Porsche Brake Pads Squeak – Explained
Squeaky Porsche brakes is a topic that comes up a lot here at Meister Werks. In some instances, days or weeks after the pads and rotors were replaced. There are many reasons that cause this. According to Porsche it’s not a bad thing. We fully understand where Porsche is coming from. Here is a very scientific TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) video on why your Porsche brakes may squeal…. sometimes.
At Meister Werks, we use high quality components when servicing your brakes. Sometimes even the highests quality parts will squeal from time to time. Here is a list of the reasons why you may be getting brake squeal.
Porsche brakes are designed to be used. Since they are classified as performance brakes, they need to be used this way. If you are very light on the brake pedal, aka brake far before you should, this will leave a very minute amount of dust on the disc brake rotors. Furthermore, riding the brakes (having your foot on the brake pedal when you shouldn’t be breaking) will cause this to happen very rapidly. This unnecessary friction causes heat, coupled with brake pad dust, will cause it stick or bond tightly to the rotor. This is essentially making a sticky glossy surface causing the squeal. Think of a new sneaker on a freshly polished basketball court. Brake disc rotors must to be a slightly rough for brakes to perform optimally, without noise. To ‘deglaze’ the rotors, there are methods of braking to clean the disc from this coating. Later discussed in this article.
Corrosion on the Brakes
Do you experience squeaking or squealing first thing in the morning? Maybe while backing up or while driving for the for only a few minutes? One of the few reasons the brakes squeak is due to corrosion. Yes, hours, sometimes minutes after parking your Porsche, the raw steel rotors will start forming a very thin layer of iron oxide, aka rust. This is a chemical reaction between 2 elements. Iron, the material the disc brake rotors are made of, and the oxygen that is in the air. If rain or water is present, this will accelerate the corrosion process. Since water has 2 oxygen molecules, causing the reaction to take place more rapidly. Furthermore, salt air or water will accelerate this process even faster, due to more of the dissolved ions. This means electrons can move faster. Since rusting is all about the movement of electrons, iron rusts more quickly with salt air or water than fresh water or air. Using your brakes 2-3 times will typically clear the discs from the corrosion or rust.
The same experience with squealing brakes, first thing in the morning, can also be due to cold brakes. Porsche brakes are performance brakes, just shy of what racing cars have. The compounds Porsche uses are designed to perform when they are warm or even hot. A cold brake pad or disc can cause squealing. Again like when corrosion is present, using the brakes will increase the heat, causing the squeaking to go away. This sometimes takes a little longer, 5 minutes of driving may dio the trick, but we’ve seen up to 15-20 minutes with some brakes. If you have glazed brakes, this will not go away and the deglazing process will be needed.
By now you are probably asking, “How the heck do I deglaze my disc brakes?” The process is quite easy and usually will yield results on the first or second pass. First, you’ll want to be traveling on a road that is void of any people, traffic, or cars in front or behind you. Second, you’ll need to have a safe stretch of road to get up to 20-25 mph. 1/8 of a mile or more is best. Accelerate your Porsche up to approx. 30-35 MPH and push the brake pedal hard. If you can get the ABS to kick on, this will also help the deglazing process. We highly suggest not performing this procedure in the rain or poor weather conditions. Furthermore, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, Meister Werks will be to deglaze your brakes for you during a test drive at your scheduled maintenance, free 30pt inspection or repair.
Here is a before and after video from the Tulsa, OK Porsche dealership:
Maintaining Your Brakes While Driving
We highly suggest using your brakes like they are meant to be used. I know this might sound weird. What we really mean is don’t brake 1/4 mile before you need to. Use firm brake pedal pressure when stopping. Riding your brakes or stopped well before you need to is probably the worst thing to do for your disc brakes. Keep this in mind when driving. Remember, your Porsche likes being driven. When you follow these rules above, your Porsche will be much happier and you can eliminate any brake noise in the future.