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Old 02-25-2011, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Brakes / Scrubbing Noise driving me CRAZY

Hello all, I've got a problem with my '05 Bonneville SLE that is driving me absolutely nuts. I got the car from a cousin several months ago, and everything is in very good shape. I suspect they were having it maintained at their local dealership. It'* a great looking car, and I love driving it, but there'* a scrubbing sound that makes it sound like it could be someone'* old Yugo, or one of those Plymouth Horizon / Dodge Cyst (whatever they were...Omni, I know) anyway, it sounds terrible to the point of embarrassment.

For the first few thousand miles, there was a bit of vibration in the brake pedal, which I attributed to a warped rotor, no matter I planned to replace the rotors anyway, the left front inside didnt' look like it was making very good contact / scored a bit. So I bided my time and picked up a new set of Wearever rotors for the front, along with Wagner ThermoQuiet Ceramic pads for front and rear.

Before I got around to changing them out, I started to pick up the scrubbing sound that I thought meant the old pads were wearing down and starting to get to metal on metal. I didn't worry about it because I knew I had new rotors and pads.

After replacing the front rotors and pads, I was a little perplexed by the condition of the pads on the front. They still had more than 1/2 the pad left and were worn evenly. Within a day (and a few hundred miles) the scrubbing sound was back (I'm not entirely sure it was ever gone) and it has gotten worse as time goes by. At first it seemed to be isolated to the right front, but now both sides are making the scrub, scrub, scrub - it changes with speed and is worst when going parking lot speeds (less than 15 mph)

When it seemed isolated to the right side, I was convinced that there must be a wheel bearing going bad, so I replaced the right front with a Timken hub. (sounds like the noise is coming from that side mostly, but it'* now coming from BOTH sides) When I removed the old hub, I had the same sort of surprise I had with the Brake Pads. The old hub had no play in it, nice and tight, feels good.

Later in the same week, I replaced the rear pads with ThermoQuiet ceramics. I did note that the right rear caliper didn't seem to back off like it should (spanner wrench backing it down - it never stopped turning which I heard was a sign of a bad caliper).

I also read that the brake hoses can deteriorate on the inside, and the thought crossed my mind that the brakes may be staying on, so about two weeks ago I replaced both front hoses. It made me feel better, but didn't help the scrub, scrub, scrub sound.

So anyway, at this point, I'm into it for new front rotors and ceramic pads all the way around, plus a wheel hub, and new brake hoses. I'm getting tired of throwing money at it, and occasionally wishing I'd kept my '97 Bonne, as it NEVER gave me these type of fits.

It definitely SOUNDS like the problem is in the front of the car, but I'm at wits end to solve it. I know the Backer plates can be blamed too but they do not look like they're rubbing anywhere. I don't see any shine on anything in the wheel opening area, and there are no tell tale "clunk" noises like a CV is going bad.

Even more maddening.... the sound DOESN'T go away when the brakes are pressed... it only stops when the car stops. Turning to the right or left will make the sound change, making a right turn enhances the sound on the left side. It'* tough to describe.

So anyone care to offer thoughts on what it might be???

Thanks in advance.... scrub, scrub, scrub.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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You say scrub as the noise, not a squeal. Backing plates would typically squeal and you clearly took a look at them. Would it be possible to make a video? Sometimes it'* helpful to see the car in person, on the internet though... we don't get that luxury except with video.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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I am going to point out that this generation is known for bad hubs/wheel bearings. I would be inclined to ensure that they are not at fault.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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I have the exact same noise on my 01 SSEi. Most pronounced when driving at parking lot speeds, particularly when you are in a parking lot with lots of people hearing your car make this noise, and more pronounced when turning. There is no doubt in my mind this is the brake pads rubbing on the rotors. Perhaps a different rotor/pad combination would make it go away, but it doesn't annoy me enough to spend several hundred dollars to make it go away.

I will be interested to see what other people say about this.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:36 AM   #5
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Hi all, I hope to take a video this weekend, but in the meantime, I've just been putting up with the noise. One rear caliper didn't back off like I would have liked when I last had everything apart. They're supposed to stop after turning in all the way, right? Could that have an impact on the rest of the system remaining "partially on". I have NOT been impressed with my average mpg out of this car, getting only 23 or 24 mixed driving and babying it (which is no where near as fun) - could the brakes be dragging and reducing mpg?

Of note - I'll have to look at the Bridgestone tires that are on the car - I found this while poking around - I'd describe my noise as a grinding / scraping, and it DOES depend on the curve of the road, and gets louder softer as the wheels are spinning (like a rotor is wider at one part than the rest.) Definitely WEIRD.

http://www.carquest.com/common/downl...QB%2003-14.pdf
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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it just sounds like wheel bearings to me, if it where brakes it would normally stop when you put the brakes on. its probably on of the rears just because it sounds like the front doesnt mean it is noises do funny things. i would replace both for aggravations sake. you know if one is bad the other isnt far behind
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:54 AM   #7
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I'm going to lean towards a hub. When it gets louder when turning it tends to be the outside hub. If it were the brakes it would change when you use the brakes.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Default How about the tires?

What age and brand are the fronts? and rears?

Have you tried rotating the tires to see if the noise changes?
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:36 PM   #9
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go the cheap route first, take the first posters advice and check the backing plates. mine made that noise, just had to bend them away from the rotor with a screwdriver to make the noise stop.
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