Car Noises: My Car Makes a Noise When Braking at Low Speeds

By October 8, 2017Repair
my car makes a noise when braking at low speeds

Why is my car making a noise when I brake at low speeds?

There are a few reasons why a car will make noise while braking at low speeds. Maybe obvious, but worn brakes will make noise a low speeds. Many vehicles are fitted with brake pad wear indicators that we call “squeaker tabs.” When the brake pads wear enough, this little metal tab contacts the brake rotor and creates a squeaking noise.

Some noise from the brakes is often normal, especially during the first drive of the day, after it rains, or if the car sits for an extended period of time.

There are a number of other noises that a car can make only when braking at low speeds. Maybe there is a “wooshing” noise coming from the brake rotors or backing plate. A rusty backing plate (the shield that protects the brake rotor from the elements) can become deformed and rub against the brake rotor, creating a noise. Maybe there’s a “squeaking” or “clunk” noise from a worn suspension component. Modern cars use a complicated multi-link inspection. This means there are more parts to absorb all of the conditions Minnesota roads throw at your car. However, this also means there are more parts that can wear out as they take a beating.

If there is a problem with the anti-lock brake system (ABS), there will be a noise that sounds like a grinding when braking.  

Why would these problems cause my car to make a noise when braking at low speeds? 

my car makes a noise when braking at slow speeds

Brakes will make contact at different points depending upon the speed at which you’re braking.

Braking at low speeds creates a different situation than braking at high speeds. When the brakes are applied at high speeds, there’s a sudden change in the direction of the vehicle. At low speeds this change happens more slowly. This causes the entire car to shift on its suspension, which also changes the geometry of the suspension. These changes can cause the brakes to make contact in different ways, depending on the speed of the vehicle.

The biggest sign you can look for to help pinpoint the cause of the noise is the presence of other symptoms. Worn brakes can also cause a pulsing feeling at high or low speeds. If there is a worn suspension component, you may also notice a difference in how the car feels when hitting a bump or when taking a corner.

Vehicles are designed to handle any number of situations. They’re also designed to behave a certain way when presented with each situation. If a vehicle is making an unusual noise, this is an indication that something’s wrong. The noise might mean you need new brakes. It might mean you have a suspension or ABS problem. Any strange noise should be inspected by a professional. At Alexander’s Import, we’ll be able to determine whether your noise requires immediate attention, will soon require attention, or is just a matter of moisture buildup in the brake system.

What steps should I take to have repairs made, if any?

my car makes a noise when braking at low speeds

If a noise seems to be coming from the brake system, you’ll want to bring your vehicle in for repairs immediately

The first step to resolving the noise your car makes when braking a low speeds would be to know what is causing the noise. If it relates to the brakes, you’ll want to have it repaired immediately, as your vehicle’s brake system is a very important safety component.

Once you know what is causing the noise, you can make the decision to either repair the vehicle or wait until something more serious happens. The expert staff at Alexander’s Import can make a recommendation as to whether or not it’s safe for you to continue driving your vehicle in its current condition.

Can I prevent these issues next time?

If you’ve read any of our other blog posts, you might already know our recommendations for preventing the noise when braking at low speeds. The number one way to prevent your vehicle from making noises and having problems is to have regular maintenance and inspections. An inspection will reveal any brake or suspension wear, and assure your backing plates are in the correct position. If the problems are corrected in a timely manner, you’ll be able to avoid most noises. If you’re unsure of what’s causing your brake noises, schedule an appointment to have your vehicle inspected. When it comes to brakes, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. 


  • I think ‘brake whimper’ is one of the most common states of dissatisfaction that about the vehicle braking system. Ya, every brake noise can be maddening, but the fact is it can make the car owner watchful of a forthcoming risk. I don’t think an inexperienced person can address the cause on his own. Only a thorough inspection of vehicle brake system by a knowledgeable car professional can reveal the case. The noise you have described here usually comes into notice with the automobiles having semi-metallic pads. This noise is an undemanding tremble which usually normally arises when the driver does not apply necessary force on the brake pads to stop his vehicle. One can easily avoid this issue on his own simply by taking necessary steps from the beginning. But if the noise persists and occurs at every stop, then he should take the help of a proficient technician for an immediate checkup.

  • Neil watson says:

    Thank you for sharing the reasons for different types of noise produced when applying the brake. Brake maintenance should be placed at the top of the list of maintenance as they play a very important role in controlling the vehicle and riding with a damaged brake could be very dangerous. If brake system is producing loud and unpleasant sound and if your steering wheel is shaking or your whole car is shaking when you are applying the brake, then it could occur due to the damaged braking system, so take our car to the trusted repairing center in order to fix the problem at first place.

  • Kellie young says:

    Really an informative blog post. It is very dangerous to drive a car with a damaged brake system. Hence unusual sound produced when the brake was applied should be checked and if the sound source is damaged break then it should be repaired in the first place. And the repairing should be done near a trusted and certified repairing center. And one should not try to repair such types of the problem by themselves.

  • Worn brakes may be very dangerous for the driver and the passengers also as it may be cause for accident due to failure of applying brake. In order to avoid the problem of brake failure you must be aware about the symptoms of earlier stage of worn out of the brake. If you find your vehicle produce an unusual sound when it is in low speed, must be sure there is some problem associated on shifting of suspension may cause pulsing feeling at high or low speeds. Thank you, for sharing your view about reasons of noise produced in the brake part and maintenance for overcoming these types of problem.

  • Tonya Mable says:

    When braking at low speeds there’s a grinding/creaking sound which sounds like it’s coming from the rear. When the brakes are applied at high speeds, there’s a sudden change in the direction of the vehicle. At low speeds this change happens more slowly. Changing of worn suspension component may keeps it in good condition and make you notice difference between when the car is hitting a bump or taking a corner. Always try to make your car services at a well known garage for keeping it in tip-notch condition.

  • Hazel George says:

    Thanks for posting this article. Sometimes brakes make a grinding or groaning noise that only happens at very low speed stops. The noise is simply a vibration that can be more felt than heard coming from the front disc pads due to slower stops you don’t have the brakes applied fully which allows them to vibrate against the rotor surface.The first step to shot out the problem is to detect why your car make the noise when braking at low speeds. If it relates to the brakes, you should repaired immediately, as your vehicle’s brake system is a very important safety component.

  • It’s good to learn this about brakes. My car makes weird squeaking noises when I break at lower speeds, so it’s good to know that it might be normal. I’ll still probably get it checked out by a pro, just to be sure.

  • Mira Edorra says:

    There are few reasons why a car will make sound while applying brakes at low speeds. Generally worn out brakes make noise at low speeds. When the car is at low speed & we apply the brakes,at that time direction change of the vehicle happens more slowly as compared to when the vehicle is at high speed. This causes the entire car to shift on it’s suspension ,which also changes the geometry of the suspension. A “wooshing” noise comes from the the brake rotors or backing plate. There may be some squeaking or clunk noise coming from the worn suspension component. We should make the servicing of the car at a good servicing center to keep it in top-notch condition.

  • Sandra says:

    My VW makes a sound at the front left tire like “papapa” when I am braking in a slow speed. Please help me?

    • William Lender says:

      Hello, if the noise you are describing only happens when braking and not other times when you are driving it is most likely from the brakes themselves. They should be inspected and replaced if they are worn.

Leave a Reply