Frontier Brake Grind only when vehicle 1st starts and 1st moves

2002 2wd Frontier XE, 50,000 miles, excellent condition. Every time I start the truck (I believe in either Park or Neutral), put in gear (forward or reverse) , and start rolling; the truck will go between 5 and 15 feet and I will feel and hear about a 1-2 second grind like a front (driver?) brake is grabbing. After this very repeatable, consistent action, truck runs fabulously. No pulls, shimees, steering, or braking issues of any kind. Truck just had new fron pads put on. Mechanic says he can find nothing wrong with calipers, rotors, or pads. Truck belongs to 80 year old who desperately needs to sell for all he can. Grind will certainly effect otherwise easy sale of an extremely nice truck. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thank you

80-year-olds tend to drive their vehicles only occasionally, and rusty brake rotors (with accompanying noise) are part of the equation.

The fact that the brakes make no other noise, when used in normal circumstances, means they are fine, and anyone who knows anything at all about vehicles won’t be spooked by this noise.

Stop worrying and sell this truck. The noise you hear is inconsequential, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to beat down the price.

What you are hearing is the ABS self-test. It is very consistent because the ABS system is doing exactly what it is designed to do every time that you start up the vehicle.

The mechanic cannot find anything wrong, simply because there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. Just for your own satisfaction, and the satisfaction of the elderly owner, refer to the relevant section of the Owner’s Manual, which should have some verbiage on this function. If you have the time, you might even want to educate that mechanic who seems to have no clue about the workings of ABS.

In case you find any purchasers who are also not familiar with this normal function, you can show them the information in the Owner’s Manual.

If you are saying that the grinding goes away after a few brake applications then all is well.
It most likely is the metal in the semi-metallic pad rusting, which can occur overnight and when the vehicle takes off the noise can be heard. This can happen overnight and especially when it is very moist outside.

The ABS self test will not create a grinding noise as described. More of a hum and he may or may not feel it in the pedal. If the truck sits for days the rotors will develope rust and you will hear it grinding off when first applying the brakes. Don’t be so quick to question the mechanic’s knowledge of ABS systems until you have mastered them… SIR

The OP states that this “grinding” noise takes place when the truck is rolling–not when the brake is applied. If it happened when the brake was applied, I would be inclined to agree that this was the symptom of rust being worn off of the brake discs. However, if EVERY time that the truck is first driven, a noise is heard after rolling 5 to 15 feet, and then the noise immediately goes away, I do believe that this is simply the ABS self-test.

Part of the problem is the way that different people will describe the same noise. One man’s humming noise can be another man’s grinding noise. And, I have heard some ABS self-tests that were much louder and more instrusive than others. This is more than likely just normal operation of the ABS system during the first few feet of driving.

Thank you soo much for your responses - It sounds like this has to do with ABS self test triggering the grind, does that in fact engage the brake on its own? This consistant heavy grind occurs only after each start up, when I first start rolling, foot on gas, no brake application, and immediately terminates in something probably less than a full wheel rotation. It will repeat if you shut off, start up, and start rolling again.

But what I do not understand is that if the ABS is engaging the brake, and causing the grind due to rust, surface, pad/rotor interface, warped rotor, sticking caliper, or whatever, why can I not reproduce anything like it myself by lightly (or harshly) applying the brake when I first start moving? In fact, I never get or can produce any grind, squeel or a single sound or bad feel when I apply the brakes, whether slow or fast.

This is very harsh grind that can be very much heard by all, and readily felt by the driver, if not the passengers as well. In a test drive, it will scream of a potential, serious problem. We really need to be able to advertise it with zero known mechanical problems.

thank you again for your valuable inputs.