please help, something worng with breaks!

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Ok, my friend has some trouble with her breaking system maybe? And im trying to figure out what it is (with the help of you guys off course). Ok all she told me was, that everytime she drives it makes this funny squeal constantly, sometimes it stops and sometimes it comes back. She also mentioned that theres this funny burnt smell coming out of the area where the wheel is… she said there isnt any smoke or what so ever, but the funny thing is this happened before and she just kept driving and it went away for awhile… she also mentioned she had an accident b4 and had her tires & wheels fix.. Well, if anybody knows what the problem is or even have any clue, id appreciate it.

-i forgot to mention, she said she can break with ease, she can stop the car with no problem so she is not sure if its her break pads or not.. im not sure, maybe it is.. the last time she changed her break pads was at june 2003, thats when she had her entire front breaks done.. (btw the squeal and the smell only comes from the front.)She also said that she dosnt think its her engine, her engine dosnt wiggle or make any weird noises, and the car runs great.

if it helps, her car is a 99 dodge neon. 4cylinder. automatic transmission

posted by  Ki2AY

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Worn/damaged drive belts? *shoulder shrug*
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posted by  BavarianWheels

sounds like a caliper is stuck open and keeping the brake pad on the rotor, therefor causing the noise and burned smell. check those pads out! if it wears too far down, i;ve had pads actually fall OFF, and that's no good

posted by  TanyasMkIISupra

wow thats bad.. how possitive are you that this could actually be the reason?

posted by  Ki2AY

Well why dont we start with simple things you can look at and repair yourself.

There are lots of problems that could have these type of symptoms.

Does the car have air conditioning?
Try lifting the bonnet and turnign the aircon on and of and see if you can see the clutch burning or playing up.

Have a look at the water pump thi could also cause a similar symptom.

Brakes, well jack the car up and take the wheel off have a look at the wear on the pads, are they uneven? does it look like they are dragging?

see if the caliper is firmly held onto the mount. If there is break squeel then the easiest way to get rid of it is to appply some copper greese to the back of the brake pad, make sure you dont get it on the friction material.

may be if you go for a ride in her car then you can find out more precielty where the noise is comming from and we can have a better go on what it might be.

posted by  cinqyg

actually i forgot to mention, the car is an automatic transmission!

posted by  Ki2AY

well she did mention the smell and sound is comming from her front left tire... does that help? most likely not.. hah

posted by  Ki2AY

got it!


Wheel alignment, so simple. have a look at her tyres and see if there wearing evenly.

posted by  cinqyg

check the brakes - I think a caliper is stuck

posted by  tbaxleyjr

uh...I don't ever remember a bad alignment causing a weird burned smell, but that's just me. I stick by my stuck caliper/burned out pads theory
:wink2:

posted by  TanyasMkIISupra

Well if you think about it if the toe is on the on one side is over done then the rubber on the inner edge is burnt away

posted by  cinqyg

I have seen the tires worn down to the cord but not smelled an odor

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I just thought that it was something simple to have a look at.

posted by  cinqyg

If the front end is out of alignment, it needs to be fixed, I have never had one create a bad smell.

My perception of burning rubber smell described comes from being around cars who drive in our mountains here and not shift to a lower gear and instead, ride the brakes when going down hill. The brakes overheat and generate a very obnoxious odor and sometimes a little smoke as well.

A similar odor also comes from a slipping clutch if the car has a manual tranny

posted by  tbaxleyjr

well a similar ruberised metal ceramic friction material is used for the brakes and the clutch.

What ever it is then you should be able to iliminate most posiblities by servicing the car.

posted by  cinqyg

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