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Front End Squeal When Cold

03_Black_EB

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September 11, 2009
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03 Eddie Bauer
Hello Everyone,
I'm having trouble with my 2003 Explorer EB. In the morning, when I hop in my explorer it makes a loud and sinister squealing noise for a few miles, which then goes away and usually doesn't come back until the next morning. It has been present on some cool/rainy days intermittently throughout the day. It's usually only under acceleration, doesn't get louder when turning or anything. I took it to a mechanic that I trust, but he took it for a test drive mid-afternoon and no noise happened, he checked everything out but said he couldn't find anything wrong. I'm concerned because it's pretty loud. This morning there was no noise but I'm guessing because of the heat, it never really happens when it's hot out. Any ideas?
 



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Take it to a knowledgable mechanic and have him pull your brakes apart. Have him check your pads, rotors and calipers; and actually measure your rotors and hit everything with some brake cleaner to be sure nothing is missed. Also be sure to have him check the little metal clips that hold the brake pads on. I had one break on me and it squeaked horribly. If you're at all mechanically inclined, you can replace all those parts yourself in your driveway in no time flat. It'll save you a boatload of coin. Wouldn't hurt to have him bleed your brakes while he's down there.
 






Hello Brian,
Thanks for the reply! I usually change my own brakes, this is the first year in a while that I didn't because I was pretty sick for a few weeks and needed an inspection, but everything up front is only three months old. Could this happen if the guys who changed the brakes didn't use that red brake quiet gunk?
 






Hello Brian,
Thanks for the reply! I usually change my own brakes, this is the first year in a while that I didn't because I was pretty sick for a few weeks and needed an inspection, but everything up front is only three months old. Could this happen if the guys who changed the brakes didn't use that red brake quiet gunk?

The biggest problem I have with others replacing brakes is that they ALWAYS use the cheapest parts available. That being said you could have cracked or warped rotors, cheap non-ceramic pads or even just debris in there. I found a dragonfly stuck in my brakes once. When abused, even unintentionally, those cheap parts can go in a heartbeat. I never use brake quiet when I do mine, I just take care to use loads of brake cleaner on them every chance I get. The non-chlorinated kind. The other stuff eats at the rubber.

You may have a wheel bearing starting to go. Take your wheels off and feel for play in the hub. Also check for a gritty feeling while it's turning. I just changed a bad hub bearing on mine. There are videos of that in this how-to thread: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194002&page=8

If you're 4WD I'm pretty sure you'll need to pull the fuse for your transfer case to allow your front end to spin freely. Not 100% on that though as I'm not 4WD.
 






Yeah, I'll check it out, thanks. I bought the pads so I know they're good. I don't know what kind of rotors they put in. All of the wheel hearings have been replaced in the last three years but I guess one of those guys could be going again. Hopefully it's just something in the brakes! Thanks!
 






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