TechTOC with Foreman Oh: Squealing Disc Brakes

  • No one likes squealing and squeaking brakes.

  • We’ve had a follower sending this good question.

  • Here Foreman Oh gives his answer on what causes it and how to remedy it.

The question for TechTOC with Foreman Oh Kah Beng today is about squealing disc brakes, something that none of us like. What could be the cause and what would be the solution? TOC Automotive College Motorsports Consultant and Most Fun Gym Principal Instructor, Foreman Oh Kah Beng answers.


My brakes are always squealing when I apply them. I have tried cleaning them but it still happens.

— TAN SUAN HOR, Melaka, Kawasaki ER-6n


May I assume that you clean your brakes (disc brakes?) with commercially available brake cleaner solutions? You may try to do so if you are not already. Spray onto the discs directly and wipe off the residue. Be careful to not spray onto painted areas such as the rims and leave it on!

Cleaning brake discs – Courtesy of

However, if you have already done so and they still squeak, the discs are most probably “glazed.” Sand and dirt picked up during rain storms will get trapped between the brake pads and discs. Then as you brake, enough heat is generated to embed the sand and dirt into the discs. This is glazing. As such, you need to either “skim” the discs if they are within their wear tolerance or replace them altogether if they are not. There are workshops who provide this service.

Glazed brake disc

Other conditions that can cause brake squeal are worn pads, broken securing clip (which holds the pads in place at the back of caliper), pads with insufficient insulation or insulation shims, and no surface cut (which is common on motorcycle brake discs).

Parts of brake pads

Hence, you may also try different brake pad compounds. Those with high metallic content (usually those marked “FOR RACING”) will scour the discs and squeal. Keep an ear out when a racing superbike comes to a stop in the pits.

Keep sending in your questions to me at TechTOC with Foreman Oh to stand the chance of receiving a complimentary session at Most Fun Gym.

You may follow us at Most Fun Gym – MFG through our Facebook page.

Please visit the TOC Automotive College Facebook page or their campus (map below) or call call (+603) 7960 8833 for more information. Likewise, you can find more information about the TOC Bina Bakat Program here, or email Please click on this link for further information on the TOC Superbike Technician Course.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

Related Articles


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube