How Long Can You Drive On Grinding Brakes

how long can you drive on grinding brakes

Brakes are some of the common consumables you can come across when you own a car. The aim is to always have the brakes in good condition. What happens when you start to hear the brakes grinding? What should you do? How long can you drive on grinding brakes?

Driving on the grinding brakes largely varies from one car to another. It all depends on the extent of the damage. What we recommend is to have the brakes checked as soon as possible to avoid driving on grinding brakes. The last thing you want is to have a lot more damage that could be avoided.

Reasons Brakes are Grinding

Grinding brakes can be because of many things. Some are because of normal wear and tear while others are because you are just reckless. Let us see what would make you have grinding brakes.

  • Parking the car for a while

If the car has been in storage for a while, then it can easily have grinding brakes. The grinding brakes are due to the brake rotor rusting. This rust would spread around the other parts too. The grinding you hear is because of friction between the pads and the rusted rotor.

The good thing with such grinding noise is that the surface smoothens out after driving for a few miles. So, make sure that you drive the car more often to avoid the grinding sound each time you take the car out for a spin.

  • The brake pads are worn

The biggest reason you have grinding brakes is that the brake pads are worn. When the brake pads get worn out, it means that the braking will be metal to metal. This is not good for the brake rotor as the friction will be too much.

Consider replacing the brake pads after 20,000 miles. This would be good enough to keep the car in good condition always as you keep using it.

  • Not having enough lubrication

Moving parts such as calipers might need proper lubrication generally. If there is no lubrication, some of these parts would get stuck meaning more wear and also grinding noise. As such, make sure you check the moving parts to ensure they are working correctly. This ensures you reduce the risk of grinding brakes.

The good thing is most of the problems are low-cost fixes. So, each time there is a grinding noise, have the mechanic check for fault and repair it before it becomes a big deal.

  • The brake pads are low quality

Some people think that buying brake pads is as simple as getting the first one you see. However, if the brake pads are low quality, then you might end up with a few problems such as grinding noises.

Look at how fast the brakes get worn. If you always find yourself replacing the brake pads after a few months, the chances are the brake pads are low quality.

Also, some low-quality brake pads tend to harden rather than being softer. Whenever they harden, they would not brake as needed thus the grinding noise.

  • Having obstructions

It is not uncommon to have dirt, grime, and rocks in between the caliper and rotor. When this happens then expect to hear the grinding sound each time you brake. Sometimes the grinding noise can go away within a few miles but if it insists, then consider having someone check on the braking system to find out the problem.

Here is a video with more reasons for having grinding brakes

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How Long to Continue Driving on Grinding Brakes

How Long to Continue Driving on Grinding Brakes

There is no official distance that would be recommended for someone to drive on grinding brakes. However, the rule of thumb is that you should not keep driving on grinding brakes as this would lead to more damage to the braking system.

When you hear the grinding sound, it is best to first access the reason why the brakes are grinding. This would help you know the best approach to handle the issue. Sometimes if it is just dirt and grime, driving the car for a few more miles should clear the grinding.

However, if the grinding persists, then it is best to have an expert work on the car to restore it to good working condition.

If the brake pads are worn, you should not continue driving the car. This is because it would generally have an effect on the braking performance.

How Safe is it Driving with the Grinding Brakes?

Someone might ask, are there any real dangers to driving a car with grinding brakes? Here are a few safety concerns you will come across for driving such a car.

  • Compromised stopping distance

If the brakes are not working properly, then you need more stopping distance. This is not good in any way. We always need to have the right stopping distance to avoid accidents.

As a driver with grinding brakes, there is the need to adjust the braking distance or else you risk bumping into the car in front.

  • Damage to the brake system

The grinding brakes can have additional damage to the other components of the braking system. Rotors will be the biggest culprits. This is where you notice that the brake rotor has indents and grooves in it. As such, this would make it hard to brake better even if you replace the worn brake pads.

  • The car won’t stop

It can be a scary feeling when the brakes do not work. That is why whenever you hear the grinding sound, have the car properly evaluated to understand what could be causing the problem.

Here are ideas on how to repair the grinding brakes

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What should you do in case the brakes are grinding?

Consider driving slowly so that you always have better control of the car. Next is to get to a mechanic to find out why the brakes are grinding for a proper repair.

Will the grinding brakes overheat?

The grinding brakes would generally have a higher operating temperature because of the increased friction. So, expect the brakes to be hotter than the usual amount.

How much will it cost to repair the grinding brakes?

The cost of the repairs depends on the damage. Sometimes it can be a simple fix of $30 or it might mean repairing more components totaling $300. Take the car to a mechanic for repair to avoid additional damage which means paying more.

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