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Squeaky Noise While Driving But Not Brakes Applied: Causes & Fixes

March 19, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

This article addresses an issue commonly faced by car owners: “Squeaky Noise While Driving but Not Brakes Applied.”

Faulty Brakes are likely to produce squeaky noise for some reason when applied; what then should you do if you hear squeaky noise While driving but you didn’t apply the brakes?

This matter needs urgent attention, not necessarily because it will cause any effect but because of the unappealing noise it makes.

Before I proceed, faulty Brakes make three types of noise: a grinding noise when applied, a thumping noise when braking, a scraping sound when driving /braking, and a squeaky sound when driving or braking.


The exciting part is that new brakes can also produce this squeaky sound. So, if you’re wondering why your brakes are squeaking when you haven’t applied the brakes, then this article is for you.

In this article, I will show you probable reasons why your brakes are speaking without applying brakes and how to fix it.

Why are my Brakes Squeaking?

Brakes come in different brands and are of different quality; squeaky brakes indicate low-quality brake pads.

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Aside from the noise pollution, it could also signify a possible collision between the braking system.

Here are five main reasons why your new or old brake pads will produce squeaky sounds without applying brakes.

1. Cheap and Low-Quality Brake Pads

The most common cause of squeaking, even when the brakes aren’t applied, is inferior brake pads.

While the price might look cheap, they won’t be able to serve you as the high-quality ones would. This is primarily because of the large metal flakes embedded in the brake material, which frequently squeak when it comes to the rotor.

In some cases, the noise will likely go away after some time but will come back due to rapid wear and tear, which will cause uneven brake pads.

The best way to escape this situation is to avoid low-budget brake pads and use high-quality ones.

2. Brake Wear indicator making contact with the rotor

As time goes on, the brake pad becomes uneven and needs replacement. During installation, there’s a tiny metal attached to the brake pad, which relays a signal about the condition of the brakes.

Once brake pad wear occurs, the brake Pad Wear indicator will lose balance and start contacting the rotor, creating a rotational movement.

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This, in turn, produces a squeaky Noise while driving and would likely go away if you apply the brakes

3. Grazed Rotors

Over time, the rotors can create build-ups that’ll make it look irregular, making it hard for new brake pads to fit in.

While you can get a rotor replacement, you can likely check if your mechanic can help resurface them.

However, this is a temporary fix that will come up again.

4. The brake pads material

Semi-metallic brake pads are the best choice for car owners. We also have ceramic brake pads, which work perfectly for some cars but produce a lot of noise.

So, to eliminate squeaky noises in your car, get a brake pad made of the best material.

5. Insufficient lubrication

Cars equipped with the drum braking system usually encounter this issue, and new and old brake pads can be affected.

The pistons press against the drum braking, and if there’s insufficient oil, it’ll produce a squeaking sound.

You can resolve this by applying brake lubricant to the affected point, the backing plate.

How to Stop Brakes from Squeaking?

Installing high-quality brake pads or replacing worn-out, uneven ones is recommended to stop brakes from squeaking.

Let’s get to the details of these fixes.

1. Always install High-Quality Brake Pads

Avoid using cheap and low-quality brake pads on your car; while they are cost-friendly, they won’t serve you for half the time a quality brake pad will.

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High-quality brake pads will also boost your morale on the highway since inferior brake pads could sometimes fail.

2. Rotor Resurfacing or Replacement

If your rotors have developed irregularities that’ll make them not accommodate the brake pads, then it’s essential that you either resurface or replace them.

A rotor can last between 50,000 to 70,000 miles before a mandatory replacement can be required.

The resurfacing can be done manually by applying sandpaper to the irregular surface to remove metal build-up.

3. Brake Pads Replacement

Another fix to a squeaking noise while driving without applying brakes is to replace worn-out brake pads.

Do change your brake pads for minimum wear after running between 10,000 to 20,000 miles.

Here’s why you hear squeaky noise While driving, but no Brakes are applied.


Why does my car squeak when I drive but stop when I brake?

If your car squeaks when you drive but stops when you brake, it indicates that the brake pad wear indicator is in contact with the rotor due to a worn-out brake pad.

Why do I hear a squeaking noise when I drive?

Squeaky Noise when Driving is caused by using low-quality brake pads on your car. It could also imply that your brake pads are worn out.

Why do my brakes squeak, but the pads are good?

If your pads are good, but the brake still squeaks, you should check if the rotors are in perfect condition; you can resurface the rotors if necessary.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.