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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed that when I come to a complete stop at a stop sign or red light, the brakes will "honk" (like a goose) right at the end of deceleration - for like a half a second.

Tough to reliably reproduce, but it's typically when I am traveling at a good clip and then moderately braking, or engage more braking as I am slowing down. If I coast to a stop, I don't hear it. Have you experienced this? I'm wondering whether it is due to new brake pads that I am infrequently using because I mostly use regen braking. I have a 2020 model with only about 2k miles on it.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Heres a great video on brake noise. Brake “Honking” is just an escalated squeak for all purposes. The takeaway is that brake noise is not unsafe, can occur on all vehicles and can be tricky to fix. However in my career, I have been able to correct brake noise on every vehicle I’ve worked on with the exception of vehicles that needed a complete redesign like the original x1’s (engineering error). Those days where very discouraging but at least I was vindicated by BMW creating a measure for different callipers, pads and rotors to fix the noises. Where I succeed and others fail is that I am not cheap with the paste. I use appropriate amounts to do the job rather than just a film.

Its a simple task but is not typically covered by warranty after the “squeaks and rattles” coverage.. usually 1 year, or 20,000km(12,500mi) mileage, because it’s a wearable part and doesnt affect Service life or safety. It’s really simple usually, The vibrations transfer better when the contact points dry out and get dusty from the natural brake heat and dust produced. The dust will wick out the oils of the brake paste the same as heat baking.

Typically it needs to be taken apart, cleaned of dust and old dried up lube and re-lubricated on the contact points between the pad and the calliper with a brake grease. If this doesnt work then it needs the “mass” adjusted the natural harmonic resonance with heavy brake lube like anti-seize applied only on the contact points like the brake grease to help de-couple the mass that sets the harmonics up. This acts like a dyna-mat for the pads. There are products our there that glue the pads or go into the friction material directly that i suggest avoiding. Its essentially a brake job with no parts.. we call it inhouse as servicing the brakes. I’ve done it all with just these two tricks. Need to be somewhat generous (without being excessive) with the goop, a lot of brake jobs get only the slightest amount of goop which doesnt last once the heat cooks the oils out of the paste or the dust gets to it.

 

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I also had a similar odd noise that I would hear if everything was super quiet and the vehicle was running on electric power, I would hear the noise for a second or so right before stopping. I had my dealer look at it and they told me the sound is inherent in the vehicle, that if you're slowing gradually, the vehicle will use regenerative braking as much as possible instead of the brake pads, and that for the last bit of stopping, as the vehicle moves from electro-magnetic slowing to the mechanical slowing, it's that transition from EM braking to physical braking and the pads engaging that makes the odd noise. I don't know enough to know for sure whether that's it, but know enough to believe that what they describe could cause the noise. I'll say that to their credit, it's really not that loud on my vehicle and I really only notice it if I am just driving in silence because everything else in the PHEV vehicle is so darn quiet that I notice it.
 

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Have you ever used the shifter knob to slow the vehicle down . When you let off the gas move the shifter indicator to L and let the van coast to a stop . Try that and see what you hear ?. You should not hear anything that makes any sort or noise .
 

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The sound you are describing is the same sound I hear from our brakes when backing out of the driveway after the van has sat for couple days. It's normal and usually disappears after a couple stops, but the noise may persist much longer on a hybrid model because of regenerative braking.

The rotors are developing surface rust like they normally would, but the pads aren't getting a chance to completely scrub it all off due to their limited use - unlike on a non-hybrid vehicle without regenerative braking. The noise will continue to occur until the pads are able to scrub/clean all the surface rust off the rotors. The rough surface of the rotors makes it easier for the rotors to resonate/produce the honking sound when just the right amount of pressure is applied to the pads (similar to making a wine glass ring with your finger). I could see this becoming a common issue with hybrid vehicles that aren't driven very often or on frequent short trips.

TLDR: The "honking" a different form of brake squeal that is more likely to occur as a side-effect of regenerative braking in conjunction with limited driving/short trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all. I do think it comes down to not actually using the brake pads that frequently. Thanks so much!
 

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I’d say seems on your driving usage take it for a drive at least once a month to clean pads/rotors buildup . Happy motoring and good choice ..
 
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