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Are your brakes grinding when driving at low speeds but not when driving faster? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the possible causes of brakes grinding at low speeds, but not higher.

Read on to learn more about this common issue and how to resolve it.

New Brake Pads Grinding at Low Speeds.

The first possible cause is contamination. Brake pads are made up of frictional material, and if any foreign objects, such as dirt or oil, become embedded in the material, it can cause a grinding noise when the brakes are applied. This is especially common if the brake pads were not cleaned properly before installation.

The second possible cause is improper installation. If the brake pads are not properly aligned, it can cause a grinding sound at low speeds.

This is because the pads are not making full contact with the rotor and can’t generate the necessary friction to slow the vehicle down.

Finally, if the brake pads were not properly broken in, they may still be too stiff and can cause a grinding noise when the brakes are applied. This is because the pads cannot generate the necessary friction to slow the vehicle down.

Bad Brake Fluid

The brake fluid is constantly being exposed to moisture, dirt, and other debris. This contamination can cause the brake fluid to become thick and cause a grinding noise when the brakes are applied.

The contaminants can also cause the brake fluid to lose its effectiveness, leading to a decrease in braking power.

Changing brake fluid

In order to fix the problem, it is important to check the brake fluid level and condition regularly. If the brake fluid is contaminated, it should be changed.

One of the most obvious signs of contaminated brake fluid is its color. If the fluid turns dark brown or black, it has likely been contaminated.

You should also check the fluid for any particles or debris that may have mixed into it. Water often seeps into the brake fluid through the brake lines and dilutes the fluid too.

That is why it should be changed according to the car manufacturer’s guidelines. Normally this is every two years to three years.

Another sign of contaminated brake fluid is a strong, unpleasant odor. If you notice a strong odor coming from your brake fluid, it is likely that it has been contaminated. It is important to not only check the color and

Worn Out Rotors and Pads

A low wear indicator, or LWI, can help detect when the brake pads and rotors are in need of replacement. It is a small metal piece between the brake pad and the rotor.

When the brake pad gets worn down to a certain point, the LWI will contact the rotor and create a grinding sound. This sound will usually be louder and more noticeable at lower speeds.

Brake Caliper Damaged

Brake caliper problems are among the most common causes of grinding at low speeds but not higher ones. This occurs when the caliper pistons become stuck or misaligned, resulting in uneven pressure on the brake pads.

This can cause the brake pads to rub against the rotors while braking, resulting in a grinding noise.

At higher speeds, the increased momentum of the vehicle can help to push the caliper pistons back into alignment, reducing the grinding noise.

However, at lower speeds, the momentum of the vehicle is not enough to fully overcome the sticking or misalignment of the caliper pistons.

As a result, the grinding noise is more noticeable.

Brake Caliper Lubrication

When performing brake maintenance, checking the caliper for proper lubrication is important. A good way to do this is to remove the pads and inspect the caliper. If it looks dry or has any rust, it’s time to lubricate it.

You’ll need to use high-quality brake grease or synthetic grease to lubricate the caliper properly. Start by applying the grease to the outside of the caliper.

Brake caliper servicing

This will help protect the caliper from corrosion and moisture. Once the outside is done, apply the grease to the inside of the caliper. This lubrication will help prevent the caliper from sticking and grinding.

Wheel Bearing Grinding Noise

The grinding noise from brakes can be caused by several things, such as brake pad material that is too hard or soft or worn brakes that are out of alignment or have excessive rust or corrosion.

The brake pads may also be too worn, or the rotors may have become warped or have too much rust. In any of these cases, the grinding noise is caused by the brakes, not the wheel bearings.

The noise from bad wheel bearings, on the other hand, is a different story. This type of noise is caused by the bearings wearing out, which can lead to a grinding and squealing sound.

This noise is typically much louder than the noise caused by brakes and can be described as a low-pitched squeal or whine.

Also, the noise will usually be heard when turning the wheel or accelerating, as the wheel bearing is under stress during these movements.


Bake pad contamination, brake fluid contamination, and a faulty low wear indicator can all be potential causes of a grinding noise when the brakes are applied.

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