The squeal of the brakes
The brakes on my 2011 Lexus IS350 F Sport squeal very badly under light application, eg, when lightly braking when coasting to a stop. I find it embarrassing, so I brought it up with my dealer, and they machined the discs. The noise came back. This time they said that I would need to replace rotors as part of wear and tear at my cost. I’m looking at $800-plus. This was also suggested initially but I got away with machining the discs. Apparently there is a section of the disc/rotor nearest the centre and outer edge that is higher than the rest of the surface and the brakes make the noise when contact is made. Shouldn’t this be a warranty issue? I expect it at 60,000km-80,000km but to start from 20,000km seems a manufacturing fault.
John Isaias, email
It is very low kilometres to have to machine the discs. The squeal you’re hearing is not normal, so I would take the car to a brake specialist, who I’m sure would be able to help you fix the problem. Maybe the discs don’t need replacing. If they do you could use aftermarket rotors, which should be cheaper than the factory ones.
What is the world record for the fastest breakdown of a new vehicle? I nominate my Mercedes-Benz B200 CDI. Within half an hour of taking delivery, I was stranded in peak hour Sydney traffic, sitting in a pool of diesel, unable to start the bloody thing. A failed fuel filter was given as the reason: so much for quality control, attention to safety and reliability. To add insult to injury, the particle filter also failed last week and had to be repaired. Mercedes-Benz has refused to provide me with some comfort and extend the warranty period. It seems they share my lack of confidence in the vehicle. Have other readers suffered similar misfortune with a new car?
Barry Hartshorn, email
It’s disappointing when problems occur so soon after delivery. The issue is whether the maker fixes them and it seems that Mercedes-Benz has, which really is the end of the matter. I don’t think there is anything in what has happened to you to justify a request for an extended warranty.
You published a letter from a reader complaining that his 2010 Ford Focus had inappropriate activation of his anti-lock brakes/traction control. I too have a 2010 Focus and it has the same issue, exactly. It occurs once or twice per drive but always on a corner, especially a downhill ‘‘swooping’’ corner.
Adrian West, email
The drum on discs: Aftermarket rotors will be cheaper for a Lexus