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Ceramic brakes squeal

Posted on 2014-09-20
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Last Modified: 2014-10-13
I have a 2001 Trans-am that I wanted to put new ceramic brakes and drilled amd slotted rotors on but the problem I am having is that when I replace the brakes with new ceramic brakepads they squeal whether I am on the brakes or not. The only time the car doesn't squeal is when I use the original factory rotors and new semi-metallic brake pads. This is the variations that I have tried but, the brakes always squeal. Have only tried replacing the front brakes. I don't even want to trink about trying the back until I get the front worked out.

I also tried the brake quiet stuff that goes on the back of the pads but, that didn't help either.

1. New drilled and slotted rotors with new ceramic brake pads - squeal
2. New drilled and slotted rotors with old brake pads - squeal
3. Factory rotors with new ceramic brake pads - squeal

They are prostop rotors and pads from Summit racing. I also tried platinum ceramic brakes from Advance Auto wi the same squeal results as the 3 listed above.

I bought a set of cheap ($21) semi-metallic pads from Advance Auto and used the factory rotors and they don't squeal at all but, the brake dust is horrible.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening with ceramic brakes. And the original brake pads I took off were the factory original, Seriously they were. There is only 21k miles on the car.
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Question by:jfholloway
9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40334768
I use standard rotors and semi metallic pads and (as for you) they work fine.

I do not know for sure, but since you get a squeal whether or not you apply the brakes, then I think it is high pitched air flow between the holes / slots and the pads. The air is probably escaping through whatever small passages it can.

I suggest you check with a mechanic familiar with your set up. It may be normal, or you may need to do something about the holes.
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Expert Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 40334931
Just making sure.   Did you install new pads and new rotors at the same time?  I had this issue before when I installed new pads on the worn rotors.  It was a slight rubbing noise because the old rotors have been worn in the shape of the old pads, and the new pads don't match them exactly. But they're perfectly safe, and the brakes will stop the car just the way they're supposed to with factory installed pads.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 40335432
Some noise is normal especially while the pads are new.
Also in wet or humid conditions.

Once the brake pads have worn in after xxx miles the queal should go away.

"I also tried the brake quiet stuff that goes on the back of the pads but, that didn't help either."

That stuff does not last or work well.

You can insert Teflon-coated shims between the back of the pad and the brake piston.
Some pads came out of the box fitted with Teflon-coated shims already installed.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 40335446
"1. New drilled and slotted rotors with new ceramic brake pads - squeal
2. New drilled and slotted rotors with old brake pads - squeal
3. Factory rotors with new ceramic brake pads - squeal"


Check that the rotors alignment is correct.

This video from Brake Align may be of help to understanding the importance of alignment.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSxCNbjKi-0
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Author Comment

by:jfholloway
ID: 40335547
Thanks everyone. The squeal sounds like metal to metal contact. I checked and can't find any place where there is metal to metal contact. To give idea of the niose, it sounds like when the wear indicator is rubbing the rotor. I verified that the wear indicator wasn't touching anywhere.

Tiras25, I replaced rotors and pads at the same time to start.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 40335574
If the brakes work fine but the squeal bothers you then:
For real positive results, get the car tested on a dynamometer.
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Expert Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 40335578
Just making sure, did you remove a preservative coating from the rotors before installing?

If yes, remove and file or sand the edge of the pads friction material - round off the corners of the pads.
Its like a teacher dragging her fingernails on the chalkboard.  If she's using a back of her nails the the noise goes away.  So file or grind the pads edges.  Then see what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 40337092
Re: previous comment:
 "remove and file or sand the edge of the pads friction material - round off the corners of the pads."

This may help reduce noise until the pads wear-in, but never round off the leading edge as the sheer edge is important to resist the entry of debris & water.

I suggest that you rough the new pads surface with 150 grit sandpaper to allow a faster wear-in period.
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Accepted Solution

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Michael-Best earned 500 total points
ID: 40337125
For further info. on wear-in (bed-in brakes)
see:
How to Bed-in Brake Pads and Rotors: by essexparts.com

http://www.essexparts.com/learning-center/cat/brake-rotors/post/Bed-in
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