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Brake Pad Indicator

Old 10-25-2010, 11:32 AM
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Default Brake Pad Indicator

I have a 2005 A8L. Is there some sort of indicator that should come on when I am in need of new breaks? Just yesterday I started hearing a high pitched squeal coming from my front end when I came to a complete stop but no indicators have come on. I spoke with my mechanic that "said" he recently checked my breaks and they were good and it could possibly just be dirt causing the noise...any insight??
Old 10-25-2010, 11:55 AM
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It could be dirt. Have you had your 8 since new? It could be that a previous owner defeated the brake-wear indicator (it annoys some people, for some reason), which takes, like 10-seconds/wheel (if you do it while you're doing teh brakes), so, like 40-seconds, MAX... Your wear-indicator light should definitely come on way before the breaks start to squeal.

Could be a loose shim (aftermarket pads generally come with shims which are supposed to attenuate the vibrations that are causing that annoying squeal).

You could end up spending 4-5x what new pads would cost trying to chase down that squeal. Of course, you could spring for new pads, only to find out they still squeal.

Were it ME, I'd pull the wheel, eyeball the pad and see if it looks low (like, less than 1/4" of material left - which doesn't include teh backing-plate, BTW). If so... New pads & fingers crossed. If they look fine (1/2" or more of material), pop out the pads, put a little dab of *special* grease (found at pretty much ANY auto parts store) smack in the middle of the backing plate and re-install the pad & fingers crossed.

If you're lucky, stopping a brake-squeal is cheap & easy (especially if you DIY). If your first solution doesn't work, it can become frustrating, annoying, and expensive (to the point where you'll eventually put up with it until your next brake-job, where it will either mysteriously dissappear; or, continue to haunt you).

Good luck.

Some of the ACTUAL car techs may have a "secret" solution to finding and stopping the Squeals. I'm not a tech, so, I do what I said, above & fingers crossed.
Old 10-25-2010, 07:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Even if the outer pads look good, I'd definitely want to get a look at the inner pads...installed is possible with wheel off. If the thickness of all pads look OK, I check the following:

I've seen some aftermarket pads (don't know what you have) glaze over, almost like a glass coating, from heat, which most good pads should not do unless there was a caliper problem...I've had this lead to premature squealing, even with good pad anti-vibration backing. In this case, I pulled the pads and sanded off the glaze and got quiet pads again, for a while.

Sometimes pads, especially aftermarkets that aren't perfect OEM "plate" and tab dimensions, can settle into the caliper as they wear and caliper builds up dust/dirt/corrosion in the pad guides (where they slide open & closed) and not move completely freely, which can cause squeal. A quick cure (most of the time) for this, that has worked well for me, is to back up at high speed and hit the brakes forces the pads in the opposite direction they've been pushed to for many miles and tends to break them loose from the stuck-squealing more squeal for many miles (sometimes never again), if this was the cause. If it starts up again, do another "backward adjustment."

Just a couple of guesses, from personal experience.

Last edited by silverd2; 10-26-2010 at 10:06 PM.
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