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Since replacing all of the brake pads and passenger front rotor on my 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible, the pads have been chafing and making a non-stop chirping sound while driving. There is a louder chirp from the front pads when I apply the brakes. This is a seasonal car located in South Florida, a few blocks from the ocean. I understand ocean air car produce a thin layer of rust on the rotors. I only drive about 3,000 miles a year with this car.

Is the sound caused by this thin layer of rust - although it never goes away even after driving? Could the constant chafing of the pads prematurely damage the rotors?

The well-known, national tire company who did the brake work a few months ago, now claims all of the rotors need to be replaced - another $500 repair to the $400 I spent less than 700 miles ago.

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Sounds like brake pads are not pulled off the rotors to me, need to check the mechanics before blindly replacing the rotors IMHO. –  Krom Stern Dec 14 '12 at 5:29
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2 Answers 2

There are many reasons for squeaky brakes. The usual cause, is whoever replaced your brake pads used pads that are a slightly different material than the original pads. A fairly reliable way to prevent this is to use pads recommended by Chrysler. It could also be the rotors, it's never a bad idea to replace the rotors the same time as the pads if you want your brakes to operate reliably and quietly.

If the company that you paid to work on your brakes won't even warranty the work they did a few months ago, for Pete's sake, find a better mechanic. Don't waste your time and money.

And don't ever say "well-known national tire company." If it's a horrible company, let us know which company it is so that we don't suffer from their terrible customer service either.

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+1 for "find a better mechanic". –  Timo Geusch Dec 14 '12 at 15:56
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One possibility is that your new pads haven't fully "bedded in", or mated with the rotors, and/or that these new pads don't do as effective a job of cleaning the rust off of the rotors in your normal driving.

One thing to try in situations like this before you spend any additional money is to find a quiet back road, and do a number of repeated hard stops from speed (40-55mph). When the car has slowed to a near stop, accelerate back up to speed and stop hard again. Repeat until you notice the car has reduced stopping power--your brakes are now extremely hot, and can't stop the car as effectively (this is called brake fade).

The goal here is to bed in the brake pads and clean off the rotors. You may find that the noise is reduced after this.

Some cars with big fat brakes (like high performance cars) can go through rotors quickly if driven too gently. The rust doesn't get cleaned off of the rotors, and the rust builds up unevenly, causing noise and pulsation in the brake pedal. Even though the rotors haven't "worn", they become unusable from this unevenness. Frustrating and expensive, but also avoidable with the occasional brake workout as described above.

If you find that the hard stopping exercise helps the issue, you may find that you have to repeat this procedure periodically if the problem comes back. Then maybe try different brake pads next time around.

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