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How do you silence noisy brakes?

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Dear Tom and Ray:


Is there anything that can be done to eliminate very noisy brakes on a 1986 AMC Renault?
John

TOM: The noisy brakes on AMC cars are a safety feature. These cars are otherwise so quiet, luxurious, and comfortable, that people tend to fall asleep driving them. So the French, in their infinite wisdom, made noisy brakes to keep you from killing yourself.

RAY: If what you hear is a grinding noise, the front pads or the rear shoes could be very badly worn. If that's the case, replace them. If the brakes sound more like a very unhealthy soprano, then putting on softer pads may make a difference. If the brakes are mechanically sound, and you're too cheap to spring for new pads, just turn up the radio.
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