How to silence brake squeal

Dear Doctor: I’ve had constant squealing in my brakes on my 2004 Toyota Camry. Many dealer mechanics tried to silence it, but could not, and I even had the brakes replaced. What are your thoughts?

– Robert

Dear Robert: We average up to 20 brake replacement jobs a week – and many of them are on Camry vehicles. I have yet had a customer return with a squeak complaint when the brakes are properly replaced using quality brake replacement pads or factory Toyota pads. When you buy factory Toyota pads they do not come with the shim pack and you must buy those separately. Without the shim pack, the brakes will indeed squeal. I also use an anti-squeal compound on the non-friction side of the pads. After the brake replacement I also suggest that the technician bleed the system. The technician needs to make sure the brake system is working correctly.

Dear Doctor: I have a 2002 Acura TL with 160,000 miles. The “check engine” light has come on four times, indicating an EVAP problem. The first time it occurred I had it reset, changed the fuel filler cap and reset the trip odometer. The vehicle went over 1,100 miles before the light came on again. The third occurrence happened over 500 miles after the second, and the fourth over several hundred miles after that. My best guess is a problem with the EVAP system engine-mounted purge valve. Any advice?


Dear Howard: EVAP leaks are not uncommon. The EVAP system collects gas vapor from the gas tank, sending it to the engine. Most system failures on Honda and Acura vehicles are usually at the gas tank area where there are two valves and a charcoal canister. Have your technician get the fault code and then look on the Identifix and Alldata web sites to get to the root of the problem, as well as the correct diagnostic procedures.