Everybody loves a calm and peaceful ride & manufacturers try their best to make sure that their vehicles are put together properly so that there are no noises and rattles from the car when it passes over speed bumps and uneven surfaces.
However, there are some squeaks that you may hear even if your car is assembled correctly and you have taken good care of it, this is especially true for older and high mileage vehicles since their parts have been worn out due to constant wear and tear.
However, there are some sensitive parts whose constant use makes them wear out faster than several other parts. One such part that bothers people the most because of its noise is the brake pedal.
You will find several people complaining about this issue on the internet and around you, the good news however is that the issue is resolvable without spending too much money and you can even do this by yourself.
It is important to remember that some squeaks may appear to be coming from your brake pedal but in reality, the source may be elsewhere. Mentioned below are some of the possible causes and solutions for this problem.
6 Possible Reasons why brake pedal squeaks when released
1. Dried out brake pedal spring
The brake pedal is connected via a spring that releases it to its original position. The spring is located just above the pedal, though in most cases you will have a hard time locating it since it is hidden behind the firewall.
The frequent use and temperature changes usually remove the protective layer of lubrication on the spring which can cause squeaks every time you apply or release pressure on the brake pedal.
WD-40 or white Lithium grease spray will come in handy here as they can moisten the spring located just above the brake pedal. Just make sure that you are spraying right on it since it is difficult to locate and spray plenty so that it lasts for quite some time.
2. Loss of lubrication
The pedal is connected to the pedal box via a wire which pushes the fluid through the master cylinder to stop the car. Over time the connecting area between the wire and pivot point becomes dry, the dried-out contact area is what makes squeaking noises upon pressing and releasing the brake pedal.
This is the most common reason behind the squeaks coming from the brake pedal and there are good chances that your brake pedal has also the same problem.
The best and easy solution to this problem is to spray WD-40 or white Lithium grease spray on the point where the wire is connected to the pedal box. Hopefully, after that, the squeaks will stop bothering you if they were coming from this point.
3. Loose brake cable
Most modern brake cables are automatically adjusted if the disc brakes are used in the rear. However, there are many cars on the road that still have drum brakes in their rear wheels, if your car also has these brakes then there is a good probability that a loose brake cable is causing squeaks whenever you push the brake pedal.
Important to mention here is that the squeaks are not caused by the brake pedal in this case but are produced by a loose brake cable connected to the rear brakes.
Brake cables in cars that have drum brakes in the rear should be adjusted approximately every 20,000 miles, it is a simple procedure and you can even do it yourself. A tightened brake line provides a better feel to the parking brake and chances of brake squeaks are also reduced.
4. Fatigued brake line
There is a possibility that you may not be able to notice a worn-out brake line even if you jack up your car. However, a fatigued or a strained brake line is one of the most commonly occurring causes of brake pedal squeaks.
The possibility increases manifold if your car has got more than a hundred thousand miles and never had its brake line serviced or replaced with a new one. The high pressure of brake fluid makes the brake lines weaker over time and at some point, they can rupture.
Most of the cars usually come with a sort of plastic skid plate attached to their underbody that also protects the brake lines. However sometimes it gets broken after hitting speed bumps or pebbles, therefore brake lines should be routinely inspected to check for any kind of wear & tear.
Always make sure that you get your brakes inspected whenever you go to a mechanic for routine maintenance. It is a good idea to change them if your car is old or it has been driven over a hundred thousand miles. New steel brake lines are affordable and are a good investment as ruptured brake lines can be dangerous.
5. Warped or worn-out drum brakes or rotors
The inside of brake drums and the outer shiny layer of brake rotors tend to become thin over time due to constant friction.
This can cause squeaky noise whenever you apply the brakes, and you may think that the noise is coming from the brake pedal even though it is coming from inside the wheels.
The brake drums can be repaired or replaced in case they are worn out; however, you will have to buy a new set of rotors since they are irreparable. Always go for OEM rotors as they will last much longer than cheap Chinese rotors.
6. Dirty drum brakes
Drum brakes get clogged with soot and dust created due to the friction between the brake shoes and the drum. Part of the reason is that these brakes are enclosed in a drum which makes them accumulate grime over time.
The soot can compromise the functionality of the drum brake which in turn can make the brakes sound squeaky. The brake pedal is sometimes perceived as a source of these squeaks when in fact it is the rear brakes.
You can clean your car’s drum brakes by yourself, just take off the wheel and give a slight thud to the brake and the top cover will come off. Use a brake spray cleaner to clean the inside of the cover and the brakes, apply a bit of grease on each point so you don’t have to go through the hassle again.
Conclusion on brake pedal squeaking
Always remember to start with the most basic stuff and then move on to complicated parts. If you have tried all of these things and it still does not make any difference, then it is better to take your car to a certified mechanic. Tell him about all the things you have tried so that he gets a clear idea of what is wrong with your car.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.