Why Is My Brake Pedal Squeaking (Pressed & Released)

Cars require regular maintenance to work optimally. Regular maintenance will also save you money on repairs. In particular, you can detect early symptoms of issues and fix them before they get worse. An easy way to detect these early symptoms is by listening to your car. Car noises tell a lot, and one of the issues you may notice is a squeaky brake pedal.

Your car can experience a squeaky brake pedal for different reasons. But it’s usually due to poor lubrication. So either the lubrication is inadequate, or the lubricant is bad. Another common cause is a word out pedal, which can lead to worse than squeaky noises. Similarly, worn brake lines and bad rotors also contribute.

No matter the cause of the squeaky brakes, it’s crucial that you fix it. We’ll discuss possible solutions to these causes and more in this post.

8 Reasons Your Brake Pedal is Squeaking

When you push down on your brake pedal, the last thing you want to hear is a loud squealing noise. But unfortunately, this is a common problem that many drivers face.

There are a few different reasons why your brake pedal may be squeaking, and listed below are some of the most common causes of squeaky brake pedals with workable solutions:

Inadequate Lubrication/Wrong Lubricant 

Brake pedals undergo lots of friction. As a result, they need frequent lubrication. Unfortunately, some car owners go months without lubricating their brake pedals.

If you fall under such a category of car owners, it could be the reason your brake pedal is squeaking.

Thankfully, you can quickly stop the squeaking noise if it’s due to inadequate lubrication. But first, you need to purchase the right lubrication. Using the wrong lubricant will only lead to more problems.

How do you know which is the right lubricant? Well, it depends on your car make. As a result, you should check your manufacturer’s recommendations.

When you get the right lubricant, flush out the previous one from the brake pedal. Suppose you’re already using a suitable lubricant. In that case, you only need to top up the existing oil. You won’t spend much on this, as you can get quality lubricant for less than $10.

Worn out pedal 

You would expect a squeaky brake pedal from an old car. This is because the pedal may be worn out. Brake pedals are designed to last forever, but sometimes they can wear out after completing millions of miles. Another possible cause is that you replaced your brake pedal with an inferior-quality one.

A worn-out pedal spells more risks than simply squeaking noises. It can lead to slow response when driving on the highway, leading to severe accidents. So, if your car brake pedal is squeaking because it’s worn out, the simplest thing to do is to change it.

How much you’ll spend will depend on your car type. However, you’ll spend an average of $200 to purchase replacement brake pedals.

You can pay up to $90 for labor. But you can save money if you know how to carry out the replacement. 

Bad rotors 

A squeaky brake pedal is one of the early signs of a bad rotor. If you fail to change your worn-out brake pads on time and instead drive long hours, your rotors will go bad. It happens because worn-out brake pads come in contact with rotors. And this metal-to-metal contact will result in cuts and holes in the rotor.

You only have one option if your brake pedal is squeaking due to bad rotors, which is changing them. The good news is that car rotors are not expensive. You can purchase them for $30 to $80, depending on the brand and model of your car. Aside from that, you’ll have to pay for the labor.

However, sometimes, a bad rotor will demand a complete replacement of the brake. If that’s the case, you could spend up to $300 to $800.

Air in brake line 

Any vehicle expert will tell you that air reduces the efficiency of hydraulic systems as it reduces pressure. If you’re unaware, your car’s brake system is hydraulic. As a result, having air in the brake line damages it.

Your brake pedal will feel spongy if you have air in your brake line. It can also produce squeaking noises. Another symptom of air in your brake line is that your brakes will feel super soft. Therefore, you should check for these other symptoms if you hear squeaky noises from your brake pedal. That way, you can be sure the cause is air in the brake line.

To solve this problem, you have to clear out the air in the brake line. This is also known as brake bleeding, and it’s best to take your car to a professional shop for it.

Worn brake line

All modern vehicles come with brake lines, which work as the piping for the brake system. But, just like a worn-out brake pedal, having worn-out brake lines is also dangerous. You can detect a worn brake line if there’s a squeaky noise. But the best way to detect this is to check for leaking brake fluid – it’s the most common way by which brake lines fail.

Generally, it’s advisable to replace your brake lines after approximately 100,000 miles. If you don’t, the result is a worn-out brake line. And replacing brake lines isn’t the most affordable venture. One brake line will cost you between $250 and $500 to replace. In particular, the car part costs $150 to $275. But you also have to pay for labor, which costs $40 and $50.

Dry or bad brake pedal spring 

Without your brake pedal spring, your car cannot return the brake pedal to an upright position. Also, the brake pedal spring is vital for pedal depressions. With this, you can understand why having a dry or bad brake pedal spring will lead to a squeaky brake pedal.

Suppose your brake pedal is squeaking due to a dry brake pedal spring. In that case, what you have to do is to lubricate the spring. However, locating the spring by yourself may be challenging, so you may want to take the car to a shop.

On the other hand, if the squeaking is due to a bad brake pedal spring, you must replace the spring. Brake pedal spring replacement is cost-friendly. You can get a new one for $7 to $30.

Loose brake cable 

Your brake cable can detach, causing unwanted brake noise. Unfortunately, it’s not a very common cause of squeaky brake pedals, and it sometimes happens after a wrong installation. Fortunately, it’s easy and not expensive to fix.

All you have to do if you have a loose brake cable is to adjust the cable to its proper tension. But first, you need to locate the parking brake cable adjuster. Doing this is not difficult, but you will need a screwdriver, a socket, and a ratchet set. 

After locating the brake cable adjuster, the next thing to do is to check the parking brake clicks. You should compare the number of clicks for the brake to be tight and compare it with what’s in the owner’s manual.

Then, open the brake lever boot to access the adjustment bolt. You can adjust the tension from the adjustment bolt to match what’s in the owner’s manual. You can take the car to a repair shop if you find all these too technical.

The Dangers of Not Fixing a Squeaky Brake Pedal

A squeaky brake pedal is never a standalone problem. Instead, as explained in the previous section, it always happens as a symptom of an underlying problem.

In other words, if you don’t fix your squeaky brake pedal, it means you are driving with a worn-out pedal, bad brake pedal spring, loose brake cable, or a worn brake line, to name a few.

Any of the above issues can cause your brake not to work. You need your brake to halt your car, and you risk being a victim of severe accidents when it doesn’t work.

Imagine riding on a highway at a relatively high speed with cars behind and in front of you. You must stop the car if you come across traffic or traffic lights. And if your brakes don’t work, you’ll most likely run into any vehicle in front of you.

Aside from the brake not working, a squeaky brake pedal stemming from a bad rotor can cause steering issues. For example, if your rotors are bent, they cause the brake pads to press on an uneven surface whenever you apply brakes. This can cause the steering wheel to shake, which affects control.

No one wants to lose control of their vehicle while on the road. So it’s important you fix your squeaky brake pedal.

Furthermore, you can agree that some car parts are expensive. As mentioned earlier, examples include the brake lines, brake pedal, and overall brake system.

When you address the squeaky brake pedals on time, you can stop these parts from going bad. Sometimes, quick lubrication is all you need. On the other hand, if you don’t address it and the car parts get damaged, you’ll spend heavily to replace them.


Most often than not, a squeaky brake pedal is a sign of a more serious problem. And as discussed in the article, some common reasons are inadequate lubricating, worn-out pedals and brake lines, bad rotors and pedal springs, loose brake cables, and air in the brake line.

Whatever the cause, a squeaky brake pedal is not something you should ignore. It can lead to serious accidents and control problems when driving. Not to mention, it can cost you significantly.