Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Grinding noise when braking and now also when driving

I have a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant with 145,000 miles on it. I have owned the car for the last 7 years and have kept up on the car maintenance. I just moved about 2600 miles and my car drove great. Since the move it has started to make a grinding noise. At first it only happened when I was turning sharply and the A/C was on, if the A/C was off it didn’t happen. The noise started to happen when I was braking and now the noise is happening when I am driving and getting worse when I brake. I had the brakes replaced less than 6 months ago. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I should check? Since I am new to the area, I don’t know a reputable place to take my car in that will not take advantage of my lack of car knowledge. Does anyone know a reputable place that I can get car repairs done close to Sterling, VA? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

First I would check the front and rear brakes again. At least take a wheel off and look at the front pads. If the rears have never been replaced do those too.

The noise worse when you brake sounds like the pads may be worn out,but also depends on how many miles you have run the car.

Thank you for replying so quickly!! I’ll check the brakes out again tomorrow. Will it cause more damage if I have to drive my car about 40 miles in the morning? I doubt that I will be able to get them replaced before monday if that is the problem. Thanks again!!

some places offer free inspections. maybe a wheel bearing. is it coming from a certain wheel?

It sounds like the noise is coming from the front and getting worse this week. It is starting to make a noise een when I am not braking.

at least take it for an inspection tomorrow - sat. not sure what you have around there. try looking up firestone, tuffy brakes, midas,

Firestone Complete Auto Care Store
Store #592021
21800 Towncenter Plz Ste 277
Sterling, VA 20164
(571) 434-7566
M-F: 7:00am-7:00pm
Sa: 7:00am-6:00pm
Su: 9:00am-4:00pm

Charlottesville Tuffy
1150 Richmond Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Telephone: 434-977-7776

Midas Chantilly
13979 Metrotech Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151
Monday - Friday 7:30AM - 7:00PM
Saturday 7:30AM - 4:00PM
Sunday - Closed

If the courtesy check at Midas (look at the link above or the midas website) is really free, try there to start.

Then you can shop around for the best place/most reasonable to repair it. You can also ask at auto parts stores if they recommend anyone and also at places you frequent - ask around. you may hear the same shop form different people and get an idea of what is available around your new place. Also there are coupons and rebates for repair work and parts for brake work at least on the internet.

take it easy on your driving and don’t drive too fast till you get it looked at.

Caveat Emptor!

I would only suggest using a chain operation for car repair if you have a very good idea of exactly what needs to be repaired. If you really don’t know the source of the problem, that leaves Midas and the other chains enough wiggle room to do their usual thing of coming up with a HUGE laundry list of what parts need to be replaced. Midas and Sears, among others, are notorious for this, thus turning a simple repair into a massive and unnecessary fishing expedition for the contents of your wallet.

The mechanics at chain operations are rarely the better ones, and since they work on commission, the more parts that they claim you need, the fatter their paycheck and the slimmer your wallet. I would advise avoiding all of these chains unless there is literally NO alternative in the area.

It is entirely possible to have a set of brakes wear out in six months if there was something done incorrectly. It sounds like you may have a twisted or kinked hose on a front caliper. This will result in very rapid wear and is a common mistake for an inattentive or rookie mechanic to make, and can go unnoticed by the driver of the car until the brakes are shot long before their time. When you have the car inspected, ask if that is what happened.

What a remarkable set of symptoms. For what it’s worth:

  1. A sound that only happens when the A/C is on pretty much has to be related to the A/C compressor or something else on the same accessory belt.

  2. A sound that only occurs on sharp turns probably has to do with the power steering or constant-velocity (CV) joints. The power steering pump is probably on the same belt as the A/C.

  3. A sound that only occurs while braking is probably the brakes (duh). But it could just possibly be a wheel bearing that is stressed when the brakes are applied.

  4. A sound that is stronger when the brakes are applied but is still present with no brakes sounds like a wheel bearing or some other suspension component.

If I had to guess, I’d say maybe the power steering pump (assuming you have one – which you probably do), but it could be something scarier like a wheel that is getting ready to fall off.

I don’t think I’d take this to a chain. It’s very possibly a complicated problem, and in general those guys seem to have trouble with even simple problems. Your best bet is probably a good independent shop. Or a dealer – who will probably be more expensive – but at least you have a fighting chance of getting a proper diagnosis.