Metallic scrape from wheel that goes away when I brake

I have a Mazda Miata 2001, 152,000 miles. It’s developed a metallic scrape from the right rear wheel. When I’m driving about 20 mph it sounds like a scritch every half-a-second or so, and if I’m going faster it just blurs into a metallic scrape. When I tap the brakes, it usually stops, and then it’ll come back a little bit later (maybe when I hit a bump?) It comes and goes, but it seems to be more persistent now (or maybe I’m just always listening for it).

I took the wheel off and sprayed brake cleaner everywhere and I thought that had fixed it, but it came back again after a week maybe.

Any suggestions how to figure out what’s wrong?

Thanks in advance,


Sounds like the brake pad wear sensor is hitting the rotor. (Cue your “I just got new pads” reply.)

I agree with insightful that this is most likely the sound of the audible wear sensor on the brakes of that particular wheel. If the brake pads are actually in good condition, then I would suggest checking for a bent brake dust shield.

Welcome to the club. Mine started two days ago. Time to get under the buggy again. I hope it’s the rears, I have rear pads and discs in stock.

It does sound like the brake pads on the rear are worn a bit thin and need a servicing. Is your car configured so your mechanic can see how much pad is remaining by just removing the wheel? That’d be the first place to start. While the wheel is off it would make sense to check for any unusual play in the wheel bearing too.