This is why the brakes squeal when cold

Unfortunately, there are several different reasons why your brakes may squeal while you are driving. Some of the most commonly known include the following:

  • Worn or thinning brake pads.
  • Dust or debris between your pads and rotors
  • Your personal braking style
  • Metallic brake pads
  • Lack of lubrication on drum brakes.
  • Overnight moisture

However, if the brakes on your car only squeal when it is cold, these problems are normally related to a frozen surface between the brake pads and the rotors.

Or, there is a buildup of rust on your brake rotors. For instance, whenever water or snow gets between the rotors and brake pads, you may begin to hear the brakes squealing.

Normally, these problems tend to commonly occur, especially when the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and these areas freeze.

How do I get my brakes to stop squealing?

To stop these problems from occurring, here are a few things that you need to know.

  • When your brakes begin to heat up and the moisture dissipates, the squealing tends to stop. Therefore, this annoying squealing is normally a temporary problem that will stop when the ice and snow are gone.
  • You can avoid squealing altogether if you park your car overnight in a dry environment. For instance, whenever possible, you should park your car in your garage at night.
  • If the problem is due to rust build-up on your rotors, the rust will need to be removed.

How much does it cost to repair braking squeal?

The cost of repairing squealing brakes when it is cold can vary based on a number of different factors. As mentioned above, there is more than one way to address this type of problem.

Based on the situation, you may choose to park your car in your own garage. Therefore, there is no added cost for choosing this option since you already have access.

On the other hand, if the problem is due to rust build-up on your brake rotors, you may need to solicit help from a professional brake repair service to take care of the squealing permanently.

These experts will inspect your braking system to identify the problem and determine the best course of action. So, the price can vary based on the fix that is the most suitable to the situation.

And, here are 2 options that are often related to the build-up of rust on the brakes.

Options 1: Resurfacing the Rotors

When a brake repair shop resurfaces your rotors, the cost can range up to $400 for the entire car or $100 per wheel.

Options 2: New Brake Rotor Installation

When a brake repair shop installs new brake rotors, the cost can range between $250 and $500 per axle.

Does the brake cleaner stop squeaking?

The answer is yes, brake cleaner can stop squeaking, in most cases. However, before you use this solution to stop this annoying problem, you need to consider other issues that may be involved.

For instance, the squeaking may be caused by vibration, old components in the braking system that needs to be replaced, or cheap replacement brake pad installations.

Therefore, before spraying brake cleaner to stop the squeaking, you may need to do additional investigations to see if this is the most appropriate solution.

For example, if the problem is due to cheap replacement brake pads, spraying brake cleaner on your brakes will not work. Or, if the brake pads are old and worn, they will need to be replaced instead of using brake cleaner.

In either case, cleaning the brakes of dirt, debris, snow, or ice may not always be the best solution to stop the squeaking.


If your brakes only squeal when it gets cold, there is a good chance that a wet and icy surface has formed between your brake pads and your rotors.

Fortunately, this type of brake problem is normally temporary and short-lived since the squealing will stop once the ice melts and the moisture dissipates.

In some cases, however, the squealing when it is cold problem may be related to rust buildup on the brake rotors. And in these situations, the brake rotors may need to be resurfaced or replaced with new ones.

Whatever the situation, your brakes, and rotors should be inspected by an expert that knows exactly what fix is required.

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