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Old 06-12-2009, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Front brake calipers creaking... Need help!

So my front brake calipers have been starting to creak whenever I brake. It's not a squeel or grinding noise just a high pitched creaking as I apply pressure on the break. The car does not need to be in motion for this to occur and braking power as not decreased. The noise however is definately from both front brake calipers and has been getting worse over the past few weeks. At first I thought that maybe the piston seals had worn and need rebuilt, witch would lead to fluid loss, but the fluid levels are all full.
Any ideas on what this would be? It obviously resinates through the whole car and at the frequency its at the radio volume is of no use in drownding out he noise So mark that one off the list as well as using a loud exhaust.

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd take the caliper off, inspect the pads and the pistons and post some pics.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you mean squealing? Disc brakes sometimes squeal, especially if the pads develop a glaze from not being used hard. Some more information here:
Disc brake squeal

It's usually harmless, but the article discusses some possible fixes if it bugs you.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fpitas View Post
Do you mean squealing? Disc brakes sometimes squeal, especially if the pads develop a glaze from not being used hard. Some more information here:
Disc brake squeal

It's usually harmless, but the article discusses some possible fixes if it bugs you.
Its definately not squealing as it does it even when car is parked and off. It happens mainly at the bottom of braking when you start to feel the pressure build in the the brake pedal when the car is off. While running and in motion this creaking sound occurrs inbetween medium braking and braking hard. This occurs well after pads make contact with the rotor. I've never heard this noise before coming from a brake caliper especially both front calipers at the same time. It is a very odd noise and I'm sure it sounds worse because it resinates through the car. You hear it both inside and outside. If you sit by either front wheel you can hear which of the two is creaking at an instant, though both will make the noise at one point or another.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by surferpkt View Post
Its definately not squealing as it does it even when car is parked and off. It happens mainly at the bottom of braking when you start to feel the pressure build in the the brake pedal when the car is off. While running and in motion this creaking sound occurrs inbetween medium braking and braking hard. This occurs well after pads make contact with the rotor. I've never heard this noise before coming from a brake caliper especially both front calipers at the same time. It is a very odd noise and I'm sure it sounds worse because it resinates through the car. You hear it both inside and outside. If you sit by either front wheel you can hear which of the two is creaking at an instant, though both will make the noise at one point or another.
It may be time to pull a wheel off and inspect things.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry to ask, but are you sure it is not the pedal assembly? Perhaps the pivot point has a bad bushing? That would explain why it happens without the car moving.

You say the master cylinder is full; if the pads are not new, it should not be entirely full.

Once the pads contact the rotor there really isn't any more motion, only pressure increase...
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 40mmBrakes View Post
Sorry to ask, but are you sure it is not the pedal assembly? Perhaps the pivot point has a bad bushing? That would explain why it happens without the car moving.

You say the master cylinder is full; if the pads are not new, it should not be entirely full.

Once the pads contact the rotor there really isn't any more motion, only pressure increase...
I'm in total agreeance with you, which is why I'm perplexed. The noise definately appears to be from both front calipers. Leaning in to listen it is coming from the caliper. I haven't had the time to remove them yet, but in my initial check the fluids where full, with just a slight orange appearance. The rear pads and the fronts have almost 3/4 pad life left or more. It is as if the pistons that push the pad are making the noise and this happens after the pad makes contact to the rotor and pressure is being increased (whether the car is in motion or not). It definately is a very piculiar sound almost as if an aluminum hinge is in a bind and being forced to move and it bounces back and forth from one wheel to the other. This does not affect the cars braking performance. I've checked the pedal assembly and hing and plunger are working find with no noise localized inside the cabin. The only noise I hear is outside resinating to the inside and it is definately from the outside.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Does the anti-squeal backing on the brake pad appear intact? I'm sure it's hard to tell when installed.

I just replaced pads on my jeep and went for a "spirited" break-in. The paint on the back of the pads bubbled and cracked and smelled... did this on several braking events but of course stopped after 10 min.

Last gasp would be to change the fluid. Maybe there is an odd mix of water and brake fluid and the pressure or heat is causing something. <--- After reading that it seems like I am almost making things up, since it can't make sense.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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surfer -

What a weird problem you have! From your complete description it almost sounds like the caliper bodies themselves are distorting from the pressure. You're definitely going to have to jack up the car and pull a wheel, then sit down by the caliper and inspect it as an assistant induces the noise with the brake pedal.

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Old 06-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you checked the cauter pins inside the caliper? They could be bent or missing. They hold the brake pad in place, and can cause such a noise.

A friend had this happen to him. They replaced the pins, (1 was missing), and it was all good.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag_Race50 View Post
Have you checked the cauter pins inside the caliper? They could be bent or missing. They hold the brake pad in place, and can cause such a noise.

A friend had this happen to him. They replaced the pins, (1 was missing), and it was all good.
I'm hoping to have some time later this week to pull a wheel and look into this further. I'll definately check the pins and snap some pics.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ok... I found the culprit. Never before have I ran into this issue on a car. Evidently brake dust had accumulated on and round the pistons getting inbetween the brake pad and the piston allowing some minor movement on the back of the pad. I'm not sure what type of pads are on the front calipers, as they came on the car when I bought it. Regular washing and cleaning didn't clear this. I had to flush out and really clean the calipers on and around the pistons to get the accumulated dust out. My guess is that it was the sound of the pistons slightly rubbing underpressure due to the brake dust accumulation between the pistons and the backplates of the pads. Once cleaned the noise has gone away and all seems fine. I didnt get pictures, sorry. Very odd eh...
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Banking on pad movement - or lack thereof. Siliglide from NAPA on the sliding surfaces of the pads worked on my BMW to correct this -

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Old 06-20-2009, 05:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The noise has once again returned. After a day of silence, the following day I drove 5 hours to Jaxonville to visit some friends and 4 hours into the trip the noise reappeared. Its not quiet as bad as previously, but definately back. Its more annoying than anything. I'll be up here for three weeks and don't have access to the proper tools needed to pull it apart again. Sigh... I'll be back on this subject later, and Rennstore you might be on to something I'll have to try that next.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I HAVE THE SOLUTION

Hey, I actually do not own a lotus, rather I am a die-hard Ford (especially mustang and Ford GT) guy who drives an 07 Mustang GT. However, I did run into the same issue as you did and figured out the problem. In short, this one really sucks because your pistons are basically dirty. You got the basic idea down but for the wrong area; the back of the pads don't matter. You actually have to disconnect the caliper, take apart the whole caliper, clean out all the parts (I used soap and water, which is safe as long as your pistons and caliper are not steel) especially the pistons, rubber boot, and seals, make sure they are bone dry, put it back together (this part is hard to do since you have to be mindful about keeping everything clean as you put it back together), and then bleed your brake lines. (Sorry for the super long run-on sentence ). I GUARANTEE you that will solve the problem. One thing to remember is that when you do put it back together just apply a small amount of DOT 3 brake fluid on the seal (once you've put the seal back in) to help put the pistons back in place, otherwise you will have a hell of a time. Also, you have to make sure you are putting the pistons in straight or they may get stuck if even at a slight angle.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:20 AM   #16 (permalink)
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and you're sure it's not the front suspension/bushings? It might sound like the brakes since when you brake, the front suspension would compress at the same time, causing any suspension sound to coincide with braking. Just a thought.

EDIT: Never mind. I just noticed the last response from the OP was a year ago. DOH!
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Look for pads that are worn thinner in the back and thicker in the front. This would make the pad cock under pressure and possible try to cock the piston. Under load it is believable that it would cause the creak you mention. If so, cure is new pads.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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hey surfer

did the mustangs trick sort your calipers out?

i have exactly the same problem. like you say no loss in performance etc, but just an awful creaking noise! it is definatly the calipers no question, and theres nothing obvious that i can see.

thanks guys
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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hey surfer

did the mustangs trick sort your calipers out?

i have exactly the same problem. like you say no loss in performance etc, but just an awful creaking noise! it is definatly the calipers no question, and theres nothing obvious that i can see.

thanks guys
No, It was just an accumulation of brake dust in the calipers that lead to the creaking. I gave them a good cleaning along with a high pressure rinse and they've been fine for a few months... Though, as of yesterday it is has started again, so it time for another good cleaning. This has only happened on the front calipers by the way.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thread resurrection.

I have a similar issue. A creaking sound when I press the brake pedal. It occurs only in the last part of the brake pedal travel. It is reproducible even if the car is off.
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