Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Whining noise backing out in morning on damp days

I have a 2000 Ford Ranger that makes a whining/squealing noise when I back out of the driveway in the morning, but only on damp/humid days. It usually does it once and then never happens the rest of the day. It seems to come from the rear of the vehicle. I do have a lot of rust everywhere, so I’m thinking that moisture might be aggravating the rust somewhere. I got new drum brakes installed a year ago, so that shouldn’t be it. I do notice that my parking brake sometimes sticks in the morning, so maybe this has something to do with it? Could it be the rear axle/differential? Not sure where to start on this one.

could be surface rust on your rotors building overnight. Once you start backing up or applying the breaks the pads remove the rust and you won’t hear it again until you park the car for a lengthy period of time, i.e. overnight.

Take a look at the rotors in the morning before starting the car, then drive it around the block, applying the breaks softly a few times and very likely the rust and noise will be gone. Happens to my SUV frequently when parked for a long time.
Edit: oops, just noticed you said drum breaks. Kind of hard to view the inside without taking them off. I still feel that this is your problem.

If your driveway is fairly level don’t apply the parking brake on damp or rainy nights to see if it makes a difference. The cable to the parking brake might need lubricated so it will fully release.

1 Like

Newish drums will still rust quickly so that could be the problem. If so, it should go away after the first couple of brakings. It may not be the brakes though, could be a belt in the engine compartment is complaining a little when the engine is cold.

Try parking the other way around for a while, so you don’t have to go into reverse in the moring. See if that changes anything.

Well, I looked at the brake drums and the outside of both of them are horribly rusted just a year after being installed. Is this unusual? I don’t know what the insides look like yet, but I imagine this could very well be the problem. I am going to try to keep the parking brake disengaged for a while to see if it makes a difference.

No, it is not unusual, especially in areas with high humidity. The outside of the drum has a porous surface, which makes it prone to rust, Unless there are other reason to be concerned, i.e. not braking, I would not be too concerned about the inside of the drum. It’s nice and clean after the brake shoes take off the surface rust, if any, with the first few applications of the brakes. It may cause the brake pads to wear down a little quicker than usual, but not by much.

I get a similar noise under the same conditions on both my Toyota 4Rumner and Sienna. Both vehicles started making the noise after the brake pads were replaced. I just don’t worry about it


Sorry, I am on vacation (driving to Colorado tomorrow from Maryland) and am thinking of “breaks” not “brakes”.

Pretty much everybody is right ↑ but to make it stop (if it is bothersome) bevel the leading and trailing edges of the friction material on the rear brake shoes. I use a small electric grinder, wear a respirator.
I hear this complaint a lot here in Seattle, and this fix works every time.