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Watch How GM Works To Eliminate Brake Noise

There is nothing worse than hearing the brakes squeal on your brand new car, but as much testing that automakers do to limit such noises, sometimes there just isn’t a way to test all scenarios. General Motors is hoping it can change all that with an all-new brake chassis dynamometer facility that is designed to focus solely on eliminating any and all brake-related noises.
brake chassis dynamometer facility 1 photo
As GM interiors have gotten quieter, customers are now able to discern noises that may have been hidden before. The new facility gives GM 14,000 square feet of brake torture testing real estate that allows engineers to test vehicles in a variety of conditions without ever leaving the building. GM can also do more tests in much less time with the ability to perform 1,900 test stops in 2.5 days versus the previous setup that required two weeks to perform 1,000 stops.

The old building also limited brake testing to either a two-wheel dyno or the actual test track, but neither provided optimal conditions that both mimicked real-world conditions and the associated testing including the ability to vary humidity and temperature. The new building uses a four-wheel dyno that allows engineers to change brake pressure, vehicle speed and even simulate underbody airflow, but the building is also capable of changing humidity and temperature to simulate everything from “Alaska to a warm tropical island.” Sound proofing in the dyno give GM the ability to eliminate all other noise so it can focus on brake noises.

Brent Lowe, GM performance engineer for brake noise development, said that before this testing facility opened earlier this year, the automaker was only able to locate and eliminate about 85 percent of brake noises, but the new state-of-the-art equipment allows the engineers to more fully reduce brake noise helping to make the cars even quieter in the future.

The concept of a silent brake is actually very complicated,” said Lowe. “Braking creates friction and the more friction present amounts to more noise. Though the sound of brakes squealing is something every driver can easily identify as a nuisance, it is one of the more difficult things to actually remove. We have been very successful at taking on that challenge at GM,” Lowe said. “If we do our job correctly, the customer won’t notice our work.”

Check out the video below showing a Buick Encore being put through this very testing procedure.

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