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Old 03-09-2018, 03:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My brakes are squealing, but still have some material, do not have wear indicator

I was halfway home Sunday night, stopped in Flagstaff, and my brakes squealed when I came to a stop. I ordered new brake pads from Bernardi's Honda on Monday for $44.30, but unfortunately, they have not shipped yet.

Nobody wants to ship to Page.

I understood wear indicators start working while you still have brakes, but the indicator itself can damage your discs. I took off the brake pads to look at them. I had thought I heard the brake wear indicator, but there does not seem to be one. I will post pictures in the morning. My first concern is that I tried to use a trick I learned from a YouTube mechanic. In one of his videos he cracked the lug nuts, jacked the car, and then used the tire iron to spin the wheel, undoing the lug nuts in the process. However, when I tried, despite my car being in neutral, with the parking brake off, it required too much effort to spin the wheel, although I did not hear anything.

Do you think, even though I have brake material left, that is causing the squeal, and it will go away when I replace the pads? I will take a wire brush and clean all of the rust and everything. I do try to do things properly. How difficult is it supposed to be to spin the wheel? When I removed the brake pads it was still difficult to spin the hub. I jacked up my Civic and its front wheel only spun two times when I tried.
I think I hear a brake dragging, but that is a different issue.
Thank you very much for any help you may provide!

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Old 03-09-2018, 04:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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$44, did you get ceramics?

I wouldn't bother with the rust. The important parts shouldn't have any. Is the brake pad wear somewhat even between the sides? If not, you might have something sticking.

I can't recall if any of my vehicles have squealers on the pads, but it doesn't matter as I examine pad thickness every time I rotate tires. I'll probably never go through the pads on the Prius, and might do 1 replacement on other vehicles in the lifetime of driving them due to avoidance of brake use.

As long as you have enough pad material left to prevent metal to metal contact, and you don't have squealers, the worn pads wouldn't cause the noise. Maybe your pads need some anti-squeal compound, or perhaps the moving bits need some grease so they slide more freely.

Front wheel drive cars will be more difficult to spin the wheel due to the drag of the axle and differential. The non-driven wheels should spin relatively more freely. I know my Prius front wheels are very difficult to turn by hand.

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Old 03-09-2018, 04:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your front wheels won't spin freely on a front wheel drive vehicle. There's always drag in the driveline that will stop them fairly quickly.

Your brakes can squeal from more than the brake wear indicator, and those stop squealing when the brake is applied. If you have brake material left, then your pads are possibly glazed or contaminated. Or they could have just gotten wet.

Two things we need to know...did it go away after that one incident?

And have you checked your back brakes? They're just as likely to squeal. Maybe more.
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had pads only a few months old develop a squeal before.
I removed the offending brake pads, rubbed them on weathered concrete to bust the glaze and put them back on.
Don't know if that's your problem or not.
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How thick is your remaining pad material? That should be the real test, not squeal. Brakes can squeal for a lot of reasons besides worn-out pads. And at least in my experience, worn pad indicators make more of a grinding sound than a squeal. (YMMV, though.)

For taking off the lug nuts quickly/easily, use a cross wrench, and spin that.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is low, but not metal-on-metal. Maybe it was a grinding sound. It was annoying regardless.

Someone remind me to use my speed wrench, although I would still need the normal ratchet.

Should I have bought a $40 vernier caliper to see if I needed to pay them $30 to machine mine or order new ones?

Obviously, I held a quarter against the rotor and took a picture from 180 away.

You could not see the quarter, which is 0.069 inches thick.

The rotor discard thickness is -0.06 inches.

That would be for both sides.

It looks like I need new rotors, too!

I would not recommend this method, it seems horribly scientific, and brakes are kind of important, but the worst-case scenario is that I am unnecessarily spending $68, although arguably, my brakes would work better, and you guys would miss me if I drove off a cliff!

A penny is .0598 inches thick. It seems crazy that rotors are considered dangerous when they have worn down half the thickness of a penny on each side.

Good old Bernardi would charge $82 each, but I do not have any idea when they would arrive. I paid Napa $31 each, plus tax. They will be here in the morning. If I do not receive an update from Bernardi today I will cancel the brake part of the order (I am also ordering belts, hoses, etc. for replacing my timing belt) and go with Napa's brakes, which cost a little more, but are in-stock.

I read somewhere that the rule of thumb is to resurface once and replace the next time, although I doubt there will be a next time.

I watched several repair videos before pulling up the factory service manual. The section on replacing brake pads is only two pages, so I wish I had started there. I probably would have been fine stopping there, too, but curiously, the FSM and each of the videos I watched did not say to loosen the brake master cylinder cap, but someone pointed out that in the comments in each video. The Autozone guide goes a step further and suggests using a turkey baster to remove half of the fluid in the reservoir.

Does fluid go down as pads wear out, not because there is a leak, but because the calipers adjust, and store more fluid? When I compressed the caliper piston the cap loosened and fluid leaked out.

I hope that is it! It would be horrible if I had a crack somewhere!
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Was the lip of your rotor rusty? most are. The rust is thicker than the original material, and would potentially block you seeing the coin.

And, yes, the farther out the piston is on your caliper, the more brake fluid it holds, so when you compress it back in, it travels back up to the master cylinder and can over-flow. It can also push contaminants up to it at the same time.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Does fluid go down as pads wear out, not because there is a leak, but because the calipers adjust, and store more fluid? When I compressed the caliper piston the cap loosened and fluid leaked out.
The reason you don't want this to happen is that brake fluid dissolves paint. Or more accurately, seems to break down the bond between paint and metal, so the paint bubbles and peels.

You really don't need a caliper to measure brake pads - for one thing, it's pretty hard to do, since the backing plate is in the way. After you've seen new vs old pads a couple of times, just eyeballing is good enough (for me, anyway).
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I open the bleeder before pushing the piston in. This keeps the heat cycled fluid from going back into the master cylinder. It also partially flushes the fluid. Also with the pads backed off the rotors you can get a better feel on the wheel bearings. I found a bad bearing on a pickup that came in for a brake squeek only on left turns yesterday.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Bernardi has not said they processed my order, so I requested they canceled the brake pad portion, and bought brakes and rotors from Napa, $138 with tax. PBlaster and a hammer were unable to break three of the screws loose, so I blew a whole $12 on an impact screwdriver. I love that thing!

Replacing the rotors was lame! It was three times as many bolts and infinitely more screws as the pads! Breaking in the brakes was tedious, but probably useful. I am going to clean up and start driving so I can drive home in the morning.

I have visited Mom every weekend since August. I cannot stop now!

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