Dear Tom and Ray:
I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty that groans so badly when I use the brakes, it causes people walking down the street to stop and stare. The noise seems to get louder when the weather is cold or damp. Living in Montana, we have plenty of cold days. I have had the local dealership check the brakes and have been told it is due to the high metallic content in the brake pads. I have been told to spray water directly into the brake-disk area when washing my vehicle to remove any dirt or debris that may be adding to the problem. It's not like I'm using it off-road, so I'm not sure there's really enough dirt to amount to anything. Brake performance doesn't appear to be affected. I've been grinning and bearing it for two years now. Is it really something I have to put up with? Give me a brake! Pretty please? -- Karen (Miserable in Montana)
RAY: Ah, yes. With Liberty and groaning for all.
TOM: I'm surprised your dealer didn't sell you the special Jeep ear muffs for this, Karen.
RAY: Actually, your dealer should have known about this. This is a common problem with Jeep Liberties, and Cherokees, too. Such a problem, in fact, that Jeep finally devised a solution for it.
TOM: The solution involves changing out something called the caliper slippers -- which are like the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," except they're nothing like that. The caliper slippers just allow your mechanic to attach something called anti-rattle straps. And those straps keep the brake pads from moving too much, which is what causes the groan.
RAY: So go back to your dealer and ask him to look up Technical Service Bulletin "05-004-06 REV.A." If he looks surprised by the specificity of your request, tell him you read about it in Brake Groaning Weekly.