The noise is not a problem as far as performance. But it's annoying.
You don't want to lubricate anything, but it is OK to take a wire brush or hi-grit sanding block to it, to knock off any corrosion or other debris. If it feels seriously out-of-flat, you should probably replace it.
My dad just picked this one up from Harbor Freight. 32 bucks!!
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller