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Tips to Prevent brake squeal

Most of us would prefer to own a vehicle that provides utmost quietness while driving. Brake squeal is undoubtedly annoying. Imagine driving your car out to work, with the brakes squealing away nonstop. Not only frustrating, it may be worrisome to some people, as they fear that something may be wrong with their brakes and their vehicle might not be safe to drive. In fact, brake squeal is caused by a combination of factors that create noise.

The discs

It is crucial that the disc be free of mud and other road debris to prevent any generation of brake noise, thus it should be kept well-cleaned at all times. Debris must also be cleared out of the caliper and the vented slots in the discs should be cleaned as well. There are many brake part cleaners on the market that have been specially formulated to ensure a quick and fuss-free solution.

Failure to do so may cause disc “run out”, which will eventually cause the pad’s friction material to be transferred to the disc surface. Eventually, this leads to brake squeal due to extreme variance in the disc thickness. Debris can also be caught between the pads and discs causing the foreign particular to “scratch” the discs and further increase braking noises. When replacing brake pads, it is advisable to replace or re-machine the brake discs. As during the life of the brake pads, it would cause an uneven surface across the face of the brake disc. If new pads are being installed onto a worn brake disc, it can cause irregular brake operation and squeaking.

If new discs are required to be installed, the surface between the disc and axle flange should be cleaned to ensure proper operation. (If performed wrongly, it would cause the disc to wobble on the axel and result in the shaking of the steering wheel when the brakes are applied.) As new discs are manufactured with a protective film over the surface to prevent rusting, it can be removed with brake parts cleaner before installation. (You may experience a minor amount of smoke from the wheels during first usage which is normal. Once bedding-in is complete, such smoke will not occur again.)

Shaky Pads

If pads do not fit snugly in the anchor bracket, it would lead to brake squeal. Always ensure the anchor bracket is not worn out, and that the pads fit tightly. Most brake squeal is caused by loose-fitting pads in the anchor bracket. Ensure that if there is anti-rattle hardware left on the calipers during removal of the pads, they should be transferred to the new pads and installed to ensure proper performance of the brakes.

Quieting the calipers

Cleaning and lubricating the caliper mounts also helps to dampen vibrations to silence the brakes. Vibrations of such could be caused by worn or loose mounts or mounting hardware. Re-check the caliper slides to ensure there is no bind and that the caliper moves freely back and forth on the caliper slides.

Proper Pad “Bedding in” is vital

It is important to avoid excessive heating or hard use when the pads are new as it may cause brake pad glazing which may prevent proper bedding-in. Following the bed-in procedures provided by the vehicle manufacturer will assure a smooth, even surface on the disc, which in turn minimizes brake judders.

Proper lug nut torque

Always use a calibrated torque wrench and look up to the proper wheel torque for the vehicle you are working on.