New brakes squeal and grind.

I replaced the front rotors and pads on a 2002 Sienna. Almost within a week they started grinding like there are no pads left. They also have a high pitched squeal when braking. Seems to do it after I have been driving for awhile. I took off the wheels for an inspection, used brake cleaner to eliminate the brake dust (there was a LOT), but everything else seems OK. There is plenty of pad left.

I have never had this issue before.

Do new rotors need to be turned or scuffed up?

  • what's the pad material?
    – Ben
    Nov 16, 2016 at 22:41

3 Answers 3


No rotors do not need to be scuffed up.

Do all the brakes grind or just one?

did you use brake grease on the backs of the pads to eliminate normal brake squeal?

check for any rocks or bits of debris for the grind and maybe add some brake grease to the backs of the pads to eliminate the squealing. Do not apply the grease to the pad side of the pads as it will keep your brakes from stopping the car. It should be applied to the back of the pad specifically where it touches the caliper.


Check for any debris behind the brake pads, maybe at some grease to the pads to lubricate them. otherwise, do you have the exact right ones in? Make sure you didn't put them in backwards, or forget any bolts or things that could hold stuff together.


I appreciate everyone's feedback. Let me see if I can answer all 3 replies at once.

No there was no debris, I did not have any parts left over, and I did have the OEM pads. And of course I put the disk brake synthetic grease on the correct side of the pads. :)

I also used a ton of brake cleaner on the new rotors to remove all the cosmoline from the newly packaged rotors.

I found the issue with the brakes. As it turns out some of the newer non-ceramic (semi-metallic) pads need to be "seated". You can search for this procedure online, but in a nutshell here is the correct way to "seat" semi-metallic brake pads.

I drove the vehicle and did some mild stops to warm everything up. Then I did 10 hard stops- from 60 mph to 20 mph (not a full stop) with enough brake pedal to ALMOST engage the ABS. Then I drove it to cool the pads. I then did 10 more. Yes there was brake smell, and even a little smoke, but this is the procedure. The key here is to AVOID COMPLETE STOPS until you have allowed the brakes to return to normal temperatures. This prevents creating a high spot on your rotors.

Take home on disc brake pads IMO.

Non-metallic will not wear down rotors as fast, but need to be seated. Ceramic pads don't require seating but will eat away your rotor faster. In today's automotive environment, replacement rotors are often just as much as getting your original rotors turned. Next time I am going ceramic!

Thanks to all that replied.

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