What Does It Mean If Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up?

My car brakes squeak when backing up, what could be the possible reason? What cleaners can I use my brake pads? Answers to all this and more, coming up in the article below

While on the go, there will be times when you need to reverse your car, whether to park the car properly or just to back off. If your car brakes make noise when backing up almost every time, there might be some serious issue with your vehicle that you need to fix. 

The noise you will hear is a squealing noise, and indeed, this sound is not pleasant for any car owner. In most cases, it has been seen that when the car brakes get old with time, it starts to get in contact with the brake rotors and thus creating the sound in the process. There is a simple solution to this problem: replacing the old brakes with new ones. 

Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up

But before you do that all by yourself or take a car mechanic’s help, you need to know about the reasons behind brakes squeaking when backing up only. In this article, we will discuss all possible reasons behind this. And we will also talk about the solutions to this problem that you are experiencing with your vehicle. So, let’s get straight into our topic of discussion. 

Why Do Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up?

If you hear an annoying high-pitched sound while reversing your car, then the first thing you should check is the condition of the brakes in your vehicle. Irrespective of the severity of the situation, you need to get it checked immediately as this can lead to serious trouble in the future. So, what are the sources of this sound? Let’s find out the answer to your question: why do my brakes squeal when I back up?

Contact between the brake pad and brake caliper

The most common issue that causes the squeaking sound, irrespective of the model of the car, is that a Nissan Altima brakes squeal when reversing can happen. A similar thing can also occur with a higher-priced or lower-priced vehicle. 

While reversing, when you are applying the brakes, the brake pads usually shift in a completely new direction. If you are changing directions, this excessive movement can lead to contact between the brake pad and the brake caliper. 

This contact which is not meant to happen, can create an unwanted squeaking noise. Other than that absence of anti rattling chip can lead to noise while reversing, and even not replacing an anti-rattling chip is also capable of causing the same problem. 

Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up

Rubbing of wear tabs with the rotor

Wear tabs of a car can be easily located at the end of the brake. The squealing sound will come out while moving forward and backward if the wear tab somehow gets rubbed with the brake rotor. This will not be a problem in case of traveling shorter distances. But whenever you plan for a long trip, always check your car’s wear tab before starting the journey. 

Accumulation of unwanted objects in the rotor

This unwanted squealing sound usually comes out when a metal object comes in contact with another. In this case, the car’s brake rotor gets in touch with other metal objects, which may get stuck in between the space that the brake pads have. In some cases, the brake pad may also get worn out, and then the metal-made brake can contact the brake rotor, creating a squealing noise.

Greasing Shims

Most car parts are made up of metals. All these metallic parts require lubrication from time to time. To avoid any problem with your brake pad which is capable of creating the squealing sound if it does not remain in the proper condition, keep the shims on both sides of the braking pad lubricated by using grease. This will suppress the noise up to a certain extent, and you will be able to get rid of the problem of rear brakes squeaking when backing up. 

You might like to read: Why Does My Brake Pedal Squeak

How to Fix Squeaking of Car Brakes?

Car brake squeaking is one of the most irritating sounds, and you probably despise this high-pitched noise whenever you press the brake pedal. As you have come this far, you know that this is not a serious issue and can be fixed quickly, but ignoring it for a prolonged period can be a severe issue. Now is the time to discuss how you can fix the squeaking of the car brakes so that the question: “Why do my brakes squeak only in reverse?” does not bother you again. 

  • Replace the hardware materials of the brakes. You need to change the pad clips and clean the parts involved in the braking system.
  • When the brake pads wear out, change them as soon as possible.
  • Wherever there is a chance of contact between two metallic parts in your braking system, try to lubricate these points of contact from time to time. 

Answers To Some More Common Questions

#1. Why do my brakes squeak when I back up?

This is usually a problem of brake pads.

Brakes usually squeak when the brake pad is worn out, and the metal-made brakes come in contact with the metallic parts of the car. The brake shoes also contain a metal wear indicator that creates an extra pulling force when the brake shoes are worn out. If this happens, then your car brakes can also squeak while backing up.

Car Brakes Squeak When Backing Up

#2. How do I stop my brakes from squeaking in reverse?

Check your brake pads and clean them if necessary.

There are several ways to stop the squeaking sound coming out of your car when you try to reverse it. If you are dealing with this problem, the first thing that needs to be done is to change the brake pads. 

If the brake pads are not the cause of the problem, the accumulation of metal and dirt in the vacant space between brake pads and less lubrication can also make the brakes squeak. 

#3. Is there a spray for squeaky brakes?

Yes there are brake cleaners that can help with squeaky brakes.

Yes, some sprays are available in the market both online and offline that you can purchase and spray on the brakes of your car to stop the squealing sound coming from the car brakes when applied. These sprays suppress the vibrations caused by the contact between the brake caliper and brake shoes or brake pads. 

#4. Will WD40 stop my brakes from squeaking?

No, and you should not use it on your braking system.

WD40’s product description reads that it is a specialist cleaner. You might be wondering if it is ideal to use WD40 to clean brake discs, calipers, brake pads, and other components associated with the braking system. 

The answer to your question is no, WD40 will not stop your car brakes from squeaking. On the contrary, WD40 can damage the whole braking system of your car. 

#5. Can you use WD40 on car brakes?

WD40 can damage your braking system.

You should never put WD40 on the brakes of your car. WD40 reduces the amount of friction that a car brake can usually cause. The ingredients in WD40 can also damage and even disintegrate every part present in your car related to the braking system. So, when you need the brakes the most, the car brakes may falter and lead to severe accidents.

You might like to read: Brake Pedal Squeaks When Letting Off – What to Do?

Final Words

Now, as we have reached the end of the article, we hope that you get the answer to the question of why your brakes squeak when you back up. If your car brakes squeak while reversing and you cannot find out the root cause of the problem, consult the professionals. Inspect the car and its braking system from time to time, preventing any unfortunate events from happening. Thank you for reading the article, we hope we were able to answer all your questions.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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