Toyota Camry CE 2001 - Terrible brake problems


ykopeliovich
09-01-2006, 08:11 PM
Guys please help - i have no idea what to do!

I got this car a month ago and the brakes are so noisy that I need to wear protective gear on my ears each time i break. The noise is excrutiating.

I took the car to the mechanic. He replaced the brake pads 3 times (not kidding). After each replacement i drove for 2 days and the noise started again. The 3rd time I came to his shop he said that the front tires are worn out so the brakes have hard time braking. I replaced my tires. I bought Dunlop tires but nothing helped. Then i heard from a friend of mine that it is probably becuase the brake pads that the mechanic installed are cheap knock offs. I went online and bought OEM brake pads (top of the line). I came to the mechanic's shop and he said that these pads are incredible and that there should be no noise anymore. Well 5 days passed by and the noise started again. I swear i don't even brake much. I use my transmission when i am braking (i am so sick of using my brakes).

So what should i do now? Should i change the drums? If that's the case, which drum brand should I buy? and where? any ideas?

Thanks so much for your great help and understanding,

Yours

YK

AccordCodger
09-01-2006, 09:16 PM
The first thing - obviously - is to find out whether the noise is from the front or the rear. Does it do it at all speeds? If so, then have a friend walk beside the car while you drive slowly with the brakes on. Does it depend how hard you brake?

It's an odd problem, but there are just too many unanswered questions here.

(And, by the way, the bit about worn tires making "the brakes have a hard time braking" is ignorant crap. The mechanic is an idiot.)

xfeejayx
09-01-2006, 10:58 PM
(And, by the way, the bit about worn tires making "the brakes have a hard time braking" is ignorant crap. The mechanic is an idiot.)

Most definately agree.

If you have already replaced pads, the only other thing i'd imagine it being is the discs (not drums if you have 'pads'. If you had drums it would be 'shoes'). If you had drums, it would only be in the rear. So, Like AccordCodger said, figure out where it is. I'm thinking regardless of what speeds its at, if its only while braking, and goes away for a bit when you change pads, its gotta be the pads or the discs.
BUT (always a but) it might be caused by something else being out of alignment, causing your discs or pads to wear abnormaly or super fast, so replacing pads or discs wouldn't help. Take it to another mechanic and have them give your brake system a good look. If they say everything seems aligned and true, next step would be discs.

BTW, did you have to pay for parts and labor for all three sets of pads?! If you did, go give that mechanic a swift kick in the ass. You shouldn't have to pay because he can't figure out the problem.

Daniel M. Dreifus
09-02-2006, 11:51 AM
[QUOTE=ykopeliovich]Guys please help - i have no idea what to do!

I got this car a month ago and the brakes are so noisy that I need to wear protective gear on my ears each time i break. The noise is excrutiating.

I took the car to the mechanic. He replaced the brake pads 3 times
=================================================
First, find a better mechanic.
Better mechanics know how to install brakes so they operate quietly.
Second, stay with the Toyota parts. Toyota has gone through several revisions to get quiet, long lasting materials.
Third, make sure they are installing the "shim kit" and "fit kit" for the brake pads.
The fit kit includes spring clips that center that pads in the calipers, and hold them in position.
The shim kit includes two shims that go on the back of the brake pads, held in place with high temperature grease. Tell the mechanic to use synthetic brake grease. The grease dampens any vibrations that originate at the brake pad backing plates so you have nice quiet braking.

ykopeliovich
09-02-2006, 02:32 PM
Guys,

Thank you all for your great help. Your replies are detailed and very helpful indeed. I appreciate it!

I will let you know how it goes.

Cheers!

Toysrme
09-02-2006, 03:28 PM
Re-use the shims, apply anti-squeal to every mating surface on the pads & rip off the brake squeal indicators. Problem solved. Make sure to monitor pad wear when you take the indicators off.

Do you have rear disk brakes, or rear drum brakes?

davemac2
09-03-2006, 04:12 PM
go to another mechanic for sure. This one sounds like an idiot. As already said, you need to make sure the anti-squeal shims are re-installed on the pads and a little anti-squeal orange liquid is put on them to be sure. Also get the rotors re-surfaced if possible or replaced. If the squeal is only happening with brakes being applied, you may also have a sticky or seized caliper somewhere. You may be able to find it by braking hard a few times, then getting out of the car and shooting an IR temp gun at the rotors to see if there is a large difference in temp readings between them. May or may not work. Alternatively, find a large warehouse wall somewhere on a Sunday and drive close to it on both sides with your windows down to see if you can at least isolate it to a particualr side.

davemc

AccordCodger
09-03-2006, 08:05 PM
If the squeal is only happening with brakes being applied, you may also have a sticky or seized caliper somewhere.
I'm not sure I follow the logic of that.

xfeejayx
09-04-2006, 12:09 AM
I'm not sure I follow the logic of that.

Going to have to agree with AccordCodger again...Wouldn't they squeal all the time if the caliper were seized?

With as long as you've had your problem (3 sets of pads worth) if your caliper were seized you would have roached a rotor by now and had pretty bad runout>would cause steering wheel to shake and brake pedal to vibrate. If you don't have that I wouldn't worry about a caliper.

Just find a good mechanic, all your problems will be solved.

ykopeliovich
09-06-2006, 02:22 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the great responses. I already learned a ton about car brakes.

In any rate, a friend of mine was walking beside my car while i was braking. The noise comes when I brake softly at very low speeds. So basically when the car is close to a halt then the sound goes off loudly. When i press the brake strongly there is no sound. We checked and apparently the sound comes out of the front brakes (the very same brakes I have changed three times). Since the last set of brake pads were OEM the sound is not as loud as with previous sets but still i am very frustrated.

I went to another mechanic that was bullshiting me right and left. He suggested that I replace the drums or the rotors or discs (not sure if its the same thing or which one of them my camry has. Pardon my ignorance).

Should I also buy the rotors/drums.discs?

Here are some links for drums/rotors for the Camry 2001. Which one you guys think i should get. Or I shouldn't...

http://replacement.autopartswarehouse.com/parts/autopartswarehouse/wizard.jsp?year=2001&make=TO&model=CAM-6-002&part=Brake%20Drum&dp=true

http://replacement.autopartswarehouse.com/parts/autopartswarehouse/wizard.jsp?year=2001&make=TO&model=CAM-6-002&part=Brake%20Disc&dp=true

Thank you so much for your tremendous help!

AccordCodger
09-06-2006, 09:41 PM
ykopeliovich, you are giving us VERY different information now. I now assume your comment about ear protection was sarcasm/exaggeration. It might have helped if you'd said that at the outset.

OK - so you have a squeal at low speeds and light braking. The symptom is indicative of installation of brake pads without shims and/or without brake grease. Or of the mechanic leaving off one of the seveal important small parts. (Or of worn-out pads, but in the circumstances that hardly seems likely).

As the noise is from the front, then it's disks, not drums.

For crying out loud, don't you have any reputable mechanics in your town? This isn't rocket science, but it's VERY hard to daignose without actually being there.

ykopeliovich
09-07-2006, 02:13 PM
Dear AccordCodger,

Thanks for your help.

I wasn't exaggerating about the loudness of the squeal. It is very loud. Not as loud when I had the previous two generic brake pads but still people are turning around and looking at me each time I brake.

The reason why I wanted to use this forum is because I am a complete ignorant idiot when it comes to cars. I have been scammed so many times by mechanics – you cannot even imagine. I am a poor student with very low disposable cash so I figured using this forum might help me in isolating and finding a decent mechanic who might tell the truth or at least do a decent job of replacing the brake pads.

I will continue looking for a good mechanic. I just hope that this brake problem won’t become equivalent to the cost of this crappy car.

Thanks for everything.

Mike Gerber
09-07-2006, 03:49 PM
Dear AccordCodger,

Thanks for your help.

I wasn't exaggerating about the loudness of the squeal. It is very loud. Not as loud when I had the previous two generic brake pads but still people are turning around and looking at me each time I brake.

The reason why I wanted to use this forum is because I am a complete ignorant idiot when it comes to cars. I have been scammed so many times by mechanics – you cannot even imagine. I am a poor student with very low disposable cash so I figured using this forum might help me in isolating and finding a decent mechanic who might tell the truth or at least do a decent job of replacing the brake pads.

I will continue looking for a good mechanic. I just hope that this brake problem won’t become equivalent to the cost of this crappy car.

Thanks for everything.



At the top of the main Camry forum page there is a generation 4 manual (1997-2001)stickied at the top, for free downloading. Download it and read up, particularly on the brake section. Even if you never attempt to do any work yourself, knowledge can go a long way toward preventing unsrupulous mechanics from taking advantage of you. As AccordCodger stated, "this isn't rocket science."

Mike

AccordCodger
09-07-2006, 10:35 PM
I figured using this forum might help me in isolating and finding a decent mechanic
Well, gee, we can't do THAT for you!

WickedNYCowboy
09-08-2006, 05:11 PM
Actually one of my neighbors did a project on fraud and stuff of mechanics. He went to the NASCAR website and used the find the mechanic feature and brought a car to the mechanics listed, each one found and diagnosed the problem we had caused and quoted us just about the same price. I'd try using that feature. If you have a pep-boys near you generally their mechanics are good as well. But the best way to find a GOOD mechanic is by word of mouth of friends and family.

solidg
09-14-2006, 07:06 AM
take a look at this link for finding a good mechanic

http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/

if you can take a look at rotors/drums if there is black burnt on deposits then I would say replace them

If not then it is your calipers, have them replaced


just replacing your pads over and over is not going to solve the problem

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