How to Dry Brakes When Wet? Technical Suggestions

Wet brakes can double the distance it takes your vehicle to stop. This can result in an unexpected crash, especially when it’s raining. Driving through an extended puddle can also wet your vehicle’s brake, resulting in poor effectiveness when applied.

Understanding how to dry brakes when wet will help you retain the component’s effective functionality. The braking system is an essential component in a vehicle because of its safety role.

Therefore, if your brakes are wet, you can dry them by applying pressure on the pedal slightly to eliminate the moisture through pressing the brake pads against the rotors. That’s not all. Study this article carefully to understand the complete guide.

how to dry wet brakes

How to Dry Brakes When Wet

Most modern vehicles do not need you to do anything to dry the brakes when you drive in the rain or through a deep puddle. This is because they are built with disc brakes, which do not hold water.

However, if you drive a vehicle with drum brakes, follow this guide to understand how to dry wet brakes.

Tap the brake pedal lightly

You will most likely experience sliding if you slam the braking system at once when driving in the rain.

Therefore, to dry wet brakes, gently tap on your brake pedal while driving on a low gear. This will push the brake shoes against the brake drum, thereby removing the water in the drums.

Release the brake

Now release the brake pedal and allow the car to coast. This is primarily possible if you’re driving on an accessible route. If you’re driving in stop-and-go traffic, you may have to release the brake for a short time.

Tap the pedal again

After freeing the car momentarily, gently apply pressure on the brake pedal again. This will further remove any leftover moisture from the brakes.

Repeat the process after a while

You may want to repeat the process once more or once in a while if you’re driving in the rain on a long trip; otherwise, if you went through a deep puddle, applying the recommendation above will get the brake working effectively in a moment.

Whatever the case may be, always ensure that you’re conscious of the functionality of your vehicle’s braking system. Besides getting involved in an unexpected crash, neglecting the brakes, especially when water is held in the component, can lead to various brake issues.

Problems Instigated By Wet Brakes

Wet brakes may not result in serious problems immediately. However, they can negatively impact your vehicle in the long run. Some common problems you will usually experience due to wet brakes include the following.

Braking power decline

Wet brakes can cause a decline in braking power. As water enters your car’s braking system, the liquid reduces the friction between brake shoes and the brake drums.

When this occurs, it will be difficult for your tires to stop as expected when you press the brake pedal. In fact, the vehicle may stop at a distance twice as far as it would if the brakes were dry; hence the importance of knowing how to dry brakes.

A decline in braking power can be dangerous, especially when you slam the brake suddenly. So, it is vital to test your car’s brake as often as possible to know if there’s a compromise in its effectiveness.


Exposing the parts of the braking system to moisture and oxygen can easily result in corrosion over time. Usually, when water gets into your brakes, causing rust, it is easy for the rust to be scraped off as you apply the brake regularly.

However, if the vehicle is parked for a couple of weeks or months, the corrosion will extend as fast as possible, damaging the brake parts like cracked brake pads.

If your braking system is corroded due to the prolonged presence of water in the system, ensure to replace the defective components before putting the car on the road again.


1. Do Wet Brakes Take Longer To Stop?

Yes. The time it takes wet brakes to stop is usually longer than the distance for dry brakes. This is usually the case when driving in the rain. In this case, your vehicle’s brakes are not only wet, but the road is also slippery.

So, when you brake in such a situation, it will be difficult for the car to stop as expected. In most cases, you will experience unexpected skidding. This can be dangerous if the situation is not managed correctly.

Therefore, if you’re driving when it’s raining heavily, be extremely careful. Gently apply your brakes as you drive slowly to eliminate the water in the braking system and maintain adequate braking power.

If your brakes are wet, it takes more experience to drive in the rain or snow. So, if you’re a learner, you should avoid such situations at the moment, or at least drive slowly. Also, the condensation or moisture held in brake system will quickly result in corrosion over time.

2. How Long Do Brake Calipers Take To Dry?

Painted or sprayed brake calipers require 1 hour to dry in touch initially, and 4 hours to dry completely. But you must wait at least 24 hours to dry thoroughly before you can start driving your car again. But when moisture from water enters the braking system due to driving in the rain or through a deep puddle, the calipers do not need any specific time frame to dry up.

Usually, car owners decide to paint their brake calipers due to rust or corrosion caused by moisture and oxygen over time. The aim is to make the part look presentable in your alloyed wheel.

So, the manufacturers recommend leaving the paint to dry thoroughly on the calipers within 24 hours before attempting to take the car out of your garage or workshop. Driving the car out too soon may scratch the paint on the calipers and destroy the protection.

3. Are Brakes Noisy When Wet?

Yes. Brakes automatically become noisy when wet due to moisture interfering with the friction between the brake pads and rotors in the drums. You will often hear a squeaking noise when your braking system is wet. In addition, you may face brake pads become loose in caliper and gradually reduce stopping power.

Besides the noise from the braking system, wet brakes can also affect your car’s braking effectiveness. Therefore, ensure to eliminate the moisture in the system immediately to avoid any complications.

The braking system is vital to your safety; hence, it is a crucial part you shouldn’t neglect whenever you notice any symptoms. Though disc brakes are safe, always examine your car’s braking system and fix any identified faults immediately to avoid unexpected accidents.


While modern cars may not have an issue with water collecting in the braking system, older vehicle owners must be conscious of the effect of moisture in their braking system. A simple guide has been provided to help you understand how to dry brakes when wet.

Ensure to implement a simple strategy as you drive in the rain to avoid slippage. Inspecting your vehicle’s braking system and other parts regularly is also important to ensure that no faulty component takes you unaware.

Finally, regularly servicing your vehicle must be a priority. Therefore, you should systematize this exercise by keeping a regular appointment with your auto technician.


Mr. Shafiqule Islam is a graduated Mechanical Engineer and has more than 15 years experience of repairing and maintenance of different brand vehicles like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Mercedes, BMW etc. He is also giving training to Mechanics. He has started writing to share his practical knowledge to Vehicle Owners, Drivers and Mechanics to keep their cars at best fit.

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