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      02-21-2011, 05:13 AM   #1
rogerxp
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Lazy Caliper Causing Squeal???

My car went in for new bushes this weekend but the front brakes had developed a loud squealing when applied (new brakes & disc about 4 months ago by the same guys) so asked them to investigate. The car went to a local BMW specialist.

They collected the car from my house but unfortunately couldn't replicate the squealing sound. Odd as it was virtually every time I broke. It was raining on Saturday which could be blamed as it had been pretty dry up until that point.

Anyway, they reported the front left wheel didn't spin as fast of the right one when free-wheeling, which was odd. To cut a long story short they've replaced the brake caliper on the left front as, if it had become a little lazy/sticky (and catching), this could cause the slow free-wheel & squealing.

They've asked me to report back if the squeal returns. So far (only drive twice) I've heard no squeal.

Does this sound right that a lazy caliper could cause the squealing and now it's replaced it's gone??? If so then I owe them 95 for the caliper - if not I don't owe anything & they'll take another look. I've not driven much since it was sorted so will keep an ear out.

I've no reason to doubt what they've said, and if it's sorted it I'm happy to pay the cash over, but likewise I'd like to be confident that what I'm paying for needed doing and it's not just coincidence that the squealing stopped.

Any thoughts appreciated...
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      02-21-2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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I wouldn't have thought it would be the caliper it's self, however if the caliper was stuck on, it could glaze the pad over, which 'could' cause the noise you're talking about, It's usually the pad that makes the horrible noise.

When they were testing the 'free wheeling' of the wheels, did they remove the caliper they thought was causing the problem, spin the wheel and then see if it was this causing the wheel to be slower than the other? (if the caliper was stuck on slightly, then yes that could slow the wheel).


Did they change the pads?
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      02-21-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yeah, this is the problem I've got, not being present I'm not 100% sure what they did.

Your question about the caliper is exactly what I was thinking - did the new caliper correct the free-wheel irregularity?? I don't know but can call them and see (I guess so otherwise surely they wouldn't have replaced the caliper, so far, at cost to them).

They changed the pads & discs on 28th November so didn't change anything again. He said they checked it all over and everything looked mechanically sound so they were a bit confused.

In fairness, they've been 100% honest with me, told me what they've done and told me to report back; it it's cured I'll happily cough up the 95 just was struggling to associate a caliper with brake squeal (but I supposed I'm no mechanic!!). He said if the squeal returns at least they'll know what isn't the problem - bear in mind they haven't witnessed it.

I'll probably give it a couple more days to see if the squeal returns under different conditions.
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      02-21-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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Yea hard to know exactly what they done I suppose.

Whenever I get a car in with brake squeel, it's usually down to the pads for whatever reason, and I know this is going to sound pikey mechanic ish, but if you cut a line down the centre of the pad from top to bottom with a disc cutter, it for whatever reason stop's the squeel........have done it many times and it's always worked. I suppose if the pad is not at fault, then it won't work.
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      02-21-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Sounds perfectly reasonable, and a fair price to IMO.
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      02-22-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by m1bjr View Post
Sounds perfectly reasonable, and a fair price to IMO.
Thanks for the reassurance. No squealing so far so looks like I'm going to have to put my hand in my pocket .
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      02-22-2011, 06:54 AM   #7
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Can squealing also be caused by a lack of antiseize grease between the back of the pad and caliper?
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      02-22-2011, 07:15 AM   #8
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Come to think of it, I've just recalled, a couple of times recently I thought my brakes had seized, took a moment before I could move off (if left overnight) and could feel something giving way...

...should have mentioned that but completely forgot until now .
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      02-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
Come to think of it, I've just recalled, a couple of times recently I thought my brakes had seized, took a moment before I could move off (if left overnight) and could feel something giving way...

...should have mentioned that but completely forgot until now .
Well, the handbrake shoes are inside the rear disc hubs, probably sticking on.
I find a little tug whilst slowly in motion keeps them clean and effective - and glaze free.
Maybe time to service them too?

You can get pad deposits on the discs, often if braking very hard to a stop
and sitting with a foot on the pedal, thus depositing some pad material in one spot.
That'll cause a high spot which can squeek and snatch a little.
A few HARD high speed applications normally even out the coating of the discs.

Steve
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