:( Brakes loud squeak after years of best parts replacements repeatedly

Longtime listener, supporter & fan! This car has been great. The only thing that has been returning is this loud squeaking shortly after they clean, lubricate & put in the “best of the best” parts.
Starting around 2012, coincidently months after someone rear-ended me into another car, the breaks when replaced have never been the same. It is most loud in slow braking or most noticeable, occasionally super loud on fast stop & continual swoosh swoosh with the dust pan not straight that is to be addressed from recent work done.
All receipts since 2012, with some multiple times to address this:
New pads / best they said ceramic
New rotors a couple times
Rak & pinion
Brake calipers
alignments - They all pass well so they figured not a body prob post accident/body shop work likely ok
wheel cylinder brake
new struts
motor mounts a few times
new tires
ball joint
Even a few times where they just took all 4 wheels brakes out, cleaned & lubricated for brief silence only to return.
We tried some of this to try to reduce the vibration of the car to see if the parts don’t vibrate to cause sound.
The only thing that they are trying find now is replacement dust covers that protect the front brake area from stuff as the old ones are not in good shape they claim. One is even touching as the wheel turns & they cut a part of it.
They say they are out of ideas & are open to me taking it somewhere that might specialize if someone has an idea. I can get a new car, but reading online it seems some people with new cars have this same issue after a brake job so I would love to know. Thank you so very much. It is a 97

The devil is in the details. Were the pad shims all replaced? Were the rotors deglazed? Were the calipers properly lubricated? And if all that is confirmed there is usually no alternative other than installing original equipment pads on new or freshly(properly) machined rotors.

May be ceramic pads are the problem, or part of it. More than one parts man has told me they get more complaints about ceramics than they do about others. High pitched sound the complaint.

Yes to all Rod-Knox says, above.

You can do some diagnosis yourself: when underway, apply the rear brakes only and see if you get the sound. You do this with the parking brake lever, keeping your thumb on the button so you can modulate the amount of force you are applying to the rear shoes/drums.

Noisy brakes don’t usually affect performance but they drive some people crazy. I have a 2012 Camry with aftermarket Car Quest ceramic pads and rotors. They are silent but I rep;aced them myself with new hardware and I filed the caliper slides flat and coated them with syl-glide before I put on the new stainless steel clips. In our climate, rust builds up under the clips locking the caliper in place so it can’t slide.

If I had that problem and couldn’t deal with the squeaking any longer I’d take the car to a Toyota dealership and have them replace the rotors and pads with the oem versions. Alert the techs to make sure they install the full compliment anti-squeal shims & gadgets. You best bet to avoid brake squeals, avoid after-market parts which are claimed to be “the best”. Use the manufacture’s oem parts instead.

A less expensive way for a diy’er which might work, assuming the existing rotors meet all dimensional specs: Buy oem pads from a dealership and install them yourself. Make sure to use some sandpaper to rough up and deglaze the surface of the rotors. I do it with 160 grit AlO2 sandpaper, sanding in a radial direction (so the sanding lines are 90 degrees to the direction of wheel rotation). I also usually rough up the surface of the pads a little, and round off the edges slightly. Make sure everything is clean as a whistle. I usually spray off the area with a garden hose very thoroughly as the initial part of the job. You don’t want 5 years of old brake dust shaking down into your new brakes the first drive .

I get OEM parts much cheaper online than the local dealer will sell them. Generally the local Toyota dealer will price match, but it’s not worth the hassle to me, so I get them online and shipped to the house.

For example, an OEM grill for my wife’s 2013 Highlander was $289 at the dealership, same part, part #, etc was $189 online. Dealership price matched that one. Just something to be aware of on pricing.

I recently replaced the brakes with OEM parts on the Highlander also. I just bought them online and skipped the dealership this time though.

I agree on the fancy brake pads. I’ve had better luck with OEM or Napa mid grade pads vs the “best of the best” pads as far as noise.

Hi everyone, I finally got to talk the mechanic today. As an FYI, he is now semi-retired, even does house calls. Been working with him for over 15 yrs & most of the time, we would even go buy the part together from dealer or other with his shop discount. I am hoping it is just quality problems with aftermarket on some of these parts

@shanonia - Thanks for the tip & good to know about ceramics

@oldtimer-11 - Thats good to know. I am in SE florida a couple miles from the beach…

@George_San_Jose1 - I think Ill just take it to the dealer at this point to make sure the noise if gone for good both my mechanic & i hope for.

@Scrapyard_John - Darn, wish I hit this chat area back then. Ill try the dealer on this one & know for future as my mechanic is even afraid of getting the parts with me & doing it then Toyo claiming the instal was not done right etc - Thanks

Much appreciated help. Ill see how soon they can get me in to report back here.

Yes to all 3. Some of the work was even done right in our driveway (see my post a bit ago about the relationship with this mechanic) Supposedly the auto parts place said this was the same manufacturer that makes the toyo parts & even replaced them for free including the rotors to no luck. He knows ill likely take to dealer now (asking they give me all these new parts that were installed so I can keep as squeaky backup) -

Please do keep us posted of your progress @JojoToyo. And good luck.

Will do. Thanks - I submitted an appointment online with dealer for this weekend. Hopefully, this is it! All paws are crossed

Looks like it will be next weekend now. At that point, this would be my favorite Xmas Present, the loud squeaking gone! I have been spoiled with the house call mechanic getting the car at home & sometimes even doing stuff right in the driveway weekdays while I work. Now, weekend it is for dealer when I can break away.

All paws are crossed that going dealer parts does the trick!


1- $975 later (keeping the parts that were new) They ended up having to not only do the front brakes but the back were a mess & had not been changed in a while. All the noise is gone with the parts the dealer used! Yay. I have saved a lot with my mechanic so happy to spend the dealer costs once In a while…

2- also, we purchased the 2018 Toyota IA (That is really formally the Scion IA that is really the Mazda 2 not sold in the US right now). Love it as its like just getting the new version of the 97 Tercel - Ill just have to see if its just as reliable. My lil sis will drive the Tercel now. Thanks for all your tips.

@shanonia @oldtimer-11 @George_San_Jose1 @Scrapyard_John @Rod_Knox

Good for you JoJo. Glad you are back on the road with squeak free brakes. It’s a pretty common thing here that when the owner switches to using the oem dealership brake components it fixes the squeaks straight away. You wouldn’t think it would make that much difference, but somehow it does.

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Thank you - We will also be enjoying the Yaris IA (Aka Scion IA-Mazda 2)

I think one of posters here – The Same Mountainbike – has a version of the Scion IA vehicle too.

Great -We were told at first a while back when we tested the Yaris, they would not be making the sedan w/trunk anymore, the only hatchback. Now with the end of Scion since the millennials didn’t buy them as they thought, they just called this Scion IA the new Yaris but it does not even say it on the back of the car.

A TC coupe, IIRC. Very different vehicle.

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Yup, it’s a totally different vehicle from the iA. I test drove the iA (as well as the xB) before I bought the tC. Very different vehicles.
It used (it isn’t made anymore) the same powertrain as the Camry with different shift points and a bit more pep. I test drove the Camry when I bought the tC as well.

Re: the OP’s brake problem, I’m happy to hear you got the problem resolved. Sometimes a new set of eyes can make more progress than the original set of eyes.

Happy motoring.

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I use just OEM pads now and still use anti-squeal on the backs. Maybe its not necessary anymore but I’ve never had noisy brakes.