Performance brakes like Brembo are designed for serious stopping power. But sometimes that comes with annoying squeaking or squealing noises when you hit the brakes. If your high-end Brembo brake system is making some unwanted noise, don’t panic. In most cases, it’s an easy fix.
Common Causes of Squeaky Brembo Brakes
There are a few common culprits for noisy brakes:
High Performance Pad Compounds
Many Brembo brake pads use aggressive metallic, ceramic, or semi-metallic compounds that can be noisy, especially when cold. The high-friction material is optimized for braking performance over noise reduction. This is normal, but fortunately there are some tricks to minimize the squeaking.
Improperly Lubricated Calipers
The brake caliper needs to slide smoothly on its mounts. If the caliper pins and contact points are not properly lubricated, it can cause vibration and squeaking under braking.
Glazed Brake Pads
Over time, brake pad material can become glazed from heat cycling. This hard, slick surface prevents the pads from bedding properly to the rotors, causing noise. Fresh pads or sanding the surface restores friction material.
Uneven Pad Deposits
Brake pad compounds will transfer some material to the rotor surface under heavy braking. If this transfer layer is uneven, it can cause vibration and squeaking.
Dirt and Debris Buildup
Road debris, dirt, and other contaminants stuck between pad and rotor act as an abrasive, causing friction and noise during braking. Keeping components clean reduces this issue.
7 Ways to Fix Squeaky Brembo Brakes
Here are the most effective solutions for quieting down noisy Brembo brakes:
1. Bed-In New Brake Pads
Fresh brake pads and rotors should be bedded with a series of light to moderate stops to properly mate surfaces. Follow the pad manufacturer’s recommended procedures to minimize noise.
2. Lubricate Contact Points
Use high temperature caliper lube on caliper mounts, pins, bushings, and other contact points so components can slide freely.
3. Clean Rotors and Pads
Use brake cleaner spray to remove any built up debris or deposits from pad and rotor surfaces. Check and clean caliper slide points too.
4. Replace Worn Components
Worn out pads, contaminated or deeply grooved rotors, and damaged calipers can all lead to squeaking. Replacing affected parts restores like-new performance.
5. Add Noise Suppression Lubricant
Special lubricants like DiscQuiet or brake pad anti-squeal paste can be applied to pad backing plates, calipers, or rotors to minimize vibrations.
6. Sand or Scuff Pads
Smoothing glazed pad surfaces with fine sandpaper removes the slick glaze so pads mate properly with rotors.
7. Switch Pad Compounds
Some Brembo pads just squeak more than others. Upgrading to low-noise street pads often eliminates annoying brake squeal.
When to Seek Professional Help
DIY maintenance like proper bed-in, cleaning, and lubrication can resolve many minor brake noise issues. But any ongoing squeaking or grinding is a sign of more serious wear and component damage. Have a professional mechanic inspect and service your Brembo brakes if noises persist after trying these fixes. They can identify underlying issues like:
- Sticking or seized caliper pistons
- Misaligned or warped rotors
- Loose caliper mounts
- Worn suspension components
Repairing these underlying problems requires special tools and expertise to restore safe braking performance. Let the pros handle it!
Maintaining Your High Performance Brakes
While Brembo systems are built to withstand repeated heavy braking, they still require proper maintenance to keep components sliding freely and operating quietly:
- Inspect pads and rotors regularly for wear and damage
- Lubricate caliper mount points with brake lube
- Check brake fluid level and change fluid annually
- Clean rotors, pads, and calipers to remove debris
- Bed-in new pads and rotors
- Listen for noises and address them early
With the right techniques and quality components, your Brembo brake system will keep performing quietly for years to come. Minor squeaking is no cause for concern – but persistent or grinding noises should be addressed right away by a professional brake shop.
FAQs About Noisy Brembo Brakes
Why do my brakes squeak at low speeds only?
Squealing during light braking typically points to high-performance pad compounds designed for aggressive stopping power. The material can vibrate and squeak at low temps or speeds. It’s usually normal, but try bedding or lubrication to minimize noise.
Will Bedding-In New Pads Fix Squeaking?
Bedding in fresh brake pads and rotors is one of the best ways to prevent squeaking right from the start. The bed-in procedure mates the surfaces together under gradual and increasing heat cycles. This allows the pad material to deposit an even layer onto the rotor for consistent friction. Follow the recommended procedure from Brembo or the pad manufacturer to minimize noise.
I bedded my new pads correctly but they still squeak. Now what?
If bedding in new pads and rotors didn’t resolve the noise, contaminated surfaces are likely the issue. Thoroughly clean rotors, pads, and calipers with a brake cleaner spray. Check that pads move freely in calipers too.
Can I fix seized Brembo caliper pistons myself?
Sticking or seized caliper pistons require special tools and expertise to disassemble and rebuild properly. This job is best left to professional brake technicians to avoid any issues after reassembly. They can thoroughly inspect all components too.
Will switching to ceramic pads reduce brake noise?
Upgrading to performance ceramic pads can help reduce noise for some drivers, since they produce less vibration and dust. But for others, the high grip material still squeaks. Try anti-squeal lubricant on caliper contact points with ceramic pads.
Should I Just Replace Squeaky Pads?
If your brake pads are worn out already, replacing them with fresh pads will often eliminate annoying squeaks. Make sure to also inspect the rotors – deeply grooved or damaged rotors should be resurfaced or replaced as well for noise-free performance.
Can I Fix Sticking Calipers Myself?
Sticking or seized caliper pistons can definitely cause brake noises, but repairing calipers requires special tools and expertise. The pistons have to be precisely compressed and seals may need replacement, so it’s best to have a professional shop service the calipers if they are sticking and causing noise.
What Lubricant is Best for Brake Parts?
High temperature silicone brake lubricants specially designed for calipers, pads, and contact points will provide the best noise reduction and protection against wear. Brands like Permatex and Lucas Oil make reliable products for lubricating all the critical brake components.
Should I Just Upgrade to Better Brake Pads?
For some drivers, the easiest solution to persistent Brembo brake squeal is upgrading to performance street pads with noise-reducing compounds. Pads specially engineered to minimize noise while retaining effectiveness are offered by Hawk, EBC, PowerStop, and others. The upgrade costs more but requires no disassembly.
While noisy brakes are annoying, squeaking from your high-performance Brembo system is rarely cause for major concern. In most cases, minor DIY maintenance like cleaning, lubricating, or bedding in fresh pads will quiet things down. Persistent grinding or uneven braking is when you need a professional brake inspection – sticking calipers, warped rotors, and loose mounts require repairs beyond a typical driver’s toolkit.
With the right components and proper care, your Brembo brakes will keep performing powerfully and quietly for many miles of spirited driving ahead. Stay proactive with service, and enjoy the confidence of precision stopping power without the headache of squeals.