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Subalu - A blue 2014 Forester 6spd adventure mobile
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping you can share your thoughts as I've been experiencing a brake issue that is new to me in all my years of doing brakes on my own cars. Its really had me scratching my head.

From the moment I pull out of my parking spot up to the end of my neighborhood my brakes squeak like no other squeak I've ever heard. Its almost like a train whistle sometimes. From that point on there's no further noise until my car has been sitting for a few hours somewhere. This happens daily.

The brake pads were replaced less than a year ago when I bought the car and have plenty of meat on them. At first I thought the caliper pins probably needed lube and that once they got moving there was enough grease to silence the squeak. I performed that maintenance and also noticed the brake pad backplates in front had some surface rust between them and the pad. I replaced those, added blue brake lube to the pins and in-between the backplate and pad. No resolve.

After watching some YouTube videos I thought that I was experiencing surface rust on my disc. This made sense since the rust would effectively wear off after a few pumps of the brakes and the sound would go away by the time I hit the end of my neighborhood. I've never had this happen on any of my cars and have always lived in the California Bay Area so I still wasn't 100% positive. There is a slight ammount of rust around the disc, but nothing on the surface and they don't look glazed or have grooves.

Recently I drove to Yellowstone and stayed there for two weeks. The brakes produced zero squeaks the entire duration of my travels. It was music to my ears! As soon as I returned home I unpacked then after a few hours went out to grab dinner. SQUEAAAAAK! It's back... I've had my roommate stand in front of the car to hear if it's coming from one side or the other and he said he can't tell. It's definitely coming from the front though.

Did the dealer I bought this car from simply use extra cheapo brake pads? I kinda thought they pencil whipped some of the maintenance that they claimed they did and seeing rusty pad backplates made me think they didn't replace them for whatever reason. I'm wondering if this is simply a case of poor climate and brake pad combo.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. I just wanted to double check with the forums before I go buying new pads.

 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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I've done brakes only a few times but in the YouTube videos I've watched (I'm not a trained mechanic obviously) they say if you put the lube everywhere it can help get rid of the squeaking. Lube on the tips of the pads where they slide against the hardware, between the pad and the calipers, etc. I guess the lube would damp the vibrations. I used the Raybestos brake lube.

In Vancouver we get rust on the rotors, and when we start driving, it sounds like wuf wuf wuf wuf until we've driven a few blocks and the rust has been worn off. Then the brakes are silent.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i
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322 Posts
here are some things that could go wrong on the previous brake job.
1 maybe they used semi metallic pads after the rotors were broke in with ceramics
2 the abutment clips are'nt set in their cradel correctly.
3 rust behind the abutment clips and the mech. ground too much off the ears of the pads
4 the guy twisted up those little dogs ears so he decided to break them off.
5 maybe the rotors and pads are just super cheap junk. we have a parts store in town like that and it's sad to say a lot of garages around here go there. i was buying stuff there for a while like tie rod ends and idler arms cause it was super cheap and everything wore right out.

what you should do is just go on rock auto and get yourself a well known set of rotors and pads with new abutment clips and go over the job with the fine tooth comb and see what happens. be less than a hundred bucks and an hour per wheel. main thing is those clips have to set in there really good.
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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854 Posts
What is the condition of the pad and rotor surfaces? Flat, grooved, parallel, smooth, slight undulations, shiny, even, rough etc.

Are both pads worn equally on each calliper, and is pad wear the same between left and right wheels? Any difference, front to back?

When was the brake fluid last changed? Brand? Spec? What colour is it now?

Were the rotors replaced (or resurfaced), as well as the pads?

Other than the squeal, do the brakes operate normally? Braking distance, efficiency and grab, fade, pedal throw, pedal pressure etc.

Some pads will always squeak, but these are usually scintered heavy duty or race type pads. It’s possible that the Dealer put these type on, if they were going cheap, or only ones available. These are usually made to handle higher heat etc. so then they are not warmed up, they can be noisy.

If pads are not bedded in properly, they may also squeal. You can look up the procedure and give it a go. The fact that the squeal was gone on your trip to Yellowstone, might indicate that this is part of the case.

Squealing can be present with a new pad on worn rotor, especially if the rotor is worn. Eg has grooves, or has a very shiny surface.

The calliper may also need servicing. There could be dirt behind dust seal, or brake fluid may have dried and crystallised around the piston and seal. As mentioned in above posts, all the brake hardware can contribute to the noise, so they should be cleaned, replaced and lubed as necessary.

I have found that many hydraulic calliper brakes that have some sort of issue, have sticking pistons. Even if it is only slightly, barely noticeable, and/or have fairly even pad wear. Sure pads will squeal when applying the brakes, but if they are doing it when not applied, something is not allowing the piston and pad to retract away from the rotor. I would recommend using a proper brake assembly lube when rebuilding the calliper. The stuff is super slippery and pistons glide in by hand. If having constant brake issues I’d also recommend avoiding using a grease or brake fluid, to lube the piston and seal (people who don’t have issues, naturally they can do whatever they want!).

In some instances a squeal can be generated due to improper brake bias (but probably not on a late model), as insufficient pressure is being sent to one or more wheels, so the two friction surfaces are only slightly rubbing.

Another source of squealing, is having too much grease (or having air trapped), in the calliper slide pins. In some setups it can stop the calliper returning to it proper resting position, and allows the pad to contact the rotor.
 

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Subalu - A blue 2014 Forester 6spd adventure mobile
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies! I'm going to look at my brakes on Sunday with all of these considerations in mind and hopefully get to the bottom of the problem.

One other thing that came to mind it that when I bought the car with new brakes on it there was no issue at all for the first few months. The sqeak arose when the season changed to full on winter (although Cali bay area ain't so cold). Also I've never experienced any performance issue at all other than the sound.

Will report back soon and thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi all,

So California has been on fire and I felt like I would get miners lung working outside. So I haven't done any work on my brakes yet.

However I did get new wheels and rubber installed. While at it I had the shop do a brake bleed and oil change. At checkout the mechanic said, "Hey your pads have plenty of meat but you might think about replacing them. They must be cheap material because they look a little corroded."

I guess I'll just jump to replacing the pads now that the air is clearing up a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Posting back for anyone who comes across this post in the future. New pads seem to have remedied the problem. I just took a victory lap around town. If they sqeak tomorrow I'll post a bunch of sad emojis and send it to a shop.
 

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