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Squeals, noisy brakes and the clutch

Published:Saturday | September 11, 2021 | 12:05 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor
Close-up of a car disc brake with caliper during tyre replacement. Car maintenance.
Close-up of a car disc brake with caliper during tyre replacement. Car maintenance.
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When there are strange sounds from the brake or the clutch, that is the beginning of trouble. There is no question about the importance of these two mechanisms as it pertains to the operation of a motor vehicle. Despite the fact that the brakes have been improved over time, the driver’s responsibility for their proper usage is by no means reduced. Here are a few brake or clutch problems and possible causes for your information and action.

BRAKE SQUEAL

1. Scored brake drums or discs

2. Worn brake linings

3. Dust or dirt building up in brake drums

4. Weak or broken brake springs

5. Faulty disc-brake caliper mechanism

6. Loose backing plates

7. Loose front or rear wheel

8. Defective or missing insulator tips on rear leaf springs

KNOCKING NOISE OR ROUGHNESS WHEN BRAKES APPLIED

1. Loose suspension components

2. Loose front or rear-wheel bearings

3. Cracked brake drum

4. “Spiral groove in drum resulting from improper machining, usually right after brakes have been serviced,” says Andrew Brown, auto mechanic

5. Loose road wheel

GRINDING NOISE FROM BRAKES

1. Any loose condition in brake, possibly steering mechanism

GRINDING NOISE WHEN BRAKES ARE APPLIED

1. Broken brake springs

2. Brake shoes rubbing on side of drum

3. Small stones in brake drum

4. Brake linings worn off shoes or pads and metal contacting drum or disc

PARKING BRAKE INOPERATIVE OR WON’T RELEASE

1. Broken, seized up or improperly adjusted cables

2. Seized linkage or broken springs in rear brake shoe assembly

3. Worn brake linings

4. Improperly installed mechanism

5. Grease or brake fluid on brake lining

6. Seized pulleys or control mechanism

THE CAR WON’T MOVE WHEN CLUTCH PEDAL IS RELEASED

1. Clutch slipping because of wear and tear

2. Insufficient free pedal in clutch adjustment

3. Broken clutch disc

4. Disconnected worn or maladjusted gearshift linkage not selecting gear

5. The clutch saturated in oil

6. The car not in gear

7. Damaged internal-transmission mechanism

8. Broken rear axle, drive shaft or universal joint

CLUTCH SQUEALS OR GROWLS WHEN CLUTCH PEDAL DEPRESSED

1. Worn clutch release bearing

2. Worn or dry clutch pilot bearing

CLUTCH GRABS OR CHATTERS WHEN STARTING AWAY IN LOW OR REVERSE

1. Oil on clutch facing

2. Clutch worn out

3. Rear flat leaf springs loose on rear-axle housing

4. Broken or loose motor mount

5. Defective front transmission bearing or rear main-bearing seal resulting in oil-soaked clutch assembly

6. Scored flywheel, especially if a new clutch assembly has been installed and a scored flywheel has not been replaced.