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MMC Brake Squeal

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I just purchased my first Lotus Elise and looking for some recommendations to reduce brake squeal.  I know the MMC brakes are not the quietest and the groaning noise they make is normal, but I am getting a squealing which sounds pretty much the same when you would not grease brake pad to caliper contact points or did not have a shim between the pad and the caliper.

The pads are within the thickness specification and the rotor looks to be in good condition, no pitting or gouges.  Pictures attached.

I have exactly this noise, but in the car it sounds much louder than it does in the video.

If you goto 15:58 in the video you will be able to hear it.


I see there are multiple products and was wondering if anyone as experience using one or the other, or both, or simply have other recommendations as there is nothing recommended in the service manual.



Thanks in advance for any advice.

- Steve



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I have exactly the same problem with my Elise.  I tried the eliseparts squeal shims but they made no difference. Over winter I’m going to replace all the springs, clips and pins on mine as I think they lose tension and effectiveness with age.

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Hello Steve, 

Welcome to my world. I have a 97 Elise S1, also had horrendous brake squeal when I got it. It gets really annoying but it does warn other road users and can be used to great effect at scaring cyclists.

However, I have spent a bit of time working on my car over the few years I have had her, you can check out some pics in my TLF garage.  I have tried pretty much everything at some time. And at times have completely eliminated the squeal but it does occasionaly return only as a much quieter sort of scraping noise which is bearable, I do also have 1 disc which has slight groove in it.

The bits you have listed can be of use, but there may be other issues at play. I believe the anti rattle pads on the front don't effect squeal they just stop a clock from the pads.

Mine were in a sorry state and the rear pad springs had been incorrectly installed. I replaced all the pins, springs, etc,rebuilt the rear calipers with new sliders, sanded the pads flat. As well as bleeding etc during the rebuild. After this they still squealed.

Eventually I bought some of the anti squeal stick on pads and ceramatec grease used sparingly. The squeal had now completely gone. 

Since then stick on pads came unstuck, so I restuck them with an aerospace high temp contact adhesive.

Now the squeal is massively reduced/eliminated but occasionally reoccurs, usually I just clean and regrease the back of the pad and it goes. (In fact I just redid the rears recentlly)

Something I believe may occur is a slight inconsistency in the surface caused by having the parking brake on especially after washing the car.  When I have had a light squeal I have found that it has gone away simply from driving the car in a spirited fashion, really working the brakes and then leaving the handbrake off when parked ( Either with chocks or in gear). 

I never really determined exactly what issue caused the squeal and it may have been a combination of things. (Something else I did was to file a small chamfer on the leading and trailing edge of the pad)

I hope my verbal ramblings may be of use to you if not only too assure you that it can be eliminated.  


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Hi Tony,

Thanks for the quick reply.  It is really helpful, because you just saved me a whole bunch of frustration, as now I know it is mitigatable but not really 100% solvable.  Which is fine now that I  know the expectation that I should have. 

I also check out your garage, I never saw a S1 in white, it looks really nice.  

Thanks again and I'll update this post for the rest of the forum, when I get around to working on the brakes with my results.  


- Steve


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Hi Steve, happy I could help.

I don't know if you tinker yourself but if you do, get someone to have a listen from outside as you drive past. This is what I did, you may find that it is just one end or a particular wheel.  The bits are cheap and its really easy to work on so its worth doing yourself if you can. I do find I have to unbolt the rear calipers (at the sliders) to remove the pads, I think this may be contrary to the manual and is probably due to the extra thickness of the sticky pads. 

I had also never seen a white S1 until mine (although its a few different shades), I know I'm biased but its my favourite.

Just had a look at Schwäbisch Hall on Google it looks absolutely stunning and reminds me a bit of heidlberg, I originated from a small town called Ulm, not a million miles from you.

Best of luck getting it sorted, I'd be interested to see what you find.


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Hi Tony,

Yes, I will be doing it myself.  I think first I will just check everything apply some lube and put the pads on, test and see where I stand.  Probably after that I will focus on a per wheel basis if it continues.  Schwäbisch Hall is a very classic Southern German town, and the country roads around here are quite amazing, now that I have an Elise I certainly get to enjoy them even more.  

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Sounds like you have a good plan. I am really jealous of your roads, were I live is rural and although there are lots of nice drives the condition of our roads is pretty SH1T.

Its great to hear that there's enthusiasm for these little cars outside of our small country.  Let us know how it goes, if you need any help/info there are some really friendly and knowledgeable guys on this forum who are always happy to help another sufferer of the Lotus syndrome.


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