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!
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.
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).
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.
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