Hey, I need some advice from some people who know their way around a car. The first thing is I’ve noticed the breaks have started to squeal, mostly when I brake from a low speed. This probably isn’t good, but is it something to worry about? Should I get it repaired, and how much would such a procedure typically cost? Also, I have noticed that on higher speeds the car starts to make a wailing noise. What could that be? I would really appreciate some advice before I go on over to the mechanics. The car isn’t new, its a hyundai elantra 2002.
Many cars have a little piece of matal that rubs on the brake rotor when the pads are worn and due for replacement. Can’t say about your particular model, but it’s a possible cause of the noise.
How many miles on the car and have the brake pads ever been replaced?
Previous answer has good info, but there’s something else that might cause this: condensation. With weather cooling off (a bit) where I am, but humidity still pretty high, it’s not at all uncommon for my brakes to squeal like a sumbitch first thing in the morning. It’s just a thin layer of rust on the braking surfaces being scraped off.
Cheap brake pads will also cause a low speed squeal too. Most places will check your brake pads for free, replacement can be from $50 to $300 depending on other parts and services that may be needed. I have no idea about the wailing noise, do you know where it is coming from?
Low speed squeal can be a worn pad indicator, rust on the rotors, dirt embedded in the pads, worn out brake pads, or just cheap brake pads.
Pick one. Impossible to tell without an inspection.
High speed wail? Sorry, I got nothing, as I don’t have enough info to even guess.
Is the noise speed related, or engine speed related?
Does it only happen with your foot on the gas, or all the time?
Are all the windows rolled up? Are yo sure?
Does the sound seem to come from any one area? Window/door, right side left side, front back etc?
Does the noise go away when if you let off on the throttle and coast?
Does it go away if you shift to neutral and coast?
Is it a stick or auto trans?
Does it happen all the time or only when warm?
Only when cold?
does it only happen when you drive near a certain wall?
Thanks a lot for the feedback guys. Some answers to things i forgot to mention:
The car has about 90k miles on it. The break pads are old. They were sharpened a couple weeks ago. I do have replacement break pads, so I guess those can be replaced if need be.
Is the noise speed related, or engine speed related? Not sure, possibly speed related.
Does it only happen with your foot on the gas, or all the time? - It seems to happen when I have my foot on the gas.
Are all the windows rolled up? Are yo sure? Yes, all the windows are rolled up.
Does the sound seem to come from any one area? Window/door, right side left side, front back etc? - It seems to come from under the car, towards the front.
Does it go away if you shift to neutral and coast? - Don’t know, haven’t tried that.
Is it a stick or auto trans? - Auto transmission
Does it happen all the time or only when warm?- Since I live in Florida, so far warm is the only way its been since i got the car.
does it only happen when you drive near a certain wall? Heh, not that i’ve noticed.
Sorry to say, that’s nonsensical. “Sharpening” is not something that’s done to any brake components.
In this context, warm does not refer to the weather, but to the mechanicals of the car. After sitting for several hours, and certainly for overnight, the engine, transmission, and drivetrain are considered cold. So the question is, does it happen even during the first few minutes of operation after the car has sat for hours, or does it only do it after the car has been run for a while and therefore warmed up?
Which isn’t to say an unscrupulous mechanic might not offer to do it. If yours does, you should decline. Also decline offers of headlight fluid and windshield wiper lube.
Hmmm… Maybe “sharpening” was the wrong word for it. They did do something to the break pads, due to the car not breaking very well. After they worked on the pads, the breaks worked a lot better.
Oh, sorry I misunderstood the part with the engine. The wailing happens on a warm engine, when I manage to get onto the main road.
It’s BRAKE pads. Please, carry on.
It sounds as if someone may have “turned” or “faced” the rotors (the rotors are turned on a special lathe or rotary table to create a flat surface), assuming that the brakes are disc brakes. There is nothing anyone should be doing to the pads other than inspecting or replacing them.
Regarding the wailing noise, I have no idea and I don’t think it’s possible for someone to give you a credible diagnosis on a message board. You should take the car to a recommended mechanic and have them drive with you so they can investigate the sound properly. It could be anything from worn engine bearings to a misaligned timing belt. It might be something innoculous, fixed by a quick adjustment, or it may be something that’ll blow up your engine if you let it go much longer. Get it looked at by a professional.
ok, thanks everyone for your advice. I’ll go and get everything looked at by a mechanic tommorow.
Sorry for the double post, no way to edit for guests i guess.
Just a clarification with the brakes, I know i caused some confusion and my cluelessness with the car stuff really shows. The brake rotors were resurfaced, thats what it is. Not sharpened or whatever else i may have said. Also, a friend of mine suggested the squealing may be related to a belt and that it should be replaced.