When doing auto repair and especially brake repair we get asked many questions. The most asked question has got to be "Why do my brakes squeak"?.
There are a few things that can cause this to happen. The most common is the brake pad material. There are several different materials for brake pads. As your brake pads wear down they turn to dust. This dust, depending on the material that it is made of, can get between the pad and the brake rotor. The lower the quality of the pad the worse the dust can be. Metallic and semi-metallic materials are probably the worse. Some users like them because they do last longer. As they wear they can actually make the brake rotor thinner and have a very shiny surface, which is worse. Another thing that can cause squeaks is the brake pad hardware. These are the metal clips that hold them in place. Sometimes these clips will break allowing the pads to wiggle around in the caliper bracket. The least common issue can be actually getting debris between the pad and rotor, like dirt or a tiny rock.
How do you fix this issue? We always recommend using high-quality brake pads and staying away from metallic materials. Ceramic material is probably the most quiet and they will dissipate the heat faster thus keeping the heat off of the rotors and calipers. Also either performing a rotor resurface or rotor replacement will allow the new brake material to bond properly making them last the longest. The new high-quality brake pads always come with hardware that will keep them in place so they won't "wiggle".
Every brake repair that we perform here at Precision Automotive of Utah either comes with a rotor resurface with our Hunter on-car brake lathe or, if the rotor is too thin to turn, we will replace it. This is definitely the proper and safest way to do a brake repair.