How do I stop my car’s brakes from squeaking?

From my Google Answers question:

 

I have found many resources that tell me how to stop the brakes from squeaking on my car. But I haven’t found any where people say a particular method actually works.I am looking for credible testimonials that say a particular method of stopping brake squeaking actually works (even if only occasionally)Some methods I’ve heard of include: Lubegard Squeak Relief spray, other sprays, pastes and goos on the back of the pads, copper paste on the backside of pads, stepping hard on the brakes several times to remove glazing, shaping the pad with sandpaper..You don’t have to answer this second part specifically but this will give you some context…

I have a 1998 Chrysler Sebring. The brake pads were replaced about 15,000 miles ago. It started squeaking just 3,000 miles after the replacement. They squeak only at low speed, when slowing from 20MPH to 0. If I apply the brakes very hard, they don’t squeak. On occasion, I feel and hear a lower toned rumbling or grinding when I near a stop; I feel this mainly through the brake pedal.

I took it to a Chrysler Dealer who (after $400 of brakes service) said that there is nothing wrong with the brakes. The trouble is, I will be unfortunately forced to shove toothpicks in my ears if this sound keeps up.

 

Update 4-10-06: I found a solution. I got the brakes very hot by pressing both the brakes and accelerator fairly hard for about 2/10 mile going downhill at 50 MPH. The brakes now only squeak on rare occasion and then only slightly.

Update 3-25-09: I found an even better solution. It’s the back brakes that are always squeaking. So when I pull out in the morning, at the first stop I pull up on my emergency brake. That cleans the crap off the brakes in a few seconds and I’m good to go for a day of driving!

5 Comments

  1. TJIC says:

    On bicycles, the problem is caused by the *leading* edge of the brake making contact with the rim first, when the *trailing* edge should make contact first. The solution is to manually grab the breaks and force them to “toe in”.

    I could imagine that shimming car breaks w 5/1,000th brass shim stock at the trailing edge might work.

    Dunno.

  2. Lee says:

    I found someone on a forum saying that I get my brakes very hot by
    decelerating from 50mph to 0 several times in a row. I did that and
    the squealing has reduced dramatically. Now it’s just an occational
    peep when stopping, which is quite acceptable.

    I hope it stays that way.

  3. […] I would pull up to an intersection and SQEEEEEEEEK to a stop. Having the dealership work on my car did not work out too well. I paid $400 and I got… pretty much nothing for […]

  4. lee says:

    I found an even better solution. It’s the back brakes that are always squeaking. So when I pull out in the morning, at the first stop I pull up on my emergency brake. That cleans the crap off the brakes in a few seconds and I’m good to go for a day of driving!

  5. AAMCO Transmission Victorville says:

    There is an excellent article in Popular Mechanics that addresses this issue.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/how_to/4317748.html

    It talks about everything from changing pads, to using shims, lubricants and other methods to quite the squeaky brakes.

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