Brakes Replaced, Now Metal To Metal Grinding Sound

About 4000 miles ago I had my brakes replaced on my 2007 Pontiac Vibe. I had both front pads and rotors, as well as, the driver side caliper replaced (as it had seized up). Everything was fine and dandy for about one month.

A month later, I heard a rather loud, rotational, metal to metal grinding noise. This noise only occurred when I was braking lightly and coming to a slow stop.

I took the car back to the shop where I had the work done. They looked it over today and said everything looked fine. No problems. They took a look at my rear drums as well and said they look almost new.

The noise isn’t made when braking hard. The noise doesn’t always happen at every slow stop. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I cannot always draw the noise out by braking slowly. I can feel it in the brake pedal when it happens. I do not have ABS in my car. The rotors do not feel warped when braking, i.e.- there is no shake or shimmy in the steering wheel or other noise. The calipers do not appear to be seized up, as there isn’t an absurd amount of dust on my wheels.

I cannot figure it out.

I thought maybe something had wedged up in the brake area, a rock or tar, and it was grinding into the rotor. I washed that area out diligently at the car wash, but i still have the problem.

should i get a second opinion?

Are you ready to let the first shop off the hook or is your intention to put this intermittent noise on them? If it was my car and I was doing the work I would first duplicate the concern but it sounds like this concern is already duplicated in your mind so I say the job should be re-done to the level of removing the new pads an cleaning them up or in the extreme a pad with a different composition. The cost of this activity should be on you but don’t let me discourage you from presenting the “pull the pads and clean them up” idea or the “change pad type” to the first shop.

Yes, get a second opinion.

It never hurts to have someone else look at it but if they find something related to the original repair bring it back to the shop that did the brakes. If it was something they did they should cover it if it is still under warranty.

well, i went to get a second opinion about the brakes. i told the mechanic to pull the pads and look at them, and also to check the wheel bearings while the car was jacked up. he said everything was in excellent condition with my car and couldn’t find any problems. he even test drove it for a while.

could it just be the way the pads are? someone else had mentioned to me that the pads may be glazed, hence the weird metal on metal grinding. however, i remember asking the original mechanic after they installed the new pads about the “proper way” to break in the new pads. he said these pads don’t need that initial break in period because… something about them being baked in an oven after manufacture, and them not needing the heat…

does that make any sense?

they are semi ceramic pads. i know ceramic pads are supposed to be quieter than metallic.

i guess i will keep listening to the front end to see what happens. the car seems to stop properly and doesn’t make the sound 80% of the time.

Hi, do you remember this issue with your Pontiac Vibe? What was the cause and were you able to fix it? It’s happening to my 2007 Vibe now.


Sorry, but that was 9 years ago and the Vibe may be tin cans by now. I think he hit on it when he said his had ceramic pads and he did not break them in easily.