramic plate. Immediately you will hear a squeaking sound.

Get your installed ceramic pads exchanged for a semi-metallic pad by your mechanic if they are noisy and if it’s possible.

Semi-metallic pads are a bit cleaner compared to the former. Be aware that there might be an additional cost.

Also Read: Car Shakes When Braking (Why & How To Fix)

2. Cold Weather

If your car makes a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied only at morning hours or when there is a downpour or foggy period, it could result from air moisture.

This causes tiny rust to accumulate on the rotors, causing the pads to squeal for a short period until they start, and you take the rust off by taking a stop for a few minutes.

3. Sticks & Stones

Several reasons cause squeaking brakes. There’s an adage that says, “sticks and stones may break my bones….”

This applies in this case also because sticks and stones that unexpectedly get attached to your wheel while driving will make your car produce squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied.

Your wheel tends to take up debris like an acorn, small stone, tiny twig, and others. This will cause the squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied.

This is common Mostly in rural places having driveways covered by large thick trees.

If your car makes a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied, you might want to look out for foreign objects which must have gotten themselves stuck beneath the brake pad and the rotor.

If it’s a soft object like a twig, it wears down shortly and soon gets thrown from the wheel.

4. Glazed or Grooved Rotors

Glazed or Grooved Rotors is another common reason your car makes a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied have to do with the rotors.

With continuous wear in your brake pads, the rotors or disc starts developing glazing, grooves, or irregular wear.

Be sure to do the following to your brake rotors when you replace the brake pads. Remove, measure and machine or replace the rotors. This gives a smooth flat surface.

Similarly, failure to remove or sand the glaze by your mechanic causes a high-pitched squeal or squeak sound, especially when you have cold brakes.

Sometimes it goes away right after the brakes are heated up, but for others, it stays that way for a long time, and you can tell, this is pretty irritating.

Slapping on a set of brake pads is very fast and a lot easier to do, yet the outcome is not good as the customer makes a frowning face due to performance or noise problems.

In some situations, it is either the fault of the mechanic or shop because they are in a hurry to earn more and, as such, have less time to focus on quality.

In some other situations, the customer finds it convenient to save more by leaving the rotors unchanged.

If you want to avoid cases like this, choose a quality repair shop that sees you get the best quality their priority rather than saving a buck instead of buying brand new rotors.

5. Workmanship

Sometimes, human mistakes or carelessness causes your car to make a squeaking noise while driving, but not brakes applied.

For instance, if an auto technician forgets or will not take a few minutes to get the caliper pins properly cleaned or lubricated or coats the brake pads with an anti-seize after he/she has changed the rotors out of hurry.

Maybe he forgets that the “anti-rattle” shims or clips responsible for lessening brake pad noises have to be replaced.

How to Stop Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied

Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied

A common way of fixing or stopping your car from making a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied is to change the brake pads entirely to a more convenient friction material.

Getting a reliable material for the brake pad may seem difficult especially getting one that equates to the original.

However, replacing it with an aftermarket, either a metallic or ceramic pad would improve the interaction between the pad resonant frequency and the rotor, hence stopping the squeaky or squealing noise.

Though auto-parts shops have a variety of widgets and potions, which have proven to be good at curing squeaks, they can not always be trusted.

For example, aerosol sprays are not recommended since they change the brake pads’ friction forms and weaken their force to bring the vehicle to a halt.

To reduce or fix this problem, you will need Teflon-made shims to decimate the piston from the pad.

Manufacturers have designed the Teflon in such a way it goes easily from the pad to the caliper hydraulic piston.

An anti-squeal adhesive can be applied and reinstalling of the brake pads, and button-up is done.

The anti-squeal adhesive is mostly an anaerobic product and, for this reason, remains gummy until the brakes are applied and the air squeezed out.

Be sure to get rid of any accumulated dirt or corrosion emerging from the metal parts when installing any parts of the brake. Use a wire brush or file to clean up any gliding or sliding parts until the pads can pull in out.

Then apply the rake lubricant, just a thin film, to any sliding part. Do not allow lubricant to build on the pad or rotor. Clean off thoroughly before the wheel is hung on.

Check out this video for more tips on how to stop your brakes from squeaking

Related Questions – Squeaking Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied

Why Does My Car Squeak When I Drive but Stop When I Brake?

The braking system consists of the brake, which ensures efficiency. The other system parts, such as rotors, disc, and calipers, at some point, begin to loosen, causing your vehicle to squeal even when you have not applied the brake.

Why Is My Car Making a Squeaking Noise When I Drive?

Worn brake pads are the commonest reason your vehicle ends up squeaking when you are driving. Dust that is stuck between the rotors as the pads clamp down on them may cause high pitched hum by the brakes. Car washing and wheel well spraying can stop them.

Why Does My Car Squeak When I Drive Slowly?

Your car may squeak even when you drive slowly due to worn out or poorly fitted brake pads and discs. Applying brakes slow down movement as pressure is applied when the brake caliper surrounds the pad.

Why Do My Brakes Squeak but the Pads Are Good?

Brakes made of metallic or ceramics or moisture can lead to squeaky brakes, but they are harmless. Also, brand new brake pads squeak too due to the invasion of foreign objects. Debris such as tiny stones, twigs, rocks, or pinecones can get accumulated from the rotor to the brake pads.

Can Low Brake Fluid Cause Squeak?

If the brake fluid decreases, the brake pedals fail to depress the pads with the same pressure used before. It can cause pads to wear out, and you will suffer terrible squealing, squeaking, and grinding when these brakes are applied. The vehicle tends to vibrate and humble a lot when the brakes are in use.


If you experience a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied, replace brake pads immediately. The brake pad comes with a brake wear indicator – a metal clip attaching the brake pad.

The pads get thin over time, causing the indicator to scrape against the rotor. This action results in squeaking. This might not be serious, but do not drive for a long time without replacing the pads.

Just in case you rarely experience this issue, you still have to run checks on your brakes once or two times in a year to be sure they are in the right place.

Vehicles up to three years going should have an operational brake. It is necessary, and if you do not know the issue behind your squeaky or squeal brakes, get an expert technician to inspect it properly.

In a nutshell, a squeaky brake is an indication it is high time you get your vehicle inspected and don’t take this for granted. If your brakes fail to perform effectively, there are chances of higher risk, especially when overlooked.

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