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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 Kona Edition. I had my brakes checked out and they are fine yet there is a very loud squeal when I hit the brakes. This seems to go away under heavy breaking and the colder and damper it is the worse it gets. Any suggestions or insight as to what might be causing the noise....
 

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JS, I hope you wouldn't mind if I ask you a question...
I've been hearing quite a bit about brake squeel on Foci, and I am wondering if part of the reason might be maintenance. (I'm not saying that it is, I could be completely wrong).
Here's what I'm thinking: I love my Focus, but it is a cheap car, therefore parts on it are cheap. This said, I wonder if brake squeel has anything to do with overtorqueing the lug nuts and rotor deformation. When you take your car in for a change of tires, I doubt anybody is going to run around it with a torque wrench, they'll simply use air tool, and God Bless. And cheapsy rotors might not bear overtorquing too good. So my question is:

How often did you change your tires?
Did a shop do it for you?

Of course, there might be an issue of malfunctioning brake calipers that do not apply even pressure onto the pads... Who knows. But "just in case" when I need a tire replacement, I take the wheel(s) off the car and take them in loose.
Anyway, I do not have mechanical background, I just have a nasty habit of reading too much, so don't take me too seriously.
 

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I worked in a brake shop for 5 years and let me tell you, we never walked around with a torque wrench. We where made to get these. Imaging ME use my Snap On 650 Foot Pound Torque impact on your lugs 2 things would happend, i'm going to snap the lugs right off or 2 if you got a flat your not going to be able to take your own tire off. I've been in fords service department before and noticed these (Torque Sticks) are on the end of every bay. Now gas stations on the other hand you'll see them just zip the lugz right on with the gun. So you do make a very valid point, But i know at my ford they are useing Torque Sticks. When you take your car in for service ask them if they do to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Recently had a new set of tires put on at Discount Tire. Watch them do it and they all seemed to be doing the right thing. I notice when it is damp and cold the squealing is the worst. I think the to rotors were damaged or warped I would feel it through the brake pedal. I suppose I will try a higher end brake pad to start with maybe that will solve some of it. Even thought about going to a vented disk brake......
 

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Now is it the fronts or rear brakes? Test: come to a stop useing your e-brake if you hear the noise or feel the warped rotor in the e-brake handle its the rears. Come to a stop lightly useing the brake pedal if you hear or feel the noise in the pedal its the fronts. Easy way to troubleshoot the breke system.
 

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I worked in a brake shop for 5 years and let me tell you, we never walked around with a torque wrench. We where made to get these. Imaging ME use my Snap On 650 Foot Pound Torque impact on your lugs 2 things would happend, i'm going to snap the lugs right off or 2 if you got a flat your not going to be able to take your own tire off. I've been in fords service department before and noticed these (Torque Sticks) are on the end of every bay.
Great to hear that there're good shops out there; I haven't seen torque wrenches in anybody's hands here so far, as much as I looked. Torque stick, yes -- but since I don't work there, I don't know how often they calibrate them; I also don't know if Ford, Toyota and Mercedes have the same torque spec. I worked for Pep Boys for about a year, and knowing what's going on behind the scenes, didn't help my confidence.
The long and the short of it -- I (personally) would rather be safe than sorry, since I plan on keeping my Focus until the day I die.
Especially after me and my friend had to call road assistance when he got a flat -- exactly as you describe, neither of us could get the damn wheel off, and I didn't have a compressor at the time. I don't understand why you got so aggressive, I wasn't personally insulting anybody. Opinions and experiences differ, you know.

JS, if you get new pads or rotors, you might want to check this link:
http://www.stoptech.com/whitepapers/warped_rotors_myth.htm
A lot of it is just talk, but I liked the break-in procedure they recommend for new pads or/and rotors. I wish owner's manual talked about this kind of stuff instead of "always wear your seatbelts" and such.
 

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just a quick question.
is it a squeel or a groan they make?

mine groaned when stopping. not much when it was dry, but when it was humid or rained it was really bad. checked my pads and they showed little wear. now the rotors were what my actual problem was, they looked like they had been polished to a nice shine (not good for pads to get a grip on)sounded kind of like when you run your fingers over wet glass. kind of the same principle, when the glass is dry your fingers grip, when its wet your fingers slide across it, the groan is produced when small spots grip and drag over the surface causing harmonics.
you may want to try having the rotors turned to refinish the surface and get rid of the shinyness. be prepared to buy new ones. mine were shot. only did one rotor since one side took 2 passes to clean up and the other side we were on pass number 5 and it was still bad, it had a spot about the size of a golf ball that did not clean up (not to mention they were getting too thin for my taste). car has 35k on it.

replaced them with good rotors and ceramic pads and no problem now. i can even tell the difference with abs.
 

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My brakes squeal randomly also... My car has about 6000 miles on it and its been doing it for about 1500 miles randomly. I dunno what the problem is. Will the dealership take car of it? or is that not part of the warrenty? Thanks
-John
 

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It just started tonight on my car. The front brakes are the ones squeking. Only under light braking do they squeal but when i hit the brakes HARD they do not squeal. So hopefully they were just dusty.
 
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