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Brake Squeal Explained

Written by Andrew Da Costa, Gold Certified Technician

‘Squeeeeaak’ That is probably one of the most annoying sounds that you will hear coming from a car!  Much of this sound brought you back to memories of when the teacher scratched the chalkboard when you were in school! 

Most likely that noise is coming from your vehicle’s brakes when the pedal is applied.  Even with light application to the pedal (or firm application) that noise makes you think that your vehicle is in trouble.  This uncomfortable noise made at every stopping circumstance is more about figuring out how to mediate the brakes to prevent this noise instead of appreciating the firm and fade-free feature of the huge brakes.  That’s not a characteristic any car should have let alone a new one Porsche.

What causes these problems?  When the brakes are cold, they tend to squeal until they reach hot operating temperatures.  In order to reach that, the brake pads and the rotors will need to be used frequently, whether is moderate or high-speed driving.  If they are carbon-ceramic brakes (commonly seen on the Porsche GT cars) these brakes need more work on higher speeds.  Ceramic brakes are a special high-performance brake option that replaces the traditional steel rotors and metallic pads with special cast rotors that use a proprietary composite, a mixture of resins, fibers and powdered metal.  In Porsche terms, they are called PCCBs.  PCCBs are excellent in dissipating heat at racetrack speeds.  Track and race oriented high-performance vehicles that are driven at high-speeds and excessive brake use are ideal users of PCCB’s.  These brakes work amazingly well on the street as well, fade-less braking time and again and are super light.  They work best when they are hot. 

So next time when you apply brakes on your Porsche and it brings you back to the old days of school when the blackboard is screeching, don’t be alarmed!  Your Porsche brakes are fine and are working to their high potential It’s a tradeoff for high performance brakes and longevity with just a bit of a squeak.

Here’s a great video explaining why brake squeal happens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUNHb9O52WQ

Date Posted: March 1, 2018