While there are several reasons why brakes may squeak, one question that often arises is whether or not WD-40 can be used to stop the noise. The ultimate reason for this noise is rust, and the first thing that should come to your mind is using WD40.
As the WD40 is known to make it better as it is one of the best rust removers, using the WD40 is quite normal. Nevertheless, it may be tempting to use WD-40 as a quick fix for squeaky brakes. Thus, it’s important to prioritize safety over convenience.
In this article, we are going to elaborate on the factors of the dangers of spraying WD40 on brakes. Also, the proper solution for the squeaking noises. Let’s get started;
Can I Spray WD40 On My Brakes To Stop Squeaking?
No, using WD40 is not a good idea to stop squeaky brakes. Here’s why
- It may remove the rust, but your braking won’t be of any help due to its oily characteristics.
- The brakes tend to get hot, so there’s a chance of catching on fire.
- You can use brake cleaner or grease on contact points to manage the squeaking sound as WD40 can damage the calipers.
Here’s detailed information about why you shouldn’t use WD40 on brakes:
Applying WD40 on your brakes will work as a layer of lubricant until it wears off. That means when you hit the brake, you are going to stop way further than where you should be.
Damaged Brake Pad
Spraying WD40 on your brake system can have destructive consequences, including the potential destruction of your brake pads.
WD40 is an oil, not a cleanser, so it won’t effectively clean but instead worsen the situation, possibly leading to brake failures.
Applying oil on brake pads is a bad idea as it compromises their friction surface. Brake pads need to provide the necessary friction to stop the car. Using WD40 on them will wear them away and erode the friction surface, putting you at risk of brake failure.
Once again, WD40 is not a cleaner for brake pads and should never be applied to their friction surface.
Spraying WD-40 on your brake calipers can lead to severe damage. The piston seal and dust boot can swell and become soft, causing breakdown over time. This can result in;
- Corroded piston seals
- Non-slippery piston functioning
- Worn-out brake pads
- Overheating seals
- piston seizure
These issues can lead to power loss, poor acceleration, and compromised brake performance. So, you have to avoid using WD40 on the brakes.
Potential brake noise
You might come across more noises rather than reducing the squeaky sounds. Applying WD40 can sometimes worsen the problem or lead to additional noise issues. It’s because of the WD40’s oily characteristics.
It might attract more dirt and debris, making more sound going under the calipers. Hence, it is better to identify and address the root cause of the squeaking rather than use WD40 as a temporary fix.
Your car can get caught on fire. This is very important and horrifying. WD40 is flammable. Even when dried, it remains flammable due to its petroleum distillate residue. Thus, it will pose a fire hazard if it comes into contact with clothing or other flammable materials.
Car braking components usually get hot during driving, especially long drives. If the temperature reaches where it can catch on fire, you are going to have a serious problem then. So, you must avoid spraying WD40 on your brakes.
What Is WD40 Good For Then?
Despite several bad effects on your car brakes, there are several other things WD40 is good for your vehicle. Check out the list below:
|What WD-40 is Good For
|Lubricating door hinges
|Keeps door hinges moving smoothly and quietly
|Loosening rusted bolts
|Penetrates and loosens rusted or stuck bolts
|Displacing moisture on electrical connections
|Helps prevent corrosion and restores electrical conductivity
|Removing sticky residue
|Easily removes sticky residues, adhesives, and gum
|Removing tar and grime from car surfaces
|Dissolves and cleanses tar and grime from car exteriors
|Removing adhesives and stickers
|Helps dissolve and remove adhesive residues and stickers
Reasons Why Your Brakes Are Squeaking?
We have talked enough about WD40, it’s time to know the root causes of brake squeal noise. Here are a few reasons why your brakes might be squeaking.
Worn-out Brake Pads
When brake pads become worn out over time, the metal backing plate rubs against the rotor, causing a squeaking sound. Keep in mind that the metal backing plate can damage the braking disc as well.
You are going to face this, especially in the morning. Moisture can accumulate on the brake rotors, especially in humid or damp conditions.
When the brakes are applied, the friction between the moisture layer and the brake pads can result in a squeaky noise.
Rusty or Worn-out Rotors
Rusty rotors can be a common cause of squeaking noise, particularly in winter or damp conditions. When brake rotors develop rust or wear unevenly, they create an uneven surface.
As the brake pads make contact with these rough areas, it leads to friction and squeaking sounds. Regular maintenance and addressing rusty rotors can help alleviate brake squeaking and ensure optimal braking performance.
Lack of grease
Brake components, such as caliper pins or contact points, require proper lubrication with grease. Without sufficient grease, friction, and vibration can occur, causing the brakes to squeak.
Improper brake pad installation
When brake pads are not installed correctly, they may not align properly with the rotor. This misalignment can result in uneven contact, causing squeaky noises when the brakes are applied.
How To Fix Squeaking Brakes?
You can’t use WD40 to get rid of squeaking, but you can follow other procedures that are safe and effective. Follow the simple procedures described below;
1. Brake Cleaning
Clean the brake rotors, pads, and calipers to remove any debris, dust, or contaminants that may be causing the squeaking noise.
You can simply use water spray to do that. Regular cleaning will help you get rid of the noise.
2. Brake Pad Replacement
If your brake pads are worn out or damaged, replacing them with new, high-quality pads (our pick:) can often resolve the squeaking issue. It’s also recommended to replace it for your safety.
To replace the brake pad;
- Lift the car and remove the wheel
- Unbolt the brake caliper and remove it
- Take out the old brake pads
- Press the caliper piston back in
- Install new brake pads
- Reattach the caliper
- Repeat the steps for the other wheel
- Put the wheels back on
- Test the brakes before driving
3. Brake Lubrication
Apply a thin layer of high-temperature brake lubricant (our pick:) to the back of the brake pads, where they make contact with the caliper. This can help reduce friction and eliminate squeaking. Remember to use non-flammable ones, just to be safe.
4. Caliper Maintenance
Ensure that the brake calipers are functioning properly and that the caliper pins and slides are lubricated and moving freely.
If your brake calipers are very old, you might face that both front brake calipers are not releasing. That would be a catastrophic disaster.
Here’s a video that might help with the maintenance process.
5. Anti-Squeal Shims or Pads
Consider using anti-squeal shims or pads (our pick:) designed to dampen vibrations and reduce brake noise.
These are made of thin metal or rubber adhesive pads. It fits between the brake pad and the brake caliper to correct small differences that might lead to noise.
How To Remove WD40 From Brakes?
If you’re reading this after you’ve finished putting WD40 on your brakes, we recommend removing it as quickly as possible. Here’s how to go about it:
Step 1: Using a dry, lint-free cloth or paper towel, remove any excess WD-40 from the brake components. To prevent distributing the material further, be gentle.
Step 2: Combine a small amount of dish detergent with a dish of warm water. To remove the WD-40, simply scrape or brush the brake pad or disc with a clean cloth or brush.
Step 3: To get rid of any detergent residue, rinse the brake pad or disc using clean water.
Step 4: Wipe the pad or disc with rubbing alcohol if there are any remaining oil remnants.
Allow the brake components to dry thoroughly before replacing them.
Step 1: Use a brake cleaner specifically designed for brake components. Spray the brake cleaner onto the affected areas, targeting the brake pads, calipers, and rotors.
Step 2: Allow the brake cleaner to penetrate and dissolve the WD-40 residue for a few minutes.
Step 3: Use another clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away the residue and brake cleaner. Repeat this process as needed until the WD-40 is completely removed.
Step 4: Perform a test drive to ensure that the brakes are functioning properly and free from any residual effects of WD-40.
I hope that answers your question of whether can I spray wd40 on my brakes to stop squeaking. Spraying WD40 on your brakes can cause harmful results both for you and your vehicle.
It can reduce the braking performance, destroy the braking mechanisms and, in the worst-case scenario, get your vehicle caught on fire.
Nevertheless, we have discussed every necessary detail in spraying WD40 on brakes in my article. I hope it’ll be helpful. Drive safe!
Meet Zayan, the mechanical genius behind the highly acclaimed brakes problems and solutions website. With over a decade of hands-on experience in the automotive industry, Zayan has become a trusted authority in the realm of brake systems.
His passion for cars, coupled with his expertise in solving complex brake-related issues, has earned him a devoted following of car enthusiasts, mechanics, and everyday drivers seeking reliable guidance.