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Discussion Starter #1
My vehicle is a 2010 Forte EX Sedan with 52,750 miles. Here's some background leading up to my issues:

Around 45,000 miles I noticed noise (squeaking) from the front wheels/brakes and mentioned it to the dealer when I had my oil changed. They said the pads had 60% life and rotors were fine and they would lube the necessary parts and not to worry.

At 50,000 miles, I mentioned the same concerns to the dealership when I had my oil changed and again they said the brakes were in good shape and replacement wasn't necessary.

At 52,000 miles (just a few weeks ago), I took advantage of an alignment special at a local shop. My vehicle was pulling to the left and after a rough winter/spring with plenty of potholes, I figured it wouldn't hurt. During the alignment, the shop brought me to their computer to show they aligned the vehicle, but the camber was .1 degrees out of the factory range and it could not be fixed unless I purchased a camber adjustment kit. I declined for the time being and I was out the door.

Now, I've noticed a constant, high-pitch squeal coming from the front of the vehicle. There is no grinding or roughness, just a high-pitch smooth squeal. It doesn't happen until I've driven the vehicle a bit. For example, I drove 10 miles this past Saturday (mixture of city/highway) and no noise. I get back on the highway and as soon as my speed hits 45mph and higher, the constant, high-pitch squeal occurs. It sounds it's coming from the front passenger side, but I'm not sure.


  • If I apply the brakes, the noise goes away
  • If I turn the steering wheel to the left, the noise goes away
  • If I turn the steering wheel to the right, the noise stays the same
  • If I slow down under 45mph the noise goes away
Odd? I brought the vehicle to another local shop and had them inspect it. They said my front brake pads still had 60-70% and rotors were in good shape. They mentioned the brake assembly was hotter than it should be (it was 95 degrees outside, of course it's going to be hot!). The shop recommended taking apart the front brakes, cleaning and lubing. I figured 'wth' and had them perform the work (about $50). If it worked, great. If it didn't, at least I could mark it off my troubleshooting list.

I didn't notice any abnormal noises the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, the next day, the same problem surfaced. The annoying high-pitch squeal is back. I haven't noticed degraded braking performance, but nevertheless, the noise shouldn't be occurring. I'm hesitant to take it to the dealership yet since they'll undoubtedly charge a $90 fee to look at the vehicle. I have no problem taking it another shop I trust that will perform no-cost inspections, but before doing that I wanted to see if anyone had suggestions or troubleshooting steps?

Any ideas what could be causing this?

Thanks!
 

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Both front wheels?
Did they rotate the tires?
If so, the new pull (torquing) or impact gunned on lug nuts in conjunction with corrosion and pitting on hub and wheel causes the lug nut to tug slightly more or less on the rotor.That's another issue...you must clean the hub and all mounting surfaces of the wheel. Remove by wire bushing the rims (where the inside of wheel and rotor meet) and hub of rust and corrosion or the wheel will never sit right even if torqued correctly because of the corrosion not allowing the wheels to sit PERFECTLY on it's wheel and hub mating surface. I also apply never sieze to the hub and where the hub sits inside the wheel, but That's not your problem. This just exacerbates the slow release (the real trouble) of pressure of the pads rubbing still rubbing and heating up and expanding and rubbing (dominoe effect)
pull the caliper pins, clean and lube them with caliper grease. You can replace pads if the rotor is good if you wish. If it's still under warranty and you brought it to them before bring it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, it doesn't appear to be both wheels...only appears to be front passenger (from what I can hear while driving). Updates from today's ride home:


  • No, tires were not rotated after the alignment; however, the tires have been rotated after each oil change (every 5k miles)
  • Applying the brakes --> quiet intially
  • The squeal started approx 15 mins into my drive home.
  • The squeal started when I was driving at highway speeds (55-60 mph)
  • The squeal gets WORSE/more intense when I turn the wheel to the right
  • The squeal does NOT go away when I slow down to a stop; rather, it continues the remainder of my drive.
  • Once the squeal has started, my brakes will squeal loudly in stop/go traffic (from stop to 20 mph and back to a stop). Appears to be primarily the front-passenger side
  • The squeal continues to get worse when the wheel is turned towards the right, but goes away when turned towards the left.
 

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check the dust shield behind the rotor. They are thin metal and easily bent by debris, wrenches and careless "techs". if it gets bent in toward the rotor it will make a high pitched squeal.
 

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Doesn't seem likely, but possibly a wheel bearing. I've had both of mine changed and other people have had issues. Mine made a clunking noise when accelerating and decelerating, along with a constant rumbling noise that was faint.
 

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What you're describing sounds like a wheel bearing, but OTOH a bad bearing should never be able to last 7K miles. Here's one thing you can try which should rule out this being a bearing problem. You would need a long piece of road where you would likely not need to use the brakes. Plus it has to have a place where you can coast to a stop also without needing to use the brakes (and of course be able to do it safely!).. Something like an uphill highway exit with a big parking lot on one side. You want to go let's say 6+ miles without using the brakes at all (and not use them hard before either). Then when you coast to a stop and check the wheels, none of them should be hot, or even very warm - all about the same temp. Naturally a dragging brake could heat up a wheel also, but you've had lots of eyes on those brakes, and it's hard to imagine it being a caliper problem causing a dragging brake pad. But if one is hot, then it would probably have to be either a bad bearing or a dragging brake. Did the pulling left start around the same time as the noise?
 

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That is really annoying, it must be driving you nuts. If the brakes are fine, then it's the left wheel bearing. Take it to the dealer, and if it's the wheel bearing, it's covered under the powertrain warranty. With my car, they dealer used chassis ears to determine the cause of the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My mechanic called this morning and his recommendation was to perform a brake fluid flush. He confirmed the brakes were lubed/cleaned from the last shop and everything appeared to be in working order. He couldn't replicate the squeal; however, he had my video to go on.

The mechanic mentioned that the rear pads were worn more than the front pads. This worried me at first since I was under the impression the front pads wore out much faster than rear pads. He explained that he's seen a trend in vehicles approx 2010 and newer where rear pads have had to be replaced before the front pads. Has anyone experienced similar wear patterns?

Anyway, once the system is flushed I'll see if the squeal returns. Since the brake system has been checked twice by two different shops, along with fresh fluid, I'm hoping this either solve the problem or narrow it down. We'll see...
 

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No joke, i'm having the EXACT same noise - everything you described is about identical. 2010 SX, 48,000 miles. It's driving me nuts. I took it in to the dealership and of course the noise wasn't present. They said my break pads were okay. I was going to change them myself tonight...but now I might not.

I watched your video and it's literally the exact same thing.

*edit - My noise started after they rotated my tires during my last oil change.
 

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On most modern cars the rears do wear faster. In case of many honda/acura's you'll replace them twice to every front replacement.
 

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Same issue

Wow. I'm having the exact same issue. 2011 EX with about 62K miles (Long commuter). I'm taking it to get it's 60K maintenance in this week, I will bring up everything you guys have mentioned lol. Hopefully can get rid of that noise.
 

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*edit - My noise started after they rotated my tires during my last oil change.[/QUOTE said:
I go with Bobzilla with the dust shield answer based on this information. They bent a shield installing the tires.
 

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I too have this squealing problem in my 2014 sedan ex. Only has 15000kms. It is spring here and lots of sand on the roads from winter so I just figured I got something stuck in the brakes. The car drives normal but there's this high pitched squealing. When I got home I took the pressure washer to my winter rims and cleaned all 4 rims. There was smoke coming off of the tire that was squealing. No smoke from any other tire. Lug nuts felt hot and its cold out. Lug nuts were not hot on any of the other tires.
Just wondering what the results of the brake flush were?????
I wasn't able to take my car out after washing the rims off so I will find out in the morning if the squealing comes back.
 

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Yep, 3 people posted the same problem on this thread and not one word of follow-up from anyone. Unfortunately typical of the how threads like this end up.
 

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i had the same problem , found a fix

check the brake shims on the inside of the caliper bracket,i noticed mine were a little flared out and so i bent them slightly inward and it stopped the problem but...currently im experiencing an ongoing problem when braking .a constant high pitch squeal when braking and i have replaced and cleaned the brakes various times but still continues and im considering it might be the rotors themselves , they may be warped or need a resurface job, let me know , thanks
 

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Appreciate the replies! Here's a video of the issue.
The sound you are hearing is from the brake pad wear indicator either from the front or rear brakes. I had the exact same sound on my 2010 Kia Forte ex. Depending on how you drive, (first one to the red light wins, or driving with your left foot too, takes a beating on your brake pads. Brake pads only last around 50,000 miles. Change all your brake pads, that sound will go away.
 
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