Squeaking brakes are a problem that most auto owners have dealt with at one time or another. There are times when your brakes squeaking is normal and other times where it can be a cause for concern. For instance, it is normal to hear squeaks and squeals first thing in the morning when the brakes are damp from dew. Material that the brakes are made from also produces squealing or squeaking; semi-metallic breaks are infamous for this. The good news is that there are several ways to rid yourself of the annoying sounds. Keep in mind that squeaking brakes will stop you just as well as silent ones.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Brake pads (optional)
- Breaker bar
- Teflon shims (optional)
- High-temperature brake grease (optional)
- Anti-seize compound (optional)
- Anti-squeal adhesive (optional)
Remove Your Brake Pads
Park the Caravan on a level surface.
Loosen the lug nuts with a socket and breaker bar. Do not remove the lug nuts completely yet.
Raise the Caravan by placing the lift point of the jack under the frame of the car. Place a jack stand under the inside of the rocker panel where the frame forms a box, not under the rocker panel itself.
Remove the lug nuts and tire.
Remove the caliper bolts using the ratchet and socket. Remove the caliper from the rotor using a screwdriver.
Check the pads to see if a small finger of spring steel is showing. If it is, it is time to change the pads.
Check the other side using the same method. If the pads are fine on both sides, you may want to change them out using a brake pad made of a different type of material.
Work in reverse order to put the brake pads back on.
Replace the tire and lug nuts. Remove the jack stand and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground.
Tighten the lug nuts using the breaker bar.
Follow the steps in Section 1 to remove your brake pads. When finished, work in reverse order to re-install brake pads, and the tires to your Dodge Caravan.
Remove your old brake pads and clean them, or buy new ones.
Clean the surface on the piston and caliper that touches the backing plate of the pad.
Apply the anti-squeal adhesive, reinstall the pads and secure them. These compounds will stay gooey until you apply the brakes and squeeze out the oxygen. Then they stick like glue.
Tips & Warnings
- On a Dodge Caravan, one of the most common fixes is to use teflon shims. Try the above methods first, but if that doesn't work, you can add shims, which may remove the squealing from your brakes. Shims separate the piston acoustically from the pad. Place the shim between the pad and the caliper's hydraulic piston.
- The brakes are an integral part of your vehicle, and should not be serviced by a novice unless you are confident that you can do the work, and have a good set of instructions, or an on-site instructor. Always exercise extreme caution when working with the braking system of your Caravan.
- Photo Credit Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com
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