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Squeaking Brakes

Stig

Member
Dec 7, 2012
15
0
Sunny California
I’ve had my Performance S since October and immediately got acquainted with using regen brakes when coming up to a light. More often than not, you’ll eventually have to use the brakes to come to that complete stop (more so with “creep” on). In that last 1 mph before coming to a complete stop – I get this annoying squeak (actually - sounds more like a big fart) – the more you feather the brakes, the longer (and more annoying) the noise. I guess one simple solution – jam the brakes at the end and hope nobody is following too closely behind you.

So, I take it to TM Service and despite them having said that it’s “normal,” I insisted that it should not be the case and they ended up removing the brakes and chamfered the pads. This was to no avail as the noise came back the next day. (FYI – Car is garaged and not subject to overnight elements).

Other than certain very high performance vehicles that may have brakes specifically designed to withstand tremendous amounts of heat and as a result, may make brake noise at lower speeds (and colder temps) – What $100k car (Sig Perf), or even $60k+ cars, do you know of that has brake noises like that? Hell, Priuses don’t even make the noise – and they have regen brakes too.

Searching TMC – I find the Wiki “fix/workaround”:

  1. Live with it and be glad you don't have to keep paying for brake pads
  2. Use the brakes occasionally, whether you need to or not

I guess the question I have is twofold:

  1. Does anybody else have a Performance S that farts on them when coming to a complete stop?
  2. Does any owner (Performance or Non) think that it's right to simply have to live with it?
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,346
Ottawa, Canada
My car doesn't "fart", but I have had the brakes squeak loudly once. My Roadster squeals all the time, although it's much better since I switched to non-OEM pads. Some comments:


  1. The best brake pads performance-wise are also the noisiest. North American customers don't like noisy brakes and as a result we get poorer braking performance on our cars. I've been told that Europeans are more tolerant and get much better stock brake pads as a result.
  2. Garaging it won't stop the slight overnight surface corrosion if it's already wet when you park it.
  3. Just about any brake will squeal a lot more if it's dirty / rusty. It also won't work as well in terms of stopping power. For my Roadster I periodically do a couple of hard stops to clean off the pads and rotors. Usually what I do is go to a back road and do a series of hard stops; first I do a 30-to-0, followed by 45-0 then 60-0. I might repeat the 60-0 a couple of times if they're really grungy. Doing this brings the brakes up to full operating temperature and then scrubs them clean. (Essentially I'm re-bedding the brakes.)
  4. My Model S actually seems to be a lot better for this than the Roadster. Given the salty conditions it's actually doing really well.
 

strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
3,516
762
NE Oklahoma
My Model S did this (and my Roadster). A layer of crud builds up and isn't burned off through regular use of the brakes like it is on an ICE. The way I got it to stop was to heat up/bed in the brakes. Find a stretch of empty road, accelerate to ~40mph, then jam on the brakes to 5mph or so. Do this a total of 5 times. Drive for a few minutes w/o using the brakes. Repeat the above at 60mph if you have the road for it (for you Bay Area folks, Canada Road between Edgewood and Highway 92 at night is perfect for this). Drive for 10 minutes w/o using the brakes. During the rainy season you may have to do the above every few weeks.

The only way I got rid of it completely in my Roadster was to switch to these pads: Carbotech Performance Brakes

No listing for Model S yet. May give them a call in the new year to find out what it would take for them to make pads for us.
 

Raven

Member
Oct 9, 2012
295
19
US
My Model S did this (and my Roadster). A layer of crud builds up and isn't burned off through regular use of the brakes like it is on an ICE. The way I got it to stop was to heat up/bed in the brakes. Find a stretch of empty road, accelerate to ~40mph, then jam on the brakes to 5mph or so. Do this a total of 5 times. Drive for a few minutes w/o using the brakes. Repeat the above at 60mph if you have the road for it (for you Bay Area folks, Canada Road between Edgewood and Highway 92 at night is perfect for this). Drive for 10 minutes w/o using the brakes. During the rainy season you may have to do the above every few weeks.

The only way I got rid of it completely in my Roadster was to switch to these pads: Carbotech Performance Brakes

No listing for Model S yet. May give them a call in the new year to find out what it would take for them to make pads for us.

What Strider said. My commute is so short I never get the brakes nice and hot on my ICE cars. They need to burn off the crap. Doing the above has worked every time. I even did it on an S during the test drive. Worked.
 

Right_Said_Fred

Moderator
May 11, 2012
3,763
30,702
The Netherlands
I'm having this problem with my Karma. Really annoying. I was hoping it was caused by the high-performance Brembo's (in combination with regenerative braking). Would be a pity if I would have the same problem on my Model S. Maybe putting the regenerative braking on its lowest setting, thus using the brakes more often, can limit the squeaking.
 

William13

Active Member
Mar 19, 2011
1,003
86
South Bend
I had noise only three times (from something,rust or tiny rock, stuck in the pads/rotors) over the last 7 weeks. Otherwise the brakes have been quiet and competent on my performance. I have been surprised by the lack of rust so far. Of course I drive it every day but seldom use the brakes except at slow speeds or vey hard when giving a demo.
Check the pads for rocks and put on the goop that quiets brakes.
 

Stig

Member
Dec 7, 2012
15
0
Sunny California
Thanks for the input so far – I’m glad to see that I’m not alone on the issue. I’ll try to do some hard stops to clean up the pads/rotors. I’ve read about that before, but was reluctant to do so as my gut reaction is to not have to do anything like that unless I’m faced with some emergency maneuver.

I’ve used Carbotech pads and like them – I just wish TM would get on board and address the matter if they’re going to be replacing brakes on the annual services anyways.

I’ll see if that helps though – Maybe there’s something lodged in between? Nevertheless, I’d rather be in the shoes of William13 and have it less often!
 

William13

Active Member
Mar 19, 2011
1,003
86
South Bend
Stig, I live in snowy South Bend Indiana. 72 inches average snow fall with a permacloud for 4 months. I have hand washed my Model S in 32*F weather 3 times so far.

I don't think you would actually want to be in my shoes.
 

EarlyAdopter

Active Member
Jun 24, 2012
2,818
2,047
Redmond, WA
High performance metallic brake pads will inevitably have some squeal to them. Just something that comes with the territory. Check the BMW and Audi forums and you will see plenty of threads on the topic.

Waiting for the "excessive brake dust" threads to start up... also a regular staple in the BMW and Audi forums.
 

cinergi

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
2,176
40
MA
Mine squeaked in exactly the same way for the first few weeks or so ... it's stopped happening and I haven't heard it since.
 

XrstalLens

Model S P1327 VIN P01867
Dec 30, 2011
115
0
Kirkland, WA
I've been driving for two weeks and the brakes consistently squeak at that final moment of stopping. It does seem to be getting better, though, so hopefully as cinergi observed it will go away after they wear in a bit. Considering how often they get used it might take a while!
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,521
2,989
I've been driving for two weeks and the brakes consistently squeak at that final moment of stopping. It does seem to be getting better, though, so hopefully as cinergi observed it will go away after they wear in a bit. Considering how often they get used it might take a while!
Same behavior on mine. I'm over 1000 mi and I can get a slight squeak from the brakes if I really try. (I use a lot of regen-style deceleration.)
 

CapitalistOppressor

Active Member
Jun 18, 2012
1,621
0
As stated previously, this is a common issue with high performance pads, and burning them in is good advice. The fact that your ears hear this sound, and your brain immediately associates it with a fart is all on you tho.. :wink:
 

Stig

Member
Dec 7, 2012
15
0
Sunny California
Well, I've driven about 1000 mi since I started the thread - and still have the same issues. I've done the accelerate/hard brake at various speeds, it would stop squeaking for a bit, but then start up again. I guess it's just the nature of the beast. I'll probably end up looking into some recommended pads.
 

Beavis

Model S Signature 991
Dec 24, 2011
697
19
Colorful Colorado
I had a little rust on the rotors and then notice a squeak. I don't use the breaks much so I made sure to use the breaks and after a couple of stops the squeak went away. When I looked at the rotors, the rust was gone.
 

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