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posted: 8/24/2014 12:01 AM

Cheap brake pads may be causing squeal

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By Doug McAllister

Q. We purchased a 2009 Volkswagen Eos and we just love the car. However, the brakes squeal loudly when I first start driving.

The squealing stops after a few brake applications and only happens when I go forward, not backing up. I took the car back to CarMax and to the VW dealer and they both said nothing can be done. One suggested it might be dust on the rotors. I have run into other owners by chance and asked if they have the same problem. Both have said yes and they received the same answer from VW dealers. This happens in all kinds of weather.

Can you give me any advice aside from installing new brakes, which I don't need.

A. Thanks for your question! You did not say how many miles are on the car. However, since it is a 2009 model, I will assume it has been driven enough that it has had at least one brake job in it's life.

It is possible that the poor quality of the brake pads used are causing the noise and the only real fix would be to change out the brakes. I looked around on the Internet and it does seem there are many complaints of squeaky brakes on the Eos. It is possible that the compound used in the brake pads is contributing to the noise problem.

When you are ready to try a different set of pads, we have had great success in solving noise problems with a brake pad made by Centric. In the meantime, as long as the dealer said it's safe, you will just have to put up with the noise.

Sometimes you can reduce or eliminate the noise when you first start driving by doing several really hard stops to get the brakes heated up a bit. The other way you can do this is to ride the brake a little bit to get some heat into them. Make sure you don't overdo it and always be sure you are in a safe place where no one else is around, like a vacant parking lot or a back road with zero traffic.

• Douglas Automotive is at 417 W. Main St., Barrington, (847) 381-0454, and 123 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-0440. For information, visit douglasautomotive.com. Send questions to underthehood@dailyherald.com.

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