I have a 2001 Ford F150 Lariat with the 4.6L V8 Engine. Sometimes while I have my trailer hooked up I get a tremendous howling while braking. Almost so loud you can't hear anything else in the cab. The trailer I tow is about 350 lbs plus approximately 900 lbs of cargo. So the total weight is around 1250 lbs, well below the capacity of this truck.

This howling has only happened while towing. It isn't consistent and I can't reproduce it. What could cause this? I have a strong shudder while on the brakes, but I think that is just because of the left front rotor being warped.

  • Does the trailer have any braking mechanism? That's the first place I'd look for issues like you describe. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 7 '15 at 0:15
  • Do you have ABS and does the dash light come on with the shuddering? – mikes Apr 7 '15 at 10:27
  • No trailer brakes, the trailer is tiny. I have ABS that works, but it is not activating. When the ABS activates it sounds like a jackhammer in the cab. – Eric Urban Apr 7 '15 at 12:31

I don't have a definitive resolution for this, but I figured it was coming from the front left brake since it was so loud.

I disassembled the brake system and noticed the slide pins were dry. After cleaning them I greased them with ceramic brake lubricant. The problem is the part of the caliper bracket it slides within is very rusty, so the grease gets contaminated pretty much immediately.

I also greased the pads where they contact the caliper bracket.

I also replaced the rotor and wheel bearing assembly. The rotor was within spec but was massively warped.

So far, no more howling.

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