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2005 Toyota Corolla with creaking brakes

My car (55,000 miles) has a creaking noise that goes right along with applying the brakes. My mechanics (who I chose from their recommendation on Car Talk) have replaced the rotors, the brake pads, and a bolt in the right front control arm that was the wrong size (from repairs to the front right before I got the car).

It is quiet for a week or so and starts up again.

I am very frustrated! This doesn’t happen unless I’m braking. Everything else in the car is fine.

This is my eighth Toyota, and I expected it to run just as nicely as the previous ones!

I don’t know the history of the car; the mechanics say maybe the right front was wrecked and repaired, or someone just hit the curb very hard on that side.

Whatever the reason, I have this awful creaking noise whenever I brake and I don’t know what to do!

PS, They also replaced the hub bearing last time the car was in (two weeks ago). I forgot that.

My feeling is that the creaking may not be the brakes at all. It could very well be a creaking sway bar bushing, strut spring mount, or a lower control arm bushing. The former is a very common problem with many cars and 4-5 years of aged rubber could do it.

Try pushing down repeatedly, and hard, on each front fender or have someone do it for you and note if you hear this noise. If you do, odds are it’s a sway bar bushing and those are easily lubed or replaced.