Intermittent brake noises during low speed stops

Recently had full brake job on 2003 Corolla. Sometimes (at least several times a week, and repeatedly during an episode), when I’m driving under 10 miles per hour and apply brakes gradually, they will make a harsh, low-pitched metal-rubbing-metal sound. The problem is that I can’t make the noise happen when I visit the mechanic, and the mechanic says he doesn’t see a problem.

After the brake job was performed, did anyone properly seat the brake pads to the rotors? This is a question you must ask those who did the brake service.

failing to properly seat the pads to the rotors can cause unwanted brake noise.


Thanks - I will ask that when I take it back. Is that (improperly seated pads) something that can be determined visually, or do they need to put it thru some tests? The place is an NTB, and I would’ve thought they followed a standard, thorough procedure for their services, but it does appear something was missed.

Some replacement brake pads have a metallic composition and will make the kind of noise you are hearing. The noise may come and go depending on how hot the pads and rotors are.

I first started hearing the noise after getting NTB’s “Good” brake service. I took it back and what they told me was that I needed to get the “Better” brake service if I wanted to get the brake pads that didn’t make the noise. Got the “Better” brake service but didn’t get rid of the noise. Guess I’ll give them one more chance to fix it and then just take it somewhere else. I just wish I knew some way to be able to reliably reproduce the problem…