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Brakes 2001 Sonoma

When I apply my brakes I hear a high pitched whine. I thought the pads needed replaced, but upon checking them there appears to be plenty of pad left. What else could this noise be? It’s only when I apply the brake that I hear this, I suspect it may be something with the brake line but am not experienced enough to be sure.


Tom, how long has this been happening? Was there anything changed by a mechanic prior to this noise starting? If nothing has been changed and it is more of a squeal:
It could be the pad material against the actual rotor that you hear. If the rotors are polished smooth by the brake pads it can cause this effect, a break squeal effectively.
I have a break squeal problem with my wife’s Dodge Magnum. I can take the pads off and rub them lightly with 120 grit sand paper along with the rotor, using a sanding block and just rolling the rotor around, and my sound goes away for about 1K miles. I don’t have a positive corrective solution for this yet on her car and we just live with it.
If it is more like a whine, I don’t have a clue.

First off, ask someone who knows how to check the brake pads for thickness if you don’t have experience, you may be misinterpreting what you are seeing and the pads could appear to be ok, but actually worn out. Worn out brake pads is the most common explanation.

If the brake pads are confirmed to still be well within their wear limit, you may have glazed rotors and/or pads. Trying what @W30post says with the sandpaper is a good idea. If it works though – that’s often a symptom of the pads deteriorating, and you’re probably going to need to replace the pads and possibly have the rotors resurfaced eventually to get rid the the problem once and for all. Ask your mechanic to install the brand of pads recommended by the manufacturers. Some brands of brake pads seem to work better on certain makes of cars.

Another cause of this kind of brake noise – less likely unless the noise starts soon after a pad replacement – is bad or missing shims.

Thanks guys. I took the pads off this weekend for a better look, it was the pads all along. Thanks for your help though, I’m sure I’ll need more in the future!