Brakes Squeaking After Mudding? Here’s How To Fix It

After mudding, it is not uncommon to hear squeaking coming from your vehicle’s brakes. This can be very obnoxious and get old quickly. The big question is what is causing this squeaking? Is it mud, or did something break? Squeaking can be concerning because it can often mean that something is loose or broken. Taking the time to figure out the cause of the squeaking will be very worth it. 

Why are my brakes squeaking after mudding? Brakes squeak after mudding because of the build-up of dust and debris on the brake rotors or brake pads. Debris gets lodged between the pad, the dust shield, and the rotor. As the brakes are applied, the debris is ground into the rotor and causes unwanted sounds.

Squeaky brakes are one of the most annoying things on the planet. There is also no hiding when you have them. Getting rid of squeaky brakes can help save your brakes and help save you from a massive headache. If you find that you have squeaky brakes, it can be an easy fix or a more complicated problem. Let’s hope that it ends up being the easy-fix scenario. 

Why Your Brakes Are Squeaking After Mudding

The most common reason the brakes are squeaky after mudding is that mud and grime will build up between the brake pads and brake rotors. Mud can even get lodged in the brake lube, and depending on how bad the build-up is, can cause squeaking. Another possibility is that rocks got lodged somewhere in the brake components and are scraping. All of these possibilities can cause problems if they aren’t fixed. 

Dirt and rocks will create scraping and cause brake pads and rotors to break down much quicker than they would otherwise. The dirt particles act as sandpaper against other surfaces and will tear away the metal and other materials that it scrapes against. The friction between the dirt or rocks and metal is what causes the high-pitched squeaking. Get rid of the dirt and rocks and you should be able to get rid of the squeaking. 

How To Fix Squeaky Brakes After Mudding

The easiest and most effective way of stopping squeaking after mudding is to power wash your brake assembly. After you go mudding, you are going to want to wash your car anyways, so it is easy enough to make sure that you give your brakes a good cleaning. Power washers are usually needed to get into the cracks of the brakes. High water pressure can help break off any mud that has dried and caked onto the rotors. If you find that your brakes still squeak after power washing your vehicle, you will have to try a few other things. 

For one, you will want to take your tires off and make sure you can wash any mud that is left behind the brakes or in cracks. Removing the tires also allows you to inspect the brakes to see if anything has come loose or broken. If you need to, you can even get car soap, a toothbrush, and a scrubber to help you get rid of any tough mud. If you have access to a lift, you can remove all tires at once, or remove the tires one by one.

When inspecting your brakes, in addition to looking for broken parts, you should also inspect the brake lube. If the brake lube has gotten chunks of dirt and rocks in it, then you will want to replace it. Rocks and chunks of dirt stuck in the lube can get wedged in between brake parts and cause squeaking. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, you may want to take your car into the shop. 

Having well-working brakes is critical for the safety of not only passengers in your car but also those around you. Maybe it is just a small crack in a part, but if you don’t do anything about that crack, it could get worse and get to the point where your brakes don’t work at all. The same thing goes for cleaning your brakes. If you don’t clean out the dirt from your brake and let the rotors or pads wear down so much that they don’t work hard at all, then you will have brakes that don’t slow you down which can lead to accidents. 

When Squeaky Brakes Indicate A Bigger Problem After Mudding

Squeaky brakes can indicate a bigger problem than dirty brakes. As I mentioned earlier, squeaky brakes can also mean broken or worn-out parts. The first order of business after mudding should be thoroughly cleaning your brakes, because if your brakes still squeak after a good clean, then you know there is a bigger problem with your brakes. Another indicator of a bigger problem with your brakes is if there is any vibration that accompanies the squeaking when you brake. 

Vibration can indicate that a component of the brake assembly has come loose. This is also a very dangerous situation because if you lose part of the brake, you could lose the ability to brake completely on that wheel. This could also mean that there might be a problem with the brake calipers or the hydraulics. Unless you are experienced in working with brakes take it to a shop to eliminate the problem.

Parts with cracks in them can vary in price and complexity of repairs depending on what part it is. Some things may be easy to repair and some may be more complicated; you won’t know the price until you have them inspected. Having broken or cracked parts in your brake assembly isn’t very common and most likely something else on your car will have broken if it happens. Squeaking will also begin when you only have 10 to 15 percent of your brake pad left. This is a good indicator for you to replace the brake pads. 

Is It Bad For Your Brakes To Go Mudding?

Mudding isn’t necessarily going to be bad for your brakes. What will determine if it is bad for your brakes, or not, will be how you use your brakes when mudding and how you take care of your brakes after you are done. We have talked a lot about how you should take care of your brakes after mudding. Doing the things that were discussed in this article to clean and take care of your brakes after mudding will help stop mudding from creating any damaging effects on your brakes. 

What we haven’t talked about are things you can do during mudding to help protect your brakes from damage. One thing to watch out for when doing any off-roading is overheating your brakes. The whole concept of braking is based on friction, and friction generates heat. If you are using your brakes a lot, then your brakes will get hot very quickly. You need to be particularly conscious of how much you are using your brakes going downhill because this is when they are at risk of heating the most. 

  It is always a good idea to use other methods of slowing down your car, especially if you tend to break a lot or are within a downhill section of a trail. The easiest way to help avoid the need for brakes is to not speed up as much. Let the downhill carry you. If you let gravity do all the work and don’t worry about pushing the gas, then you won’t have to worry about slamming on the brakes as hard near the bottom. 

Another simple way of slowing down is to stay in lower gear. If you stay in a lower gear while going downhill, then your transmission and gears will have to do more work preventing your car from gaining speed. You will want to be careful because this can be hard on your transmission. If your brakes end up heating too much, this can cause your brake pads to wear down faster. If your brakes get super hot then your brake rotors can even begin to warp which will cause even more problems. 

Related Questions

Does ABS work on muddy roads? ABS works on muddy roads although the effectiveness is questionable; the traction that the wheels have usually isn’t very good due to the slippery nature of muddy terrain. This means that even though the wheels continue to spin while braking there isn’t much control over the vehicle. The effectiveness of ABS depends on each specific situation. Click here to check out the whole article. 

Why won’t my ABS work after mudding? The likely reason your ABS doesn’t work after you have gone mudding is that one or multiple of the ABS sensors have been covered in dirt or debris and can’t properly sense when ABS is needed. Another possible reason may be due to a connection that has come loose or has been damaged. Click here to view the full article. 

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. His passion for cars is his daily motivator and is constantly working on his projects such as restoring his 1966 Bronco, 1968 Firebird, or modifying his 2022 Bronco.

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