Sunday, August 31, 2008

101,294 miles

Santa Rosa, CA

Replace front brake pads (self-service)

2 sets (4 pads) Front brake pads, EBC #FA335HH $99.90

Tax: $7.99
Total: $107.89

In attempt to eliminate brake squealing that has been growing steadily worse over the past 50k miles or so, I'm trying EBC pads instead of the stock Brembo pads. I have read of others who have found the EBC pads less prone to squealing. It's worth a try. (The Brembo pads I'm replacing still have plenty of life left on them.)

On several occasions, mechanics have identified the cause as "warped rotors". Now, I think they were mistaken. I think only the set of front rotors replaced at 18,192 miles was actually warped (characterized by a "pulsing" or "grabbing" sensation.)

If this doesn't reduce or eliminate the problem, I'll probably look at replacing rotors and/or calipers. (Wheel trueness does not seem to be the problem, since the squealing is about the same whether I'm running the cast wheel or the spoked wheel.) Applying lithium grease or "brake quiet" to the backing plates eliminates the squealing for only a very short time - maybe 15 minutes of around-town riding.


Tonight, I came across a discussion on Adventure Rider that mentions a June 2005 BMW Service Information Bulletin - #34 007 05 (037) which, "in the event of a customer complaining of front wheel squeal" calls for changing out the brake disc mounting hardware and installing an "anti-squeal kit", which includes rubberized thrust washers. (See:

Jeez! All this time complaining about brake squeal and no shop has ever suggested this fix!

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