Wheel scrapes and drags when turned


I have a 92 Toyota Corolla, and the left front wheel sticks and scrapes when I rotate it. First of all, I?m wondering what might cause this, and secondly how serious is it? It?s had new calipers, rotor, pads, the works. It?s also had a new drive axel assembly. All on that side. That was about 4 years ago. Today, I took it to the garage that did that work, and the mechanic drove it around the block, didn?t hear anything and said there was nothing wrong, while handing me a bill for $80.

Something with that much scraping and friction can?t be good. At the least it will lower my gas mileage. But I think it?s getting worse, and the wheel may freeze up on me during a 600 mile trip I?m planning next week.

Please help.

you jacked it up and rotated it by hand? if so why didn’t the mechanic just put it on the lift? I hope you didn’t pay the $80!! I’m guessing brake pad hanger twisted.

Thanks for your response. Yes, I jacked the car up and rotated the wheel by hand. The mechanic said he put it on the lift, though I didn?t see it. I had to pay the $80, otherwise I couldn?t get my car back.

Your suggestion of a twisted brake pad hanger sounds plausible, but I don?t know what that piece of equipment is. How would I be able to find out if that is the problem? Could I jack it up and look in there myself without having to do a lot of disassembly?

I?ve been looking at my Chilton?s, specifically the installation instructions for front disk brakes in this car. Nowhere do they mention adjusting the brakes. They just say when you?re done to pump the brake pedal a few times to seat the pads against the rotor. Does this mean the pads are always touching the rotor? I thought there?d be clearance, so they wouldn?t rub and slow the wheel down. Well, if they?re supposed to touch, it?s quite possible that the scraping sound and drag when the wheel turns are caused by the brake pads, and even that this is normal. The other front wheel doesn?t sound like that and drag, though, the way this one does, namely for ? of the turn.

Any ideas on this?

A little surface rust can form on the rotor within hours, and will make some scraping noise. This rust is removed very quickly when you drive.

You talk about new parts being installed, but that was 4 years ago! How are the brakes now?

The brakes seem fine with plenty of pad. Are the pads supposed to rub against the rotor at all times, even when the brake pedal is not depressed?

Lowered the car didn’t you??? It is very possible that there is some component (I don’t know the exact set up of Toyota suspension) of the suspension loose. A component that holds the wheel to the suspension system. In most cars it will be the wheel bearings improperly adjusted, but some makes of cars have a combination wet/constant contact type bearing which is constantly lubed by the transmission fluid and some will have the common, typically used chasis lube and seal packed bearngs. Is there a wobble in the steering wheel also?

Check the brakes. Noises on the brakes are amplified when using cheap aftermarket parts. THey have a life time warranty because the pads are so hard they wear uot everything else. The pads will touch a little bit, the system uses what is called ‘quick take up’ brakes. but they don’t drag like the cars from the 70’s do. Also, picking up acar and checking for clearance issues won’t work. The car’s weight has to be on its wheels when you check for clearance. The older corollas go through wheel bearings about every 100k with moderate driving habits. This alone will make more different noises than I can remember. The best way to check the bearings other than lifting the car and feeling for play, is to drive it in an empty parking lot and gently do long turns to the left and right, at about 25 mph. This will load and unload bearings and cause the noise to change if it is indeed the bearings.
AS far as the $80 go, unless you signed the repair order wit a written amount, you are pretty much stuck with a bill that averages up to $100,depending on the state. If you did NOT sign a repair order you don’t have to pay a cent, becuase they don’t have your written permission to work on the car, and they just faulted their insurance agreement. This is regulated by the Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights and Scales. They do not take complaints lightly. By the way, if you ever feel that you have been charged to much, they also regulate the consistancy of charges, which is a complicated thing in and of itself.

Ther is no wobble in the steering wheel.

How can you check for clearance between the pads and the rotor without jacking the car up? The car has about 77,000 miles on it, so probably doesn?t need wheel bearings yet, though maybe I?ll check for wear like you suggested. I didn?t sign a repair order, since they were just checking the car out, but paid the bill anyway.