Brakes screech only when I'm backing up

Brakes screech only when I'm backing up

This weekend, as I was backing out of my garage, every time I touched the brakes they screeched loudly (like metal on metal). As soon as I was going forward, the brakes didn't screech when I applied the pedal, but the next time I was backing up...there it was again. Is the "parking brake" failing to disengage?

Bighorn | 29 January 2018

You may have a stone trapped.

Redmiata98 | 29 January 2018

Or a small twig lodged around the brake pads.

tipley | 30 January 2018

But it only happens when I'm in reverse.

lilbean | 30 January 2018

Or a cat you may have run over.

tipley | 31 January 2018

No cat. So, the screech seems to have worked itself out. I got a call from the local Service Center regarding this post and they said that the brake rotors can get crudded up if a car sits for a while or (my case) it was driven in rainy weather the previous day. Essentially, the brakes clean themselves after a while. Still no answer why it screeched only when I was backing up. Perhaps it's able to clear the rust easier when going forward?

Bighorn | 31 January 2018

A lodged stone can have a directional effect. Oxidized rotors don't sound like metal on metal.

naveenkg | 11 February 2018

I had the same experience when I first drove my model X. It's the Hill Hold feature. When you are backing out and press the brakes ( and depending upon how heavily you press the brakes ), the car puts itself into the Hill Hold mode. An H appears on the dashboard. If you turn your wheels when the car is still in Hill Hold mode even slightly, you hear the creaking noise. As soon as you press the brake again or start driving, the Hill Hold mode is released and the noise does not come. I was so used to turning my wheel in my old car while my feet were on the brakes, and no noise used to come. However in Tesla, I am learning to change that behavior a bit. Whenever I see the Hill Hold mode self-activated, I don't turn the wheels without first driving the car slightly forward. If you agree with me, let me know as I am also looking for a confirmation that this is happening to most of the users of the model x out there.

poloX | 11 February 2018

I notice when it rains, this problem is worse. No kidding at all but I can wake up the whole freaking community when I back my X out. So embarrassing. Mobile service fixed it once but it came back as soon as the next time humidity is high again.

Sandman89 | 20 February 2018

I have this screeching sound come all the time when I am backing.This always happened in the morning going to work.It seems to me either there is some fault in the design of the brakes in Model X or moisture build up cause it when car is parked for several hours.After driving for a while noise goes away.

TSammy | 6 March 2018

simple fix...

Back into driveway wen returning from work (like you probably did @work.
Summon Model X into garage (pretend you are supercharging).
Summon X Forward in morning.

Blueskies | 7 March 2018

@tipley, it's been over a month... did you find out what it was? just wondering. If not and it only happens going to work, perhaps you better call in sick? : )

teslarama | 7 March 2018

@PoloX is correct. I noticed this happening on wet conditions.
Once I parked outside on a cold/rainy night. And I woke up the entire neighborhood.
May be I need to make a service center visit.

poloX | 7 March 2018

Not even wet, if it rains over night, my car is dry in the garage. That morning, when I back it out, I wake the whole community up.

They are replacing my front rotor now. Said that it should reduce the noise. Picking it up tomorrow.

Jcandtiffanyjo | 25 February 2019

Has anyone had this issue with a Model 3?
I only have the squeal when backing up to park...but it is very loud and embarrassing in the parking garage. =(
We live in Milwaukee so the closest Tesla service center is in Chicago (hour and 1/2 drive).

Any suggestions appreciated.

aleta.hanna | 12 March 2019

Tesla 3 purchased Feb 23; I started having this problem yesterday backing out of my driveway.There was a lot of condensation on the car, otherwise.

Richard | 14 July 2019

Same problem here had all rotors and brakes replaced. Service center has looked at it 3 times. Any ideas?

detecthistorycom | 15 July 2019

Any updates? I have the same bug.

roy.vanegas | 13 October 2019

I too am having the same problem, but with a Model 3. It started about 3 weeks after taking delivery of the car. I’m blogging about the issue in hopes of reaching others across the web in general with the same problem.

YATESLA | 30 December 2019

We just experienced this problem today. We drove back yesterday from a trip (8 hours) 95% of it was in the rain. From my experience with other cars this can be oxidation from high moisture. Though it was in the garage overnight, I believe the relative humidity and time since driven provided enough for some surface rust to form on the rotors. Told the wife to just drive it, it will get knocked off.

ScooterJim | 31 December 2019

It is a design/material selection problem. I have a 2016 X90D with 70,000 miles.The brakes screech every time the following morning after driving in the rain the previous day. It clears after going forward and using the brakes. No screech by the time I leave the subdivision. This has happen with a couple cars I have owned but not this loud so I just ignore it. Like others have indicated, it is rust on the rotors.

matt_is_here | 16 March 2020

Had the same issue with my Model X. It really didn't bother me that much, but my dog got scared a lot each time I've backed up. Even had to use a spetial barier (I've read about it here: to prevent the dog from getting out from back seat.

matt_is_here | 16 March 2020

Had the same issue with my Model X. It really didn't bother me that much, but my dog got scared a lot each time I've backed up. Even had to use a spetial barier (I've read about it here: to prevent the dog from getting out from back seat.

keiki | 19 March 2020

It is the light film of rust that forms on the "unfinished" metal surface of the brake rotors. A couple of stops and the rust is wiped clean. Backing up is, for some reason, the best way to clean off the rust quickly. Normally one or two stops while in reverse. Sometimes, but not always.