It shouldn't be the brakes. I just had everything (brakes, rotors, pads) replaced 8 months ago. The smell, it seemed like was coming from under the hood and was very faint. But what really worries me is the perfomance of the car mechanically. Its kind of hard to explain how it was running but it was not normal at all. As it was idling, the rpms would go up to around 1.5 and then back down lower, without my foot touching the gas at all. As I was driving, when I accellerated, it was VERY weak and did not reach the normal rpms. Also the fluid levels and temperature in the coolants were normal. I dont know if that changes anything...
Thanks for the info on the code reader..how much do they usually run for?
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You'll have to determine which wheel the sound is coming from and check it again. It could be something hitting the rotor or drum other than the shoes and pads. Like a brake spring or guide. You can raise each front wheel one at a time and have someone step on the brakes while you listen too. This may turn on the ABS light however.
Take it to a shop which has a lift, like an oil change or muffler shop, have them put on the lift. The leak will be apparent as it will be a wet recent stain. Then you will know if you are looking at a brake line fix, a leaking master or slave cylinder.
Do not blame the guy who did the pads 10 months ago, anything he did wrong would be immediately apparent and would not take 8 months to show.
The shop that did your brakes should repair/replace the caliper. He HAD to install the pads into the caliper & had to remove the caliper to install new rotor. Hold that shop accountable for the repair. And don't take NO for an answer.
The brake light will come on when the brake fluid is low or the parking brake is on. New brakes can make noise at first but not after 3 months. Screeching is caused by low quality pads/rotors or a lack of lubricant on brake parts and behind the pads.
if you had brakes and rotors 6 months ago,did you do just front or just rear? if you did front and squeal is in front,the new pads got hot and it glazed them,but the rotors are you pulsating pedal,are you sure they did rotors and pads? there is no way this should be happening in 6 months.