Marital dispute

My wife thinks her Honda Accord 98 is better than my Volvo E70 98. I disagree, BUT, Volvo’s breaks brakes have had to be replaced 3 times in 4mos, after failing on a road trip to Vermont. The mechanic who did the work is very skilled, honest as the day is long. I have complete faith in him. Still, he cannot explain why the brakes still groan after three changes (at his expense). And they groan when I come to a stop still. If I can get this problem resolved, I am willing to bet my wife that a neutral driver will find my Volvo a better car than her Honda. Can you resolve the brake problem, and ultimately the marital discord.

The marital discord is coming from you and only you can change it. Brake problems seem to be hard to resolve. The other problem is easy if you try.

Wife is always right. Let he believe that she has the better car, otherwise she would be asking for a new Volvo.

Divorce. Sorry, it’s the only way. :frowning:

Agree with wife. Were the brake parts genuine Volvo parts or other aftermarket parts? Found on my Volvo that other brands of parts made for noiesy brakes. Did all the parts get replaced? springs, clips, shields?

Better is completely subjective. Personally I dislike both cars.

Let her think her car is better for her.

By what criteria are you judging “better?” This is entirely subjective. You could ask ten people and get ten different answers.

You’re asking for trouble.

Unless the OP and his wife are adolescents, disagreements like this are, to put it bluntly…childish. Do these married adults really spend their time arguing over whose car “is better”?

Your mechanic should check at the auto parts store for products, such as pastes, shims, etc., to quiet brake pads. Sometimes, one has luck with a different brand.

If you read enough reliability reports you will find that Honda Accords are BETTER cars with respect to reliability, long life, and cost of repairs.

However, I think Volvos have better seats (if that’s important to you), sturdier and safer bodies (only good when you crash), and that’s about it. However, Volvos also have that solid feeling that convinces you you are actually driving a better car; sort of like buying a top of the line, solid, refrigerator from an unreliable manufacturer.

So there are many definitons of what is good; if overall life cycle cost and reliability are the determinants, the Accord wins by a country mile!! My brother still drives his 1987 Accord because it is still cost-effective and reliable to operate. Any 22 year old Volvo would be an unforgiving money pit that would tax your patience.

So, your wife appears to be right which car is better; however if you only judge the seats and the crashworthiness, the Volvo is clearly better.

The way the OP asked his question, the whole thing does sound quite childish.

I don’t care which car is better or how many times brakes need to be replaced, to me there is nothing more important than spouses being supportive of each other.

This question about which car is better is subjective … and childish. Both cars have advantages and disadvantages. If only their owners could find more important things to argue about … like which comic book superhero is the most powerful.

The brake noise might be caused from improper break-in procedures after the brake components are replaced. The two important criterias that must be meet before this break-in procedure is performed is, the correct friction material on the brake pads and the proper friction surfaces on the brake rotors. Once this has been met, the vehicle is driven at a speed of 30-40 MPH’s. Then the brakes are applied firmly to slow the vehicle down as quickly as possible without lock-up/ABS application. This is repeated a half a dozen times leaving at least a minute between brake applications to allow the brakes to cool down. Doing this embeds the new brake pads into the new rotors and also performs a friction material transfer between the brake pads and the rotors. It’s this friction material transfer that helps to prevent brake noise.

So if there was no break-in procedure performed after doing the brake job, that groaning noise will never go away.


What are the brand of brake pads being used??? I’ve had problem with some cheap generic pads. Good results with Wagner, OEM and even Raybestos.

Maybe it’s possible this groan is not from the brakes at all and could be from a sway bar bushing, control arm bushing, spring pad, etc.

Apply the brakes, the nose dives, and any of those things can creak or groan.
Go to each front corner and try bouncing the car up and down pretty hard. If you hear any noise, even subtle ones, it could be that the brakes are getting the blame for something they’re not doing.

The groaning you hear is coming from me. It’s not your brakes, it’s your desire to win this one. Who, besides you, cares that you think your car is better? That’s right, no one.

The Car Talk brothers have told you many times that the most powerful 2 words to save a marriage are, “Yes, dear.”