High-pitched squeal probably from brakes when not applied

Associate
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Hi guys, first time in this part of the OCUK forums...

My car has been making a very high pitched squealing noise from the offside rear wheel (drum brakes) when driving at some speeds that goes away with the slightest application of the brake. Its been happening for quite some time, during which period I've had a service & MOT though it was by my local Kwik-fit who previously seemed OK but recently appear to know almost nothing about cars (while looking at my front disks asking if they were vented or solid was a worrying question!)

Anyone got any thoughts? It is a bit irritating, though I can live with it... I don't drive the car very often anyway at the moment.

On a related note: I've been noticing increased brake-fade when going over hilly roads recently - been a while since I've done anything with my brake fluid, is that the most likely culprit or should I look to replace my pads? They're not old or very worn, but I can afford to replace them if that'll stop me planting it in a hedge.

Any input at all welcome, I'm a bit of a novice with car stuff though I've done the odd easy job so I'm always happy to learn :)

Cheers :)
 
Man of Honour
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Out of curiousity, what car is it? I have exactly the same, although diff wheel, a high pitched squeak/squeal from the offside front at lowish speeds when no brake applied, even the slightest press, so much that the brake lights wouldn't come on, will stop the noise.
 
Associate
OP
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Mine's a Corsa C, getting a bit long in the tooth. What's yours?

Yeah, I don't need to get anywhere near the brake lights coming on for the sound to go away either... it does encourage a weird driving style! That, or just going faster :)
 

GeX

GeX

Soldato
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Wheel bearing.

Could explain the brake fade too, wheel bearing gets hot(ter than usual), brake overheats quicker.
 
Permabanned
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Not quite a squeal but a family member's BMW has a 'catching' sound from driver's side front/rear (unsure) which is only audible with the window down, or standing outside when the vehicle is doing around 30MPH or lower.

I've tried hard braking (incase it was a trapped stone) but it didn't resolve the issue.

I've been told it's done this for around 2000 miles...
 
Associate
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strip, clean regrease of all moving parts, get pads/shoes refaced if there is enough life on them would be my suggestion

alex
 
Soldato
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As the two posts above what you need to do is strip the drum and check the shoes, springs and pivots. Its probably something silly - most difficult thing you'll have to do is find a big bar or impact gun to get the hub but off.

You'd be as well to replace the shoes whilst you're in there, will be pennies
 
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