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What should you do with squeaking noise while driving but not brake applied

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Do you hear a squeak while driving, but you didn’t hit the brakes during this process? So where does the sound come from? Many parts of a car can make a sound when you are driving.

These squeaks may be made occasionally and are not dangerous for driving. There are some factors, some that may be related to the brakes, others no relation to the brake.

The brake pad/Caliper/Brake disc/Steering system is the reason for squeaks. Other potential causes include debris, bad weather, engine overheating, or uneven tread wear.

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the most common causes of squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?
  • Can you continue to drive a car with squeaking noise but brakes are not applied?
  • What are some other noises brakes can make?
  • How do you fix squeaking noise while driving when brakes are not applied?

What are the most common causes of squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?

Here are the most common reasons for squeaking while driving without applying the brakes:

Old Brake Pads

If you are not driving but the brake pads squeak, it reminds you that you need to replace the brake pads. As time goes on, the friction material on the brake pad rubs against the brake disc as you constantly step on the brakes, then the material of friction will become thin when it will get to a certain extent. The wear indicator of the brake pad and the brake disc friction then will squeak. Although it may be without risk, do not drive for a long time without replacing the brake pads. The way to prevent the car from squeaking again is to replace the better-made brake pads


Because of too much water, your vehicle may sound harsh while driving without braking. Because the car is parked for a long time, humidity can cause brake discs to oxidize and rust, which leads to screams acting when the brake pad rubs against the brake disc. It needs professionally clean or replace the brake discs.



Due to the brake caliper piston being stuck, the guide pin lubrication back position is bad, so cause incomplete or long-term contact between the brake pads and the brake discs, then will produce a squeak. At this time, we should go to the repair shop as soon as possible to remove the brake calipers to check and repair, and replace the brake pads or calipers if necessary

Sticks & Stones

There are several other factors that may cause the brakes to squeak.

Tire gathering debris, eg: small stone branches etc. Even if you don’t hit the brakes, it also can squeak while driving. Drive on roads with sand, stones, and iron in rural areas, some foreign matter may be thrown into the brake disc and the brake pads, the foreign matter may be pressed into the friction material when we apply the brakes. Continuous braking will harden the friction material into a hard crystal, braking again is easy to squeak. At this time, it is recommended to check the brake system and replace the brake pads if necessary.

Sticks & Stones

Brake Pad formula

Another factor is the formulation of the brake pads causing the brakes to squeak. Generally, we replace the brake pad to consider the OEM status of the same formula as the brake pad. For example, the brake pads for the OEM state of Japanese and Korean cars are ceramic formula, you can change to semi-metal when you replace the second set of brake pads. To avoid sound again, we recommend you replace the brake pads.

Brake Pad Material

Because the brake pad raw material selection is not qualified or the pressing process is not up to the standard. At the same time, the continuous braking generation causes the high temperature to be too high to form a friction crack, When the friction material surface cracks and the brake disc surface contact will be uneven, it is easy to squeak when braking. At this time, it is recommended to ask a professional to check the brake system and replace the brake pads if necessary.

Brake Pad Material

Glazed Or Grooved Rotors

The brake disc is another typical factor in a vehicle creaking when driving without brakes. When the brake pads are worn out, the brake discs of your car begin to show glaze, grooves, or uneven wear. After replacing the brake pads, ask your mechanic to remove the brake discs and check them for any glaze or grooves. Whether your brake discs should be cleaned or replaced, it depending on the severity of the brake disc. Ensure the quietest and smoother running of your car.

Overheating of the mating friction surfaces


If a mechanical fault exists, your car may also scream while driving without the brakes, your car still makes that squeaking sound. For example, if a car repair fails to lubricate your brake pin or is unstuck on the brake pads after replacing your brake disc. We can see a lot of problems with the brakes, such as a brake pad wear indicator or a brake indicator. All of these warning indicators require extra careful. If you can not do it yourself, the best professional personnel to assist you!

Can you continue to drive a car with squeaking noise but brakes are not applied?

Most times, the squeak of driving without the brakes is not dangerous, but it was very uncomfortable for our ears. Therefore, the feelings of you and the people around you, it is best to solve this problem immediately. When the brakes first started to scream, you may feel that the problem is not serious and is not solved. However, we remind you not to drive for too long, because this may shorten your parking distance. Instead, take immediate action once the brake wear problem is found.

What are some other noises brakes can make?

There are some reasons of noise from braking:

Metal and metal wear sound

The noise is very serious. If heard this, please go to the repair shop immediately. When the brake pads are worn to the point of contact between the steel back and the brake discs, this is true when you drive at high speeds, which will make the cars very difficult to stop quickly.


If the situation happens, because the size of the second replacement brake pad is too small, not as OE standard. So the brake pads have gaps in the calipers, and the brake pads move back and forth when you hit the brakes. In this case, please go to a professional car repair point as soon as possible to replace the appropriate OE standard brake pads.

A harsh scream

The sound sounds annoying, but it is usually not dangerous. It may be that the brake pads are too dirty or the brake discs are a little rusty. Because the vehicle is parked for a long time, driving can eliminate the screams

How do you fix squeaking noise while driving when brakes are not applied?

Do not step on the brakes to solve the squeak method as follows:

Drive forward and backward several times

Problems can be solved most quickly by repeatedly moving the car back and forth. If it is stuck in the wheel or in the brake, it may require you to use external forces to solve it. If the debris still exists after some driving, can try to remove the debris manually. But please be careful not to hurt yourself.

Check the brakes

If it’s not for the fragmentation problem, we’re going to check the braking system thoroughly. To see if the caliper is stuck, if yes, the repairs must be done immediately. Outside, check the brake pads and brake discs for corrosion and rust. If yes, please replace a high-quality brake disc as soon as possible.

Check the engine

Complete the above inspection is no problem, can then check the engine. When the engine is running, pay attention to the sound to determine its source. The squeaking sound most likely came from the belt. If it happens, it should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage.

Check the transmission

After completing the above check, you can check the gearbox. It requires a lot of equipment and experience because they are very hard to find. It is recommended that you can check the fluid. If necessary, fill up the car before continuing its driving. Moreover, if it does wear or burn, it needs to be replaced.

FAQs(Description of common problems)

What is the reason for not applying the brakes during normal driving?

Except for the abnormal noise of the brakes, the most common abnormal noise is usually associated with the suspension of the car. When metal-to-metal wear occurs at the connections such as the pull rod, suspension joint, and steering connecting rod, suspension parts sometimes squeak because of a lack of lubrication.

Why did my car squeak, but I stopped when I applied the brake?

Most likely, the wear sensor of the brake disc and brake pads has just come into contact. When using the brakes, there will be a big scream, will be no scream when driving normally. Ask the repairman to check the brake for noise as soon as possible.

Why does my car squeak on the drive?

It maybe has something to do with the friction material of the brake pads which you choose. The formula of brake pads is not suitable for your car. We recommend replacing the brake pads with the same formula as the OE product. You need to ask a professional mechanic to check it out for you first.

Is it safe to drive a creaking car?

Although squeaks may not attract immediate attention, we recommend an immediate examination, not to delay and wait. Noises such as squeak, tapping, or pounding are often early signs of problems with moving parts.

How do you diagnose a creaking car?

One of the main reasons for car screams is loose or worn belts. An aging or faulty alternator may make a harsh sound. If the car squeak or screams as you turn the steering wheel, it is probably the steering system. The brake squeak is when they politely remind you that your brake system is time for maintenance.

How do you lubricate the squeak of the car?

You can be in that part of the vehicle when looking for the source of the squeak. In general, lithium-based grease is sprayed to temporarily silence the problematic areas. If the noise source is a rubber suspension liner, it is best to spray silicone or replace it.

Does the shock absorber squeak?

You can hear every bump and sound you encounter on the road because you will hear the squeak of the vibration. The vibration may be a source of the noise, but it can also be a damaged ball joint or a bushing.

Above, I hope you can gain something, so as to help you solve the brake squeak.


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