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Why Are My Brakes Grinding After New Pads and Rotors?

What Could Cause Brakes Grinding After New Pads and Rotors?

When you get new brake pads and rotors installed on your car, the last thing you want to hear is your brakes grinding after new pads. Unfortunately, this is a common issue that many car owners (myself included) experience. There are several reasons why your brakes may be grinding after getting new pads and rotors. Let’s take a closer look at some of these common questions to see if it’s dangerous or not and how to remedy it. 

Trust me, I know how much of a pain in the butt brakes can be, let’s get your car fixed, but here’s the basic reasons why you make be having brake trouble.

You could be having grinding noises after new pads and rotors because of one of the following:

  • Faulty or defective brake pads
  • Improper installation of hardware during service
  • Contaminated pads dirty brake hardware
  • Low quality brake pad material
  • Warped rotors (or seized caliper)

Brakes Grinding After New Pads – Common Issues

Faulty Brake Pads

One possible reason for brakes grinding after new pads and rotors is faulty brake pads. If the brake pads are not manufactured to the highest quality standards, they can wear down unevenly and cause a grinding sound.

It’s important to make sure that the brake pads you are using are of good quality and are compatible with your car’s brake system. 

When this happens, make sure you immediately replace the pads to prevent further damage to your pads or rotors. This isn’t very common too much anymore, but when there’s manufacturing involved there’s always variance so we can’t rule it out.

Improper Pad Installation

Another reason for brakes grinding after new pads and rotors is improper pad installation. If the brake pads are not installed correctly, they may not make proper contact with the rotors, resulting in a grinding noise. It’s essential to verify your work or have a mechanic double check over everything.

Most of the time your pads will come with a “wear” indicator that has be installed properly, if you install these incorrectly, you’ll immediately begin hearing grinding noises.

The wear indicator makes a metallic noise to let you know you’re low on pad life, make sure this is install correctly and your pads are seated firmly and in the correct position. 

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Contaminated Brake Pads

Contaminated brake pads can also be a cause of grinding noise after getting new pads and rotors. If debris or dirt gets trapped between the brake pads and rotors, it can create friction and lead to a grinding sound. Regularly cleaning your brakes and removing any debris can help prevent this issue.

Related: Seized Brake Caliper Symptoms And Fixes

When I say “routinely clean” you don’t actually need to scrub your brakes. However you should clean your new rotors before installation as they come from the factory with machine oil on them. This can quickly destroy your new pads and rotors so make sure you clean them with brake cleaner first. 

Low-Quality Brake Pads

Using low-quality brake pads can contribute to brakes grinding after new pads and rotors.

These pads may not have the necessary durability and wear resistance to withstand the braking forces and can wear down quickly, causing a grinding noise. It’s worth investing in high-quality brake pads to ensure optimal performance and reduce the risk of grinding.

Most of the time, almost all semi-metallic brake pads are going to make noises. It’s just the way the material squeals or squeaks while we break. Upgrading to ceramic options will definitely help. Always use a nicer quality pad, this is what stops your vehicle, don’t cheap out if this is your daily driver.

Warped Brake Rotors

Lastly, warped brake rotors can also cause brakes to grind after new pads and rotors installation.

Warped rotors can occur due to excessive heat or improper bed-in procedure. When the brake pads make contact with these uneven surfaces, it can result in a grinding noise. If you suspect that your rotors are warped, they may need to be resurfaced or replaced to resolve the issue.

Warped brake rotors occur when the rotor gets too hot or when pressure is applied uneven to either side. This causes the rotor to “warp” and curve which will cause uneven pad wear and some pretty crazy noises.

How to Identify the Problem

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When it comes to identifying the problem of brakes grinding after getting new pads and rotors, there are a few key signs you should look out for.

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These signs can help you pinpoint the issue and determine the necessary course of action. Here are some of the common indicators to watch out for:

Unusual Noise

One of the most obvious signs of a problem with your brakes is the presence of unusual noise. If you hear a grinding sound every time you hit the brake pedal, it is likely an indication of an underlying issue. This noise can occur due to faulty brake pads, improper installation, or contaminated brake pads. It’s important to pay attention to these noises and address them promptly.

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Keep in mind though, sometimes it’s nothing to worry about  as it might be the “wear indicator” on the brake pads. These days, car part manufacturers came out with a fix the let’s us know when our brake pads require a change.

There is a little wear tab on the back side that if improperly installed, you will hear it right away even though nothing is wrong. Make sure you verify your pads are install and seated correctly before you go driving around and lose control. Make sure you check this out first.

Reduced Braking Performance

Another sign of a problem is reduced braking performance.

If you notice that your car takes longer to come to a complete stop or that you need to apply more pressure to the brake pedal, it could be a sign that something is wrong. This reduced performance can be caused by worn-out brake pads, warped rotors, or a malfunctioning brake system.

It’s crucial not to ignore these issues as they can compromise your safety on the road.

Not only your safety, but others as well are affected. When there’s very little pad life left, or when the brake pads are uneven, the caliper wont be able to push against the pads properly to stop the wheels from spinning which brings you to a stop. 

Pulsating Brake Pedal

A pulsating brake pedal is yet another indication of a problem. If you feel a pulsation or vibration in the brake pedal when you apply the brakes, it could be due to uneven contact between the brake pads and rotors.

This uneven contact can result in a pulsating sensation and can be caused by various factors such as warped rotors or improperly installed brake pads.

It’s important to have the issue diagnosed and resolved to ensure proper braking performance.

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A faulty brake master cylinder and faulty or seized brake caliper can cause these symptoms as well. If you’ve verified everything and still aren’t having any luck, check your brake fluid and master cylinder to make sure everything is working and fluids are topped off.

Preventing Brake Grinding After Pad and Rotor Replacement

brakes grinding after new pads

After investing in new brake pads and rotors for your vehicle, the last thing you want is to experience that dreaded grinding noise every time you hit the brake pedal. To prevent this issue, there are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth and quiet braking experience.

Choose High-Quality Brake Pads

When selecting new brake pads, it is essential to choose high-quality options that are compatible with your car’s brake system.

Opting for low-quality pads can lead to premature wear and uneven brake pad distribution, resulting in a grinding noise.

Investing in reliable and durable brake pads will provide better performance and reduce the risk of grinding sounds.

Properly Break-In the New Pads and Rotors

After replacing your brake pads and rotors, it is crucial to properly break them in. This process allows the pads and rotors to establish optimal contact and prevents uneven wear.

To break-in the new components, drive your vehicle at moderate speeds and apply the brakes gently for the first few hundred miles.

This gradual and controlled bedding-in process will help ensure smooth and quiet operation.

Regularly Inspect and Maintain the Braking System

Regular inspection and maintenance of your vehicle’s braking system are essential to prevent grinding noises and ensure optimal performance. Inspect the brake pads and rotors regularly for signs of wear and damage.

Additionally, clean the brakes and remove any debris that may have accumulated between the pads and rotors. Proper maintenance can help identify and resolve potential issues before they escalate.


brakes grinding after new pads end

By choosing high-quality brake pads, properly breaking in the new pads and rotors, and regularly inspecting and maintaining the braking system, you can prevent the occurrence of grinding noises.

Taking these preventative measures will ensure safe and efficient braking performance, giving you a smooth and quiet driving experience.

I hope this answered your questions! Feel free to leave a comment below if you want to add anything extra or ask for additional help!

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