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09 Corolla, Noise When Braking


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#1 Ruben

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:36 PM

My wife has a 2009 Corolla, its at 19,000 miles, recently it began to make a really strange noise when braking and coming to a near stop, however the noise doesn't happen every time. When I tested it, It did it like once every 5 or 6 braking applications, at low speeds when the car is nearly stopped. The noise itself is a grinding type noise, and its really loud. We dropped it off at a toyota dealer yesterday and they didnt find anything, but mentioned the brakes were out of adjustment, and nothing else. We drove it home, and it continued to do it. I'm gonna try capturing the sound and posting it later on. Could a bad rotor be doing this? Seems way too early to me...

#2 fishexpo101

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:02 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

If you get a grinding noise and there is plenty of pad material left - you may have some contamination of the friction material. Rotor issues, you can visually inspect by looking at the rotor. If there are deep, grooves cut into the rotor - then that might be part of the problem. A sticking caliper can cause the brakes to drag on the car - could also be another source of issues.

Not sure what the dealership meant by brakes being out of adjustment unless they were referring to the rear drum brakes (assuming this the not the XRS version - that has disc brakes all around). Disc brakes are self adjusting - if they are showing uneven wear, then they are probably sticking on your.

OEM brakes are a ceramic composite material - generally pretty quiet, but if you get something stuck to the them or the material has glazed - it could be making some noise. If you get a chance to post up a sound clip - please do. Might be able to get more information from the sound clip.

As fas as brakes go - I've burned up a set of OEM pads in less than 24K miles, I've had a car go nearly 90K miles on the OEM pads. Just depends on where and how you drive. If mostly around town, in metro traffic, pulling a trailer, etc. - you could burn up the brakes really quickly.

#3 Ruben

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for your reply. capturing audio was far more difficult than I anticipated. The best I could do from inside the car, I grabbed it using a camera video recording and uploaded it to youtube. You gotta really raise the volume to start hearing it well. At the 6 second mark I started braking and at the 8 second mark you can start hearing a whirring type noise begin, and at the 11 second mark as the car slowed even further you can start hearing the "Grinding" noise all the way up until the final second of the recording when I stopped.

As far as the model, yep its not an XRS, its a Corolla S. They mentioned the pads still had like 40 percent left on em and were good to go. I'm not exactly sure whats causing the grinding.


Edited by Ruben, 27 May 2009 - 07:24 PM.

#4 Larry Roll

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:29 PM

I could definitely hear the noise, but it wasn't distinct enough to be able to even guess as to the source. You don't mention whether or not there is any scoring observed on the rotors, which would be the most likely cause. Could also be excessive runout due to the warping of one or both front rotors. Do you notice any vibrations being fed back through the brake pedal? Is there a noticeable increase in stopping distance at various speeds?

I believe the only way you'll solve the mystery is to replace the whole front brake sysem -- rotors, pads, and calipers, you can start with just the pads and rotors. Make sure you allow for a proper break-in period -- which would be no excessively hard stops from high speeds for the first 300 - 500 miles.

#5 Ruben

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:49 AM

I could definitely hear the noise, but it wasn't distinct enough to be able to even guess as to the source. You don't mention whether or not there is any scoring observed on the rotors, which would be the most likely cause. Could also be excessive runout due to the warping of one or both front rotors. Do you notice any vibrations being fed back through the brake pedal? Is there a noticeable increase in stopping distance at various speeds?

I believe the only way you'll solve the mystery is to replace the whole front brake sysem -- rotors, pads, and calipers, you can start with just the pads and rotors. Make sure you allow for a proper break-in period -- which would be no excessively hard stops from high speeds for the first 300 - 500 miles.


As far as the scoring goes, I'm gonna take a close look this weekend, no vibrations or any feedback on the brake pedal at all, and there's nothing noticable in terms of stopping distance at all.

#6 RussLA

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:43 AM

Ruben,

What amazes me in all this is that the dealer couldn't find anything. The car's still under warranty and they need to make you happy. If the problem occurs every 5 or 6 brakings, surely it will happen on a test drive. I'd get in the car with the service tech on the test drive and be sure he drives it around enough so it malfunctions. Then it's up to the dealer to take care of it. On a new car, you shouldn't have to lift a finger.

Russ

#7 bruce

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 05:10 PM

I have a similar noise... bad grinding sound, not all the time.... sometimes hot, sometimes when cold... 30% pad left on 2010 LE at 24,000 miles

has anybody had luck getting "lifetime" warranty pads from kragen, auto zone or pep boys? If I need brake pads every 28,000 miles It will add up!

#8 bhp02

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 08:38 PM

I have a similar noise... bad grinding sound, not all the time.... sometimes hot, sometimes when cold... 30% pad left on 2010 LE at 24,000 miles

has anybody had luck getting "lifetime" warranty pads from kragen, auto zone or pep boys? If I need brake pads every 28,000 miles It will add up!


guys, if the car is not driven that much, the rust builds quickly on the rotars on the edges.
That will rub against the caliper and make that noise.

#9 khattak99

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:01 AM

My car (2009 Corolla) makes a similar, ugly grinding noise when I hit the brakes hard. Still in warranty, I went to the dealer, who said the ABS gets activated and that it was pretty much normal.

I have a similar noise... bad grinding sound, not all the time.... sometimes hot, sometimes when cold... 30% pad left on 2010 LE at 24,000 miles

has anybody had luck getting "lifetime" warranty pads from kragen, auto zone or pep boys? If I need brake pads every 28,000 miles It will add up!


Edited by khattak99, 13 January 2011 - 03:02 AM.

#10 Rich Levans

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:42 PM

I have an 09 and was getting a grinding noise also. I took the care into my service manager (who is also a friend) and he said the rotors were glazed. So they replaced the rotors and brakes free of charge. Of course now that noise is starting to come back, so I am thinking it is the rotors and pads they use. I think I will see about getting better quality parts and replace them myself.


#11 Rich Levans

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:25 AM

Update: Grinding is getting worse. I called my buddy and he basucally said they would need to take a look at it to really know what the issue is. He also said the brakes are usually good for 30k and it has been that since he replaced them last time. I say screw that and I am going to go buy good quality ceramic brakes and replace them myself.

Now about the Rotor Glazing thing, has anyone ever heard of the rotors being glazed? I have heard of the pads glazing but never the rotors. Haven't looked at them yet to see if there is any wear, but if not shoudl I replace them to?


#12 fishexpo101

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:20 PM

Some places use the term "rotor glaze" - which is really the finish of the rotor / brake transfer layer is smoothed to the point of easily getting contaminated. Sometimes applied to rotors that have overheated - easily recognized by the blueish color tint of the metal.

Cutting the rotors will cure the noise for a short time until the rotor picks up the brake transfer layer again. Some pads will help clean this layer off while simultaneously laying down a fresh transfer layer. Other pads, especially ones that have been overheated, will not clean off the layer smoothly or lay down too much transfer material. This will cause the brakes to grab and stick at the rotor - causing that warped rotor feeling and excessive noise/vibration from the brakes.

The OEM pad is a ceramic composite pad - might be worthwhile to try a different brand of pad, to see if the braking gets better or worse. Loose calipers or ones that are sticking can also cause problems like this. Can even happen to new brakes, depending on how they were broken in. Before installing new pads - scuff up the existing rotors a bit to break up the transfer layer. Some prefer to cut the wheel, but keep in mind that these rotors are not too thick to start out with, couple of thousandths is all you need to freshen up that surface (ie. finish cut).