Problems after Installing new brake Drums

When I started hearing metal to metal somewhere, I brought my car to my mechanic who I’m very satisfied with. He told me my car needed new brake drums in the rear. After the job was done, I heard these rhythmic sounds each time I stepped on the break which got louder & louder. I brought back the car & my mechanic worked on the drums for 3 hours or so to try and resolve this. It helped a little, but not enough and after a day or 2, the sounds were more frequent although less noisy. I brought it back again and this time he installed NEW drums as he thought that the drums he installed initially might have been defective. I picked it up today (after he said they did a test drive) and after about 1/2 hour, the sounds resumed.

He is fair & honest and has never experienced such a problem before. Now, he’s thinking that in addition to new drums, he may have to install new discs as well although that wasn’t a problem initially. He is perplexed as I am. Does anyone know why this might be happening? I told my mechanic I would be coming to this forum - as he really wants to resolve the problem (at no charge to me).

My car is 1997 Toyota Tercel with 90,000 miles on it and drives well.

Just to clarify,were the brake shoes were replaced also?

I’ve seen a few cases where drum brake noise was caused by the wheel rims which were bent due to impact or distorted due to improper tightening of the wheel lugs at some point.

Regarding the latter, what happens is that the flawed wheel rim will distort the brake drum when the lugs are tightened instead of the wheel rim conforming to match the drum.

With the flawed wheel removed the brake drum will revert to a normal and perfectly round shape; only to deform again when the wheel is installed and the lugs tightened.

I don’t know if that’s the cause or not. It’s just some food for thought if all else fails.

Here’s a wild thought . . .

You might have a bent backing plate . . . either on the rear drums, or maybe even on the front rotors

You might have a rock lodged between the front backing plates, and the rotors

It is very easy for a backing plate to get bent, and this can happen very quickly while doing a brake job

If the car has power windows, here’s a method which works for me

Get the brakes nice and hot, to the point where you can reliably duplicate the noise every time

Roll down the left front window, then roll it up
Roll down the right front window, then roll it up
Roll down the right rear window, then roll it up
Roll down the left rear window, then roll it up

You’ll quickly be able to establish what corner the noise is coming from

I mentioned the power windows, because it’s going to be hard for one person to do this alone, while driving and trying to listen for a noise

Failing that, you can enlist the help of a friend.
Find a big empty parking lot
The friend will be outside
Drive the car and step on the brakes, so that you can reproduce the noise
The friend will try to determine what corner it’s coming from

This is more tedious and dangerous, but it also works

First, the brake pads were NOT replaced also. That’s what my mechanic plans to do next time I bring it back to him.

I will pass on your answer to him as it sounds logical and he’s perplexed but also determined to resolve this problem - as I am !!!

Thank you.

db: I will also pass on your answer to my mechanic. The more feedback he gets the better. As for my car it’s a 1997 Tercel~ has no power anything. My mechanic and his workers have test driven my car before giving it back to me. Another issue is that sometimes the noise goes away - but then it always comes back. I’m sure he would not have given it back to me if he heard the noise during the test drive; I didn’t at first either, but within 1/2 of driving in the City - it came back after 2 changed set of drums!

Thanks for your answers. Again, I will them on to my mechanic who has never experienced this happening before.

I’ll say this about brake noises . . . sometimes it takes several minutes of driving, including hard braking, before you can reproduce the noise every single time

If you don’t have patience, you’ll never hear it

OP, fyi pads go with disc brakes, shoes go with drum brakes. So a little confused. Are you saying the rear drums were replaced with new drums, but the original brake shoes were re-installed, to be used with the new drums? I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. Usually you’d replace the shoes too, so the new shoes and new drum could wear-in together.

That was my original question also; whether the shoes were replaced. I would hope that someone did not replace drums and reuse the old shoes.

The pads point towards the front and another point of murkiness is whether this noise is coming from the front or back; or both.

The rear brake drums on your vehicle are retained to a spindle with two tapered bearings, a washer, and a nut.

When servicing this type rear brake drum system, the bearings must be preloaded whenever the drum is removed for brake service and reinstalled.

Preloading the bearings means, as the retaining nut is being tightened, the drum is rotated by hand. Then once the retaining nut bottoms out, the nut is backed off 1/4 turn. Then the retaining cap is installed over the nut and the cotter pin is installed.

Failing to preload the bearings on this type of brake drum system can cause the brake drum not to rotate properly and cause brake noise.


I replaced after market ATE drums and linings in my 2007 yaris i also had a clicking noise when i applied brakes, so i took it back to my mechanic he said its because it was not original toyota parts used so i took it to another mechanic for a second opinion he took the drums out and used a metal file to file the edges of the the lining alittle down which solved the problem. He said after market linings may look the same but differ very slightly. Hope this helps

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ATE is an oem for many european auto manufacturers . . . you did not buy junky parts

But I’m guessing ATE was never an oem for your Yaris