Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2000 Saturn SL2 Elusive brake system noise

I have about 170k on my Saturn Sl2, but a rebuilt engine with about 80k on it. About 1/3 of the time when I brake, i hear a strange sound that sounds like metal on metal. I think it is coming from the front, possibly from the driver side, but it’s hard to tell… I thought it could be a stuck caliper (they were in rough shape anyway) but the sound came back after I replaced them. I also have changed the pads and the rotors. it sounds like a lower pitch version of the sound a leaf spring makes when you drag it across concrete. Anyone have any ideas?


Did you check the setting on the wear sensors when you changed the brakepads? They can get bent easily.

Have you checked all four brakes? Sound can travel and mislead us as to its point of origin,

What kind of pads do you use? Metallic?
Did you try antisqueal grease behind the pads?

I did put the anti-squeal grease on, but I didn’t think to check the wear sensor…


What brand and type of brake pad did you use? There are some that are noisy.

How about emergency brakes? Does it have shoes for e-brakes. When the car is making the noise pull up or step on e-brakes see if the noise changes.

@MadMechE can you post more threads like this and less AmberTech threads?

Honestly I don’t remember the brand I put on, it was a good while ago… But I will be sure to do my research next time I buy pads.
I haven’t been able to find a correlation to the E-brake. The noise only lasts between 1/2 and 2 seconds, so its kinda hard to catch.

@db4690 sounds like good advise. Thanks:)

Db4690, my feeling is that of someone sees an ad for a magic formula it’s a good thing to ask about it here. Not only does it provide for us an opportunity to provide knowledge, but it also might prevent others from wasting money on these magic pills. There are loads of them out there. If we can prevent some people from getting scammed, it’s a good thing.

I never discourage anyone from asking about snake oils and magic potions. I see it as an opportunity to educate.

@thesamemountainbike I see your point.