Noisy Brakes on an Alfa Romeo
How to Stop Noisy Brakes on an Alfa Romeo
There’s nothing worse than squeaky brakes. Not only are they extremely annoying; they can also be embarrassing and a major irritation to your neighbours and fellow drivers. There’s no surer way to take the fun out of driving your Alfa Romeo, but luckily it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything technically wrong with your brakes at all (they will most likely still be functioning just as well as they ever did, so don’t panic), and it’s an issue that’s usually easily fixed at home without having to obtain too many Alfa Romeo spare parts.
Why are my brakes squeaking on my Alfa Romeo?
So why do brakes start squeaking if there’s nothing really wrong with them? Well, brakes on today’s vehicles consist of a cast iron disc that is squeezed tightly between two brake pads that are themselves lined with friction material. Sometimes, these instruments can start to vibrate just like the string of a violin does to make sound. When the driver presses on the brake pedal, this will create a sound that is more or less high in pitch depending on how the pedal is pressed. It doesn’t mean the brakes aren’t functioning; it just means the Alfa Romeo parts
are naturally vibrating.
One way to stop this sound is to simply change the type of friction material that you are using. It could be that you aren’t using your original-equipment pads, because an aftermarket premium metallic or ceramic pad will often change the resonant frequency of the pad and disc, resulting in that familiar old squeaking sound. If you’d rather not purchase a whole new set of pads (which ideally should be genuine Alfa Romeo spare parts
), another option is to purchase shims made from Teflon, which are slotted between the pad and the calliper’s hydraulic piston. You could also try coating the back face of the pad’s backing plates with high-temperature backing grease or anti-seize compound. This solution won’t last forever, however, and will need to be repeated regularly in order to retain the effects.
Will I need new Alfa Romeo parts to fix my squeaky brakes?
Simple vibration isn’t the only reason for squeaky brakes on an Alfa Romeo, however. Sometimes it can be the case that one of the brake pads has become slightly stuck ‘on’ or stuck in its slider. This can happen as a result of a build-up of corrosion on the slider. In this case, the best solution is to remove the whole brake unit for examination. Take out the pins and rubbers that the calliper attaches to and clean everything up with a wire wheel. Once everything is clean and shiny once again, make sure to use grease to keep everything lubricated and ensure that the pads can move freely in the carrier.
If you notice that one of the pads is particularly worn at an angle, it is very possible and indeed likely that one of the two pins that the calliper attaches to has seized up. When this happens, it can be extremely difficult to remove the seized pin, but with a little time and a lot of patience you can wiggle it free. Use a spanner to twist it back and forward if necessary. Once it’s free, clean it up with your wire wheel, grease, and then replace again in the proper position. Hopefully your problem will be solved without having to purchase any new Alfa Romeo spare parts.
Why it’s important to replace your pads regularly with genuine Alpha Romeo parts
In most cases, squeaky brakes are nothing to worry about, and are, as we have previously discussed, simply a result of either vibration or of a build-up of corrosion on the inside of the brake mechanism. However, there is an important difference between squeaky brakes and brakes that are making noise because they are near their ‘wear limit.’ The ‘wear limit’ basically means that your brakes are used up, and need to be replaced.
The reason for this noise is that most brake pads have a small sliver of steel that scrapes onto the disc as the pad reaches its wear limit when the friction material wears away in order to notify you that your brakes need changing very soon. At this point, it can become dangerous to drive as your brakes won’t be functioning properly. The difference between normal brake squeak and the wear limit noise is easy to recognise if you’ve heard them both before. Wear limit sounds more like a clanging, scraping noise, rather than a squeak. If you’re not sure, get someone else to listen before you drive.
When replacing your brake pads, it’s always a good idea to purchase new and genuine Alfa Romeo spare parts because, as we have discussed, aftermarket metallic or ceramic pads that are of even a very slightly different specification can cause the resonance of your brakes to change, resulting in that annoying and shrill squeaking sound.