Brake Rattling

Hi — long story short after new rear brake pads and rotors on my 05 Mazda 3, I’m having a couple of issues and trying to isolate. First one is a rattle noise coming from one of the rear wheels at low speeds, over bumps, that seems to go away when applying the brakes. The other is a squealing or rubbing type noise, intermittently, and only when backing up in reverse.

I’m thinking a few things need to be checked - I’m intending to possibly lightly sand the pads and rotors, and re-grease the guide pin, back of pad, etc. I’m also thinking that the anti-rattle clips were not installed on the new pads. That seems like an easy fix, but my question is how do I tell which clips to get? Is the only way to take them entirely off, then in to the parts store?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Sanding pads is a waste of time. Greasing is ok but won’t fix your problem. Anti rattle clips shouldn’t be rocket science. If they are in place, you don’t need them. If youv’e jacked it up to check and they are missing, the parts store have listings for your specific car.

You didn’t descibe the noise very thoroughly but look for loose head sheilds or exhaust pipes. Knocking noises can be stabilizer bar links or bushings gone bad.

Thanks. I think I misunderstood the anti vibration/rattle clips. My old pads had a sort of spring on the back of the pad, and I thought that’s what I was missing (the new ones don’t). The other spring clip, that fits into the caliper, is there, so I think that’s OK. The noise is at low speed, more of like a tick tick tick, that’s consistent with the wheel turning. Don’t notice at high speeds, and goes away when applying the brakes. I had the sway bars replaced not too long ago. Thanks for the suggestions.

Most decent brake pad kits include all of the related caliper clips that should be changed at the same time as replacing pads. When I have had any type of squeal afterward, it was usually from the clip that goes into the caliper and the pad ends ride on. They are often tough to fully seat and have these fishook type bent tabs to ensure they do not back out of the groove. If not fully seated, or properly bent, they can rub on the rotor. I’d suggest re-examining the caliper and pad assembly as you rotate the hub, looking for interference issues to the rotor.

So you’re going to do a bunch of work that might or might not fix your problem? Why not pay for a professional diagnosis?

My car had some cupping (uneven tire wear) on one of the tires, but I didn’t know it did until I rotated that tire from the back to the front. When I rotated that tire to the front, it made a sound similar to what you’re describing, so I thought it might be a bad bearing. If I had pursued that diagnosis by throwing parts at the problem, I would have wasted money. Instead, I took the car to a shop. They determined the sound was caused by cupping, and the cupping was caused by worn out struts. Since the struts were covered by a lifetime parts warranty, I only had to pay for the labor to replace them.

My point is that the rattling noise could be anything. My first thought was that it could be a worn or loose strut, shock absorber, or spring. The rubbing sound could be a bad bearing. The important thing is that you might save money by paying a professional to diagnose and fix your problem if the alternative is to throw parts at the problem or do repairs that aren’t likely to fix the problem.

Hire a pro.

If the spring thing on the back of the old pads can be removed, do that and snap it on the new pads.

Thanks, Twin Turbo. Will check clips.

All due respect, Whitey, I did have a “professional” do work on this car, and wasn’t satisfied with the work. They simply did a lot of things wrong, and frankly, I didn’t want them working on my car anymore for fear they’d mess things up even more. I’ve also had in the past “professionals” offer diagnoses, and often been wrong or what’s more often the case, come back with a laundry list of stuff they believe needs to be done. What’s wrong with educating myself to perform my own work? Isn’t that the purpose of this forum?

Yes, when I look into, I am also going to check the strut. And no, I’m not going to “do a bunch of work”, just want to check some usual suspects before going further.

WENTWEST: I don’t think the new pads have springs on the back of the pads, which also could be an issue as I think the OE pads did, and I don’t have the old pads anymore. Not sure if there’s a fix for that outside of new pads.

There is nothing wrong with educating yourself to perform your own work. I just think doing that with this problem will cost more than hiring a competent mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.

The purpose of this forum is to be a place where people can offer advice that will solve your problem, and I think skipping the diagnosis and going straight to undiagnosed repairs will compound your problem.

So the mechanics you’ve employed in the past were less than competent. That’s a great reason not to hire them again, but that’s not a logical reason not to search for and find a good automotive diagnostician. I’ve had some incompetent doctors, but I’m not going to forgo all doctors because of it and start doing my own medical procedures.

If you’re more interested in doing the work yourself than you are in solving the problem as quickly and as inexpensively as possible, I wish you luck. I offered advice that I thought would solve your problem more effectively and efficiently than your current approach, but maybe solving the problem as effectively and efficiently as possible isn’t your goal. That’s no skin off my back.

Update in case someone has similar issues: Pulled the wheel and noticed the pads the mechanic (the “Pro”) used were the wrong ones (in addition to other problems below) – the pads used have a groove/spring on the back plate that was slid into the piston. The pads for this vehicle have no spring, but a small Y type spring on the top. Before investigating this on my own, I returned the vehicle to the mechanic twice, after noticing the rattle, and they assured me there were no problems and that they couldn’t hear any noise.

Also — the “Pro” didn’t put any anti-seize or lube at all on the back of the pads, or on the contact points of the brake pad/caliper bracket. The guide pin was also bone dry, which likely led to a great deal of sticking. I lubed that well with silicone paste.

Where I’m at, it costs about $100 for a diagnosis. In this case, I fixed the issue (no noises at all after the repair) for $140 in parts. Thanks for all the help/suggestions.

That tick tick sound could be the sign of a sticking caliper.My Corolla did that for a while before I discovered that one of my front wheel was extremely hot to the touch.I replaced the caliper and all is good now.