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2010 Corolla Grinding Noise :-(


My new Corolla only has 1300 miles on it. It is a Sport with a manual tran. I’ve had it 2 1/2 weeks. On four separate occasions (I have a list now), I’ve heard a horrible grinding noise when applying the brake (one of those times the clutch was also engaged). Also, during one of the grinding incident, the car shuddered as though I had held my foot on the brake too long before shifting into neutral (My last 2 cars, which I drove for 20 yrs were standards so I don’t think this was my fault). The noise sounds like its coming from the front of the car; maybe center or right. Unfortunately, the noise intermittent and I cannot reproduce the problem at will. The dealer has recommended that I drive it until it gets worse so that they can hear what’s going on. I don’t feel comfortable with this since I (and they) have no idea what the problem is. I have no doubt that they’ll fix it once they hear it. I have 2 questions.

1. Has anyone else had this kind of problem with their car? What caused it?

2. Any advice on how to handle this situation would be appreciated. My last 2 cars lasted 10 years (each over 180,000 miles) each w/o anything like this ever happening.

Thanks Folks!

You need to give us a much more detailed description of when this occurs, relative to when you started the engine and began to drive. From your description, it is possible that you are describing the sound and the vibration of the ABS Self-Test.

However, until you give us a better description of exactly WHEN and under what circumstances you hear this noise, we cannot be sure of this possibility.

I wonder if you have ever driven a car with ABS…I agree with VDCdriver that this is probably the casue of the intermittent vibration when braking…

Take it back while it’s still under warranty. If they say it’s normal, ask to drive another one just like it. If they say no, then say “fix it”

Moved post to above.

If the dealer said drive it until it gets worse or constant then do that but have them give you this info on a shop work order sheet and/ or call the factory customer service.

Tough one. Definitely keep a notepad with dates, odometer readings, and description of each occurance. Also have the dealer document your complaint on an official service receipt. If it sounds like metal-on-metal grinding, I’d ask them to do a complete inspection of the front brakes and suspension (wheels off). The noise is coming from the front, correct?

Were the roads wet when it happened and were you going downhill? What tires? Always be sure that your lug nuts are not loose. Do you have drum brakes on the rear?

I must ask, why do the craziest most difficult to duplicate noises ALWAYS happen on brand new cars with very little miles on them? You don’t have people bring cars with 100K (and I guess I should say out of warranty) to you with these type of complaints. Its always brand new cars.

Good idea. I’m assuming this is to document that they have been informed about the problem.


Yes, the noise is coming from the front. It seems to be from the center or right. I’ll add the odometer to my notes. So far I’ve only kept dates and a description of the occurrence.

I have an appointment this Friday. I’ll ask them to do the inspection. Thanks for the advice.

The roads have always been dry. So far the problem has only occurred on relatively flat surfaces.

The tires are Bridge Stone. The tires have never been off but I’ll check the lug nuts.

I have disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the rear.

Thanks for your time.

Wish I knew the answer. :wink: I have very good independent mechanics who take care of my cars when they’re out of warranty or when I’m having non-warranty work done. Never had anything like this with a new car before.

I don’t think they’ll say it’s normal. It sounds like grinding gears. They haven’t been able to hear it because (so far) there isn’t a way to reproduce the problem at will. It happens to me about once every 3 days or so. Perhaps adding the odometer readings to my notes will reveal something. I do have an appt later this week. I’ll update my post. Thanks!

I am happy to provide more information.

Yes, I’ve driven ABS. My last car had ABS brakes - drove that for 10 years, 192,000miles - original clutch. :slight_smile:

There isn’t a vibration (except for the one time), it is definitely a grinding noise that sounds the same as grinding gears or metal rubbing metal.

So far, the noise occurs after I’ve been driving for awhile - at least for 10-15 minutes. I’ve heard the early morning brake release with my last car and this noise is definitely not that. So far, the noise has only happened when the weather is warm and the roads dry which has been rare this summer.

Here are the conditions under which the grinding noise occurred.

  1. I was exiting a highway and braking from approx. 70 mph to 40 mph to get off an exit ramp. Car also shuddered like it wanted me to put it into neutral. Did not depress clutch until shuddering began. So far, this is the only shuddering incident. Road was smooth.

  2. I was slightly braking while bearing right going about 35 mph. Did not depress clutch. Smooth road.

  3. I was doing a brake/clutch action to make a left turn. Smooth road.

  4. I was driving in 30 mph traffic (not stop-and-go, just slow) and was braking to slow for a light. I did not apply the clutch. Road rough.

This noise is so unpredictable. I haven’t been able to come up with a set of conditions to reproduce it. Very frustrating…


This is not the ABS self-test. This only occurs when you first stazr the car moving forward; usually below 10 MPH. Take it to the dealer; it’s a warranty item. Be sure to get a receipt for your visit, even if they don’t find anything. You need to be ready for a lemon law return, even though it is highly unlikely that you will need one.

The dealer had the car for most of the day. They inspected the brakes, tires and front end and found nothing. They drove it and the problem didn’t happen for them. I’m not surprised, it is hard to catch. I’ll have to drive it until it happens more often. Thanks for all your advice. I’m keeping a paper trail just in case.

Thanks Again!!

You might want to look up your state’s lemon law to see how many times they’re allowed to try and fix the problem before they pretty much owe you a new car.

Thank you. I’ll keep this in mind.

I am having the exact same problem with my 2010 Corolla S automatic transmission with 3000 miles. It happens whenever I go over bumps or rough roads while applying the brakes on the other side of the bump. I took it to the dealer and was able to reproduce the noise with them in the car. They looked at the brakes but found nothing wrong other than glazing, but the noise is still happening. Beyond the grinding noise, I notice that my braking feels diminished when it happens. That could be just me freaking out at the noise and letting off the brakes though.