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Old 02-20-2005, 10:20 AM   #1
JEANIE_BROWNEYES
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when i drive to mechanic i see their eyes lightup. They just know they can take me for every last cent that i got. I am trying to keep my old car running well as all of you know, no car no work no work no eat! anyway i need to know how often should you change break pads? how fast do they wear out? dont tell me wait for the squeek because as soon as i got them changed last year at this time they squeeked right from the beginning and they do when it rains or occassionally for no reason at all! last time they made me get everything replaced calipers etc.. i dont want to do that again. if you have an idea pleaaaase tell me
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:37 AM   #2
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Or a couple of questions here:
-Does your brakes go all the way down to the floor?
-What kind of car is it?
-When you say they make a squeeky noise, does the noise stop when you step on the brakes while you're driving or is the noise there when you step on the brakes no matter if the car is driving or not?
-you said you had them done last year, when last year?
-Did they rotate the drums too?

Do you still have the reciept? Also where did you get them done last time?

Normally what you should try and do is ask around to people on where they take thier cars in. A reasonable mechanic is good to know. I've been going to the same garage since I was 16. He's reasonable and they level with me. If they see something that may need to be replace, he warns me ahead of time so I can save up for it.
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:56 AM   #3
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I have a dodge stratus. no they dont go all the way to the floor and firestone did my brakes. february of last year when i got my income tax return. they squeek when i try to stop when its rained out and sometimes when i stop when its not not always but some times. they told me at firestone it was air in the line. once firestone told me i needed a new engine block and it turned out my transmission was bad. im so paranoid now i dont trust any mechanics. no one i know go to the same place. some know a friend of a friend but know one has just given me a name of a good mechanic. i thought chain places would be honest, i was so wrong
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:36 AM   #4
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Hi Jeanie, and welcome the the site.
Disc brake pads have anti squeal shims that should also have some anti squeal compound(goop) put between the shim and the pad. Vibration while braking otherwise may cause that squeal. My guess is they didn't put those shims in or without that compound on there.

Once in a while it can be from brake pad material used. But in this case I kinda doubt they used anything too fancy for a routine brake job so I would tend to rule that out. There are things such as ceramic and carbon kevlar pads but more than likely they used standard semi-metallic pads for your car.

As far as how long brakes should last varies greatly. Front brakes wear faster than rear brakes, that's where the majority of your braking power comes from. I've seen some cars wear out brake pads in less than 20,000 miles as a norm and others go 50,000 miles. Just depends.

Not too uncommon for disc brakes to squeal a little at first during rainy weather. But it shouldn't continue. For example my truck will sometimes squeal after it's rained when I first back out of my driveway but then it stops.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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Hi Jeanie,

It's not uncommon for new brake pads to squeek. They are new and need a little working in. The rate at which they wear out depends on the quality of the parts. Higher quality parts last longer. And driving habits have a an influence too. To make your brakes last longer, let up on the accelerator sooner between stops and slow down. City driving will wear brakes quicker than highway driving.

Calipers and other parts should be inspected with each brake change and should be adjusted and/or serviced every second brake change.

If you have good stopping power now, then ignore the squeeks. If the squeeks turn to a grind, then have them inspected. Most brake shops offer free inspections. Get more than one opinion when having doubts about your brakes. And ask for written estimates for comparisons.

As for someone telling you there is air in the lines, tell them to "bleed" the lines. That should have been done at the time the brakes were done and is a poor excuse for any shop to get out of doing their job. "Bleeding" the lines is the final part of a brake job. I think this guy was just giving you lip-service as he should/would know that air in the lines shouldn't be possible if the job was done right. This is not necessarily a dangerous thing but will make your brakes sloppy and is poor workmanship.

Go online to get more info. "Car and Driver.com" has an excellant site for car facts.

(edit: Morning big D... here's a link for car info

http://www.caranddriver.com/
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:02 PM   #6
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I try never to go to them or Sears. I went in one time for a tire rotation and they tried to sell me on the whole brake system too. Funny thing is, I just had my brakes done not to long before I went in. When I told my mechanic this, he almost choked.

As far as I know, air in the line never caused a squeeky noise, the brake pedal just goes to the floor when you need the line bleed. When you had your brakes done, was it front and back? If they only did the front and not the back (or vice versa), the noise maybe coming from the other end now.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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I try never to go to them or Sears. I went in one time for a tire rotation and they tried to sell me on the whole brake system too. Funny thing is, I just had my brakes done not to long before I went in. When I told my mechanic this, he almost choked.

As far as I know, air in the line never caused a squeeky noise, the brake pedal just goes to the floor when you need the line bleed. When you had your brakes done, was it front and back? If they only did the front and not the back (or vice versa), the noise maybe coming from the other end now.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:02 PM   #8
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thank you thank you thank you!! i will take my car in and have it checked! that is the problem when you are alone and clueless it seems like almost everyone is ready to take advantage of you and as you know every penny counts!
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:09 PM   #9
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Good luck and remember places like that work on commission so they're going to try and sell you on everything. If you can get a free estimate, take it to a couple of places and see what they say.
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:14 PM   #10
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Jeanie,
I have had squeaking in my brakes for a while. I have also had squeaking in new brakes on my old car. I have had them checked by several reputable places and they all tell me the same thing... the brakes of today are not the same material as years ago(asbestos) so even new brakes can squeal. There is a spray or goop called "stop squeak" they can apply to the brakes when they service them but it does not last long. General rule of thumb that I was taught.. Brakes need replacing every 30,000 -35,000 depending on the driver and the car. Also, before you wash your car look at the rims or wheel covers and check for brake dust. If you see black dust consistently then you should check them immediately. I have had several costly brake jobs on my old car and I am now very intune with my newer car.... if it does not sound or act right it is in the shop. Luckily I got the extended warranty on this one to cover the cranky stuff. The "wearable" items you just have to stay on top of and don't ignore them they turn into mountainous problems.
Ask several people where they get their car taken care of.. when you hear the same name several times ..go there. Also find out what the going rate per hour for labor is in the area (here it is $60 per hour) and then ask to see the parts cost before you sign an agreement. Even if you don't know what you are looking at ask them to explain and show you(learn something!) or fake it wonderfully. Another tip.. on parts that you can get a lifetime warranty (like an alternator) spend the few extra bucks and get that. Ask where the parts are coming from and have them put them in your name. I had an alternator replaced three times this way and the part was replaced for free. I did have to pay for labor.
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:27 PM   #11
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Wow CA,

Good stuff! I'm impressed. I'm coming to you from now on.

:thanks:

Jeanie, CA said it better than the guys did. She hit the nail on the head.
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:34 PM   #12
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Thanks JD.. no man has ever said that to me before.. you are unique!
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:36 PM   #13
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Jeanie,

Just curious...do you know where your brake pads are to check them yourself?

In case you don't...you've gotta take the wheel off, but you can check the pad thickness easily after that. If you have enough thickness, you don't need to replace the pads. Check out the second picture in this link.

Later,
Bobby
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:33 PM   #14
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no i dont really know. i know that it is behind the wheel and ive seen the things they show it to me but to me its like brain surgery.. way beyond me! i wish i was more mechanically inclined i wouldnt be reemed every time i walk into a garage.
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigBobby:
[qb] Jeanie,

Just curious...do you know where your brake pads are to check them yourself?

In case you don't...you've gotta take the wheel off, but you can check the pad thickness easily after that. If you have enough thickness, you don't need to replace the pads. Check out the second picture in this link.

Later,
Bobby [/qb]
i looked at the brake job on your link now i know what it looks like. i would love to say im going to do those brakes myself but i dont think you can get it done with a hammer and phillips screwdriver!
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by JEANIE_BROWNEYES:
[qb]I looked at the brake job on your link now i know what it looks like. i would love to say im going to do those brakes myself but i dont think you can get it done with a hammer and phillips screwdriver! [/qb]
Actually, mine only take a big c-clamp, a flat head screwdriver, and a turkey baster

Just knowing to check it is good enough to stop you from spending money needlessly...and you don't have to remove the caliper to check the pad...see where it is attached in the first picture? You can just look down from the top...
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigBobby:
[qb] <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JEANIE_BROWNEYES:
[qb]I looked at the brake job on your link now i know what it looks like. i would love to say im going to do those brakes myself but i dont think you can get it done with a hammer and phillips screwdriver! [/qb]
Actually, mine only take a big c-clamp, a flat head screwdriver, and a turkey baster

Just knowing to check it is good enough to stop you from spending money needlessly...and you don't have to remove the caliper to check the pad...see where it is attached in the first picture? You can just look down from the top... [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>i was thrilled when i figured out where the oil went! i am a little scared about taking off a tire to take a look to be honest. ive never done it before.dont get me wrong im no wussy woman scared to mess up her nails but im the kind of person who ends up with extra parts when i put things together and that isnt a good thing when you are working on a car!
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:17 PM   #18
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...ok then...it's not much different from changing a flat though...
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:47 PM   #19
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fix a flat... i havent had one yet, but im sure it is! geez im sounding worse as we go along! first i think i best make sure i have a jack then see how it works, then see what i can do from there. i can picture it.. me out in the apartment drive way trying to take the wheel off mean while my one year old is eating something questionable off the lawn and 3 year old is taking off her clothes and running around like a banshee!
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Old 02-20-2005, 10:54 PM   #20
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...too funny. Great thread though.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:41 AM   #21
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i will take all the advise today and get those brakes taken care of. thank you all for the help! trust me you will be hearing from me again regarding ol rusty
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:31 PM   #22
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Just rememeber, if you think you're getting ripped off, you probably are. When they try to sell you on things you haven't asked for, just say no thanks and take your car somewhere else. Also rememeber, before you give them the keys, get everything that they are going to look at and charge in writting!!

Best way to find someone good and honest, is to ask around!
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