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Rear wheel making metal scraping/dragging noise

Background: 2003 jetta; just changed rotors and pads on rear wheels a month ago, they are disc brakes

So the other day I was driving in a school zone at about 20 mph when I heard a VERY loud sound, like I’m dragging metal. i might also describe it as two rusty metal plates being rubbed against each other, but really really loud.

The noise is related to speed, it sounds cyclical and speeds up as the wheel turns faster. It occurs when I am NOT braking.

I parked the car and came back to it a few days later move it and the sound disappeared for the first 100 feet and then came back.


UPDATE: we did 2 things - we changed the caliper, and we also noticed that a caliper bolt was missing. I am pretty sure the noise was coming from that missing bolt - i think the caliper became dislodged and was making contact with the rotor. The caliper also seemed to be dragging a little bit so we went ahead and changed it too.

Did you properly adjust the brake pad wear sensors?
Did you properly adjust the parking brakes?
Perhaps the fronts need doing too? Have you checked?

There was only one wear sensor on the front driver side brake (and we changed the front brakes at the same time)

How would I properly adjust the parking brake?

One of the attacked videos should help.

Did you apply caliper grease to the guide pins for the calipers? And check the caliper bores for the guide pins for corrosion?


Possibly a loose brake dust shield. Pull each wheel and have a look-see.

I once had a bad wheel bearing that sounded just like metal dragging under the car , I even pulled over & looked underneath to see what was dragging . Just a thought in case it isn’t a brake problem .

First step is to put the car on a lift (or however you want to do it) and hand-spin the wheels, listening for the sound you describe.

I’d recommend spinning all four. Sound can travel through the structures and appear to be coming from other than the area that seems apparent. I’ve been fooled by that more than once over the years. :relaxed:

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Check if there’s a pebble or small rock trapped between the brake dust shield and the disc. A bad bearding can also be the cause of the annoying sound.


I agree, each time a customer has returned with a loud rubbing noise after a brake repair it was a rock between the rotor and backing plate or caliper. Nothing to do with the brake repair but an opportunity to get the problem resolved for free.