2004 Chrysler Sebring Front brakes always need to be replac

Tiny
LYDIAA
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHRYSLER SEBRING
Brakes problem
2004 Chrysler Sebring 6 cyl Automatic

Hi, my front brakes always need to be changed every 2-3 months. My husband would change the front brakes every time they would start squeeling, then I figured maybe he wasn't doing it right so I took it to our mechanic, he turned the rotors and changed the brakes, 2-3 months later same thing, started squeeling again, so this time I took it to Les Schwab, they changed the front brake pads and once again 2-3 months later they needed to be changed again! So this time I had Les Schwab change the rotors (brand new ones) and the front brakes and guess what? They needed to be changed again 5 months later. Everyone kept telling me its me that I'm heavy on the brakes or I'm braking too hard. So this time we changed the front and back brakes and changed the rotors once again, and I took it VERY easy with the brakes and guess what? Yes you guessed it 3 months later they are squeeling again and the rotors are not smooth? What could be causing the brakes to do this?


Thanks
Lydia
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 6:22 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi lydiaa. Welcome to the forum. Are you replacing the pads because of just the squealing or are they worn out? There are a number of things professional do to prevent squealing, and there are a number of things anyone can do to cause a squeal to develop. For the last 15 years or so, brake linings have been made with a fairly hard material that is prone to squealing. It gets worse in humid conditions, and it usually goes away after the linings warm up from the heat from braking.

If the pads are wearing down to their metal backing plates, is this occurring on both sides or just at one wheel? How many miles are on the car? Did the problem start all of a sudden? How many miles do you drive in three or four months? Can you tell if the brakes are dragging? Stop on a slight incline, place the transmission in neutral, release the brake pedal, and see if the car creeps downhill on its own. If it doesn't, there is a sticking brake issue we must address.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 7:31 PM
Tiny
LYDIAA
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There are 86,000 miles on the car. The pads are not neccessarily wearing down but they are wearing uneven. And the rotors are bumpy (not smooth). As of right now (I haven't paid attention the other times) the left side is a little worse the the right side, meaning both sides of the rotors are bumpy and on the right side, only the outside is a little bummpy, the inside of the right side is smooth.

I'll try the neutral thing and let you know what happens. And this has happened gradually since I got the car 5 years ago, at first it was every 6-8 months changing the brakes (because of the rotors being bumpy and brakes squeeling) and now its gotten to every 2-4 months.

I drive about 2,000 miles in 3 months
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 7:50 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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One thing that has worked well for me is to remove the sharp edge on the leading and trailing edges of the linings before installing the new pads. I used to grind them down at a 45 degree angle on a bench grinder, about 1/8" deep, but that causes a loss of squeegee action after driving through standing water. I've found it is sufficient to rub the edges of the linings on the concrete floor or brush them with a flat file, ... Anything to remove that "fingernail on the blackboard" sharp edge. It seems if you can prevent the squeal from occurring during the break-in period, the lings have less of a tendency to squeal for the rest of their lives.

The flat file should also be run lightly across the piston surfaces and the fingers of the calipers where those items contact the backing plates of the pads. The goal is to insure the pads make full, solid contact and are not held crooked by a tiny spot of rust or dirt buildup. The caliper mounts must be free of rust so the calipers can slide freely back and forth. The mounting contact points should be lubricated with high-temperature brake grease. It is also very important to put grease on the pad backing plates where they contact the calipers and pistons. The pads are going to vibrate. The grease allows them to vibrate freely without transferring the vibration to the calipers where it would become audible.

One of the most important things to watch out for is getting grease, (even fingerprint grease) on the braking surfaces of the rotors and pads. Some picky shops will discard pads that get wheel bearing grease on them, but it is usually acceptable to simply wash all the parts with brake parts cleaner before the final assembly. Once the brakes get hot from normal braking, that grease will soak into the linings AND into the porous cast iron rotors and cause squealing. At that point it can no longer be washed out.

If the car won't creep downhill on its own, or if you can not push it by hand on a flat surface, the brakes are dragging / sticking and will wear out in a hurry. There are a number of things to check for that. The first is to crack open the bleeder screws on the calipers and the steel lines coming out of the master cylinder to see if trapped fluid pressure is the cause of the problem.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, September 10th, 2010 AT 9:01 PM

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