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Grinding breaks

I have a 2003 Impala, total milage little of 122,000 miles, I bought the car back in Dec 2014. When I bought the car I got all the paper work on the work the dealership did on the car prior to me buying it. One of the things they did was put new brakes and rotors on the front. Since then I have replaced the backs. However after about 4-5 months I notices that from the front passenger side when I had to slam on the breaks or was braking from high speed I would hear a grinding sound coming from that area. I have taken it to two places and both have inspected both the wheels and rotor’s and say they are fine, they commented that the pads were not the best but more then adequate for this car. Of course when they drove it around it didn’t happen and it doesn’t always happen. both places said it could be the pads or rotors but without replacing them there is no real way to tell. How can they both be viewed as good and in good condition and I get this grinding sound from the one front wheel from time to time when I break.

Brakes-Brakes not breaks.

Give him a brake…

Low cost brake pads can make noise, but as your mechanic said they are adequate to stop the car. My car does fine with mid grade pads from a McParts store, but after 6 months or so they grind at low speed. If I take them off and hit them with sand paper to take the glaze off they are OK for several months, but it always comes back. High end or OEM pads usually do not make noise.

+1 to @SteveCBT It is possible to get pads and rotor combinations that “grind”. It happens with some factory pads on some models. It happens a lot with cheap pads and cheap rotors. It has been inspected, it stops, its annoying but safe. Either spring for a new set of good quality pads and rotors or live with it.

Given what the costs would be I am going to live with it for now…thanks to all for the help.

Inspection of the pads may show one side on a caliper being worn visibly more than the other side. That’s a clear sign that you have a caliper sticking. Some suggest cleaning and lubing the slides, but IMHO that’s a temporary solution only.

Does your shop order (from the brake work) describe the type of pads they installed? Metallic brake pads wear better, but can be noisy. Ceramic pads have a reputation for noisiness also, although I use them and on my car they’re fine. I use them 'cause they provide better performance than organic pads and they don’t seem to leave anywhere near as much brake dust on the wheels.

My wife’s car did something similar to this- we found that one of the brake pads was cracked. The pad still had decent thickness left, but because it was cracked, it made a different tone when applied hard. New pads and rotors took care of the noise.

I have grinding “breaks” too but that is a different story.

I agree about the above comment. I think you have intermittently sticking calipers. If it was the pad/rotor combination, it would grind at all times at least if you were stopping from the same speed.

With this symptom it would be a good idea to next time you drive a while but don’t use the brakes much, when you stop, get out of the car & feel all the wheels one by one to see if any are getting really hot, or one is getting much hotter than the others. Be careful when doing this, if you have a brake sticking the wheel can get really hot.

Why would a dragging caliper only be a problem during hard braking?

When the parts get hot, hard to say what will happen. Like with Ray’s TCS theory – Toyota Camry Syndrome – carbon deposits in the valve train cause the engine to malfunction, but only when they get hot. The Camry works fine when the engine is cold.

Between the title and text there seems to be an intermittent problem between the breaks and brakes.