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Squeeky Breaks

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by cj morgan, Apr 24, 2008.

    cj morgan guest

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    I've been experiencing occasional squeaking in the rear breaks i think. it's not every time i break, but at slow stops. Does this mean i need to replace my pads or could it be something else? i own a 1990 325i. Thanks
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    BMWCCA1

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    It could, but not usually. Do you know what pads you have? Brake squeal can be caused by dirt, brake dust, or just poor pad material. It's sort of a black art but many pads use an anti-squeal shim on the back of the pad. Some people use brake lube past on all surfaces where the pad contacts caliper or piston in an attempt to stop squealing. Stock OE BMW pads do a good job of keeping quiet but the trade-off is excessive brake dust. You may need to clean your calipers, replace your pads, or use anti-squeal products. It's easy enough to check your pad thickness and sometimes you can do it without taking the wheel off by using a flashlight to see inside. If you know your brake-lining sensor is intact, it should warn you when the pads are low. In the mean time, try finding a clear stretch of road where you can bring your car to repeated quick stops safely from speed and see if that helps clear up the squeal. Stop quickly from maybe 50mph, then drive a bit too cool your brakes, and try it again. You don't need to engage the ABS, just stop as quickly as you can up to the ABS threshold. Hope this helps.

    jmalter guest

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    Hey, brakes are rather important! Y'all need a comprehesive brake service.

    pre-ABS models have sensors in the brake-pads that will light up on the dashboard when the pad-thickness gets low, also there's a stiff wire hidden inside your brake-pads that will skritch noisily when worn thru 'til they're exsposed to the discs. Don't ignore that noise!

    Inspect your brake-pad thickness on all 4 corners ASAP, it's important to have complete confidence in the brake-system!
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

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    If the brakes are working and just squealing at some low-speed stops, it's likely not necessary to push the panic button. All BMW cars have had ABS brakes in the US since the '87 model year and everything other than 3 Series for years before that. The style of pad-wear sensors used since the early '80s are still in use today on early BMWs. But they won't warn you of worn pads if they're not working or have been bypassed. It's not hidden in side the pad but rather attached to the pad and they don't make a noise, they trigger a warning lamp. Get your facts straight before you scare people needlessly. A BMW is not a Chrysler. Noise is quite common in disc brakes and there's nothing wrong with trying to clean them with a few aggressive stops. The original poster didn't say the brakes weren't working, just that they sometimes squeaked during "slow" stops.
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    az3579

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    I can attest to the cleaning of the brakes by doing some aggressive stops. At the driver's school, I was obviously braking really hard and after the event, on the way home, my brakes squealed slightly at slow stops. I did a few harder braking runs and the squealing never came back.


    And I must say, I have never heard a BMW with squealing brakes. Probably just a coincidence. ;)

    cj morgan guest

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    i believe the front pads are EBC. pretty basic i'd say. the rear i'm not so sure about because they were replaced by goodyear auto about a week before i got the car which was just this past summer. I have tried a few agressive stops, one which sent everything flying into the winshield including my cell phone (oops, i'll know next time). Anyway the noise is still there, not all the time only at slow stops. I'm may take off a tire this weekend and inspect the thickness of the pads if i have time, but the brakes seem to stop okay as of right now. It's a pretty straight stop with no chattering or juttering or anything like that so i think i'll be okay for the summer hopefully.

    cj morgan guest

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    the only thing i am worried about is damaging the fairly new rotors i put on last summer.

    jmalter guest

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    heh, having experienced a few too many front-end collisions, I remember only too well how anything that wasn't tied down (such as sunglasses, or stuff in the inside pockets of my sport-coat) wuz *immediately* re-positioned into the front foot-wells during a 'Rapid Deceleration Incident'! Kinda' scary actually, thinkin' that anything on your rear seat-bench or rear window-deck that massed more than 1/2 a box of Kleenex could've easily penetrated one's skull during that 70mph>0 incident!
    Some slow-stop noise is acceptable, it might be a bit of foreign matter on a pad's leading edge (remember to check both sides of the disc), but absent any observed chatter/judder, or a tendency to 'pull' left or right under braking, I'd say you're good to go - especially since you've done some 'hard testing'. But don't be complacent - make the effort to pull your wheels & look at the pads. Brakes are important! The radio & the cruise-control & the high-beams & even the motor itself can fail - but if the brakes are still workin', you can still retain control.

    M3Driver guest

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    BMW brakes can be a bit noisy; not like US vehicles I've learned. I've heard that the Germans are not quite as sensitive to brake noise and other mechanical noises as we Americans are.

    That said, a BMW tech told me to take screwdriver; dip it in anti-seize and brush it across the rotor and drive a few miles and do a panic-type stop (where the ABS would kick in). Never tried it myself so I can't vouch for the idea. However a good cleaning using Griots Garage Wheel Cleaner worked for me on my M3.

    Cheers..
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    BMWCCA1

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    That sounds like a really bad idea! Glad you never tried it. ;)

    I think the problem here is the original poster has no idea what brand of pad the Goodyear Tire dealer put in at the back before he bought the car, or if the installation was done properly. I'm guessing it's not the best brake pad one can buy for this BMW! Not much sense in discussing it anymore until the autopsy is performed...on the car! :D

    M3Driver guest

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    yeah, it sounded a bit suspect to me too...:rolleyes:

    cj morgan guest

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    well i took my tires off today and inspected my brake pads. Plenty of pad left on both the front and back. Everything seems to be in good shape. Must be brake dust making the squeek.

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