Cyclical noise from one side when braking after replacing brake pads

I went to a brake shop to have the brakes replaced. They machined the front rotors and replaced the pads.

Now, when I apply the brakes at basically any speed (from 60mph down to <10) I get a cyclical noise from the front left brake: the best I can type it is dugadugadugaduga (links to noise at the bottom). With the windows down, though, it sounds like a horrible creaking noise (wreeak-a-wreeak-a-wreeak-a). It mostly happens when the brake isn’t completely pushed down, but lightly applied. The speed of the noise is clearly proportional to the speed of the car, it’s faster when I brake at higher speeds and slows down as the car slows down (dugadugadugaduug…dug…dug…dug…dug).

I took it to the shop once, he couldn’t hear it. It’s been about a week, and it’s now more consistent than ever. I will take it back, but want some help with what I can tell the mechanic to look for. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing it?

Dugaduga: Lots of dugaduga.m4a - Google Drive
Wreak-a-wreak-a: Wreak.m4a - Google Drive

Sounds like a brake rotor was not machined properly. Machining rotors is not that common anymore. The noise might go away with time…which is what the brake mechanic is hoping… replacement may be required.

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Couple of ideas:

  • Brake rotor has warped, either b/c it is too thin after machining, or the wheel was installed incorrectly which warped the rotor.

  • Non-oem pads, or anti-noise/rattle shims missing or improperly installed.

I think you’d be better off having this job re-done using new rotors and Toyota oem pads.

I seem to recall Ray addressing this issue recently, I don’t see it listed in recent “ask Ray” columns, so maybe on a recent “best of car talk” podcast. Maybe this one

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Make sure the lug nuts aren’t loose.

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A couple of unknowns.
Caliper slides should always be serviced during a brake job. Do you know if this was done?

Attention should also be paid to how easy the brake caliper pistons retract. If they are somewhat difficult to retract or near impossible this means it is time for caliper replacements.
The age/miles is not given but over time the square seals in the caliper bores harden and that cause the brakes to drag due to the piston having difficultly being pulled back into the bore.

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Well, back with a good update. I went back to the shop again and asked again - he drove the car and must have heard it, because he re-machined the rotor and now the noise is gone.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t very willing to give more info about what was wrong (maybe he didn’t even know). So, no great solution here - all I got is that supposedly re-machining fixed it. Sorry it’s not more satisfying, and thanks all for the input!

The main objective is to eliminate the noise. Done. Good for you.