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I have a 2007 Mazda 6, and after cruising for a while on the highway, I started to hear a very loud squealing noise coming from the rear wheel on the drivers side. It's an extremely high pitched and loud squeal... hurts the ears.

After the trip, I felt the alloy wheel itself and it was burning hot. I touched the rotor and it nearly burned me. I tried the other wheels and they weren't hot at all.

The squealing happens at around 40-60 mph, regardless of whether I'm on the brakes or not.

The calipers, rotors, and the wheel itself are extremely hot. It also has a very bitter burning smell.

How would I be able to isolate this problem?


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there could be a fault with the brake's on that side it maybe touching the break disk at that speed due to which it is getting hot and making that Squeling sound – Dimensionless Aug 12 '13 at 4:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The parking brake may not be releasing on that wheel. The parking brake cable may be damaged or rusted. Its also possible that the hydraulic cylinder in the brake caliper is stuck. Another possibility is the caliper pins which allow the caliper to stay centered over the rotor are corroded.

You should inspect the parking brake cabling to ensure smooth operation, inspect the hydraulic cylinder for sticking, and inspect caliper pins for corrosion and proper lubricant.

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Thanks Randy. It might be the parking brake because, although I normally don't use the parking brake, the problem started happening a few miles after I used it for parking on a hill. I'll have a look and tell you the results. – David Aug 12 '13 at 14:02
@David Yes, if you don't often use the parking brake, the cable gets rusted in place, so when you actually DO use it once, it doesn't release. I make a habit of using my parking brake often if for no other reason than to keep it freed up in case I really do need it sometime. – Randy Aug 12 '13 at 22:50

If it only happens at certain speeds, you may also have a problem with a worn wheel bearing. They tend to whine like a fishwife at certain speeds. But also have a look at your brakes. While a wheel bearing certainly is annoying, it doesn't hurt the ears.

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