Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 7, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: What can you do to eliminate brake squeal?

Niagara Gazette — The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom’s Corner will appear in Thursday’s editions.

BILL FROM MONTGOMERY, ALA.: I recently bought a 2008 Ford Focus with 63,000 miles and the brakes squeal. I took the car back to dealer and they coated and sprayed the pads and told me that the front pads were aftermarket and not Ford brand and may squeal again. What can I do to eliminate the noise? It is really annoying.

TOM: I have gone to extreme measures to eliminate brake squeal. I changed the pads, installed insulator shims and new anti rattle clips, glued the pads to the caliper pistons, pinched the pad-securing arms more tightly, resurfaced the rotors with a non-directional finish after a light cut on the rotor face, and replaced rotors … all in an effort to eliminate brake squeal. Sometimes one of these procedures worked, other times I had to do more to stop the annoying noise. So it’s hard to say what will work. Try each method outline here one at a time, starting with shims and clips, and proceed from there. If you decide to replace the pads, use ceramic pads. Good luck.

•••

ERIC FROM NIAGARA FALLS: I own a ‘99 Chrysler Cirrus Lxi, 2.5-liter engine-V6, with 113,000 miles. I am looking for ways to get more horsepower out of the engine (both cheap and not so cheap). Any ideas?

TOM: It all depends on how much of a bankroll you have. There is a wide range of cost for extra horsepower, and it all depends on how much more you want. Rather than take up the space to explain increasing horsepower and the options available, go to www.summitracing.com and you will find several ways to extract more horsepower out of your Chrysler product. Also, check with your dealership’s parts department as they have a performance parts division.

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