Why Do My Brakes Squeal?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob:
I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan and we are having problems determining why the breaks are squealing when the brake is applied and there is a grinding noise. My husband has changed one rotor and put new brake pads on the vehicle. We really don't want to spend the money to take it to a shop or the Dodge dealer. Any ideas?
Patty E.

If the rotors look okay and there is sufficient pad left, then it could simply be the noise semi-metallic pads make. Different pad manufactures have different sounds. You may wind up going through several different types before you find one that you like. You see, they use different materials and make the pads to different hardness. That is basically what causes the squealing. In addition, they tune the vibration frequencies (or at least try to) to that outside of our range. But, as the rotor wears down, this frequency level also changes. As for your grinding, again check to make sure that the pads are installed correctly and that there is sufficient pad left (no metal to metal contact).

Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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