The exact same thing happened to my 60 plate Astra shortly after a trip down to the coast.
The car would make a high pitched noise whilst driving, at first only at high speeds (like on the motorway) but it gradually got worse. Like you, the noise would stop when the brakes were applied.
It was intermittent, but unbearable. I was frustrated because the car had only been serviced about three weeks before, but after contacting my local Vauxhall garage was told it would cost me to have fixed so...
If you can put a jack under both sides of the car it's a lot easier, but you need to establish which wheel is sticking. If they both spin freely at first, apply the brakes and then try to rotate the wheels. In my case one was noticably catching.
Remove the wheel and take the brake calipres from around the disc.
Ensure the disc is smooth and stone free (as someone else suggested). If it is, continue.
Get the pads out of their housings - you might need to get a screw-driver behind the pads to do this.
Once I had done this it became that the pads had been sticking within their seatings. There were two small inserts at each end of the seats, which were completely stuck into position with rust. I took them out and cleaned them, and also rubbed the outside of the pads to make sure they went back into the seat easily.
That's pretty much all i did (besides putting the wheel back on, of course) but it resolved the problem completely.
I haven't yet established whether salty water from the coast effected the problem, or whether it was just coincidence.
Posted on Tuesday 12th of June 2012Don't understand this? Ask a question