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Growling Noise When Braking



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RonD67

My wife just informed me that there is a growling noise when she breaks her 2003 Corolla. We just had the winter tires put on a few weeks ago. The tread is in fairly good condition. I drove the car and verified that yes, there is a fairly loud growling noise when the car is breaking. When I asked her how long this was going on she said it was intermittent and couldn't remember if it also happened when we had the all season tires we use during the summer on. Thinking it was the brakes I took it into the shop to have them looked at. The brakes are brand-new. I just had new front brakes put on in January. The shop said that there was nothing wrong with the brakes front and rear. They said it was the tires. They showed me that the tires had alternating uneven tread lug ware. The tires are hankook I Pike W409's. Shop said that this is what was causing the noise when breaking because the tire tread was not making complete/even contact every time on the road. He said this uneven lug ware could be caused by not having the tires rotated regularly.

Since we only use these tires for a few months of the year, I assumed that there is no way they would always put the same tires on the same wheels and therefore rotation would take place naturally. We have done this alternating summer winter tire thing since we bought the car brand-new in 2003. This is the 2nd or 3rd set of winter tires we have had on this car. This is the 2nd set of hankook I Pike W409's we have had on this car. Until now we have had no such problems.

My questions are;

1. Can alternating uneven lug ware cause a growling noise when breaking.

2. If the uneven lug ware is caused by not rotating properly, is the only way to fix this problem and prevented in the future is to mark my tires before we have the winter tires put on and taken off.

3. Is there any way to fix this or do I need to get new winter tires.

Ron

dom

Are your inflation pressures set at 30 psi cold? Were your front wheel bearings checked? Have they been replaced before? What mileage are you at? Random rotations cannot always be ideal.

doh133

Have you had your car alligned lately? Are the tires scalloped? Uneven wear or scalloping would cause road noise and the uneven wear, improperly alligned cars can have this problem if your car is not pulling to one side you can have them check camber as well. More info: https://www.kaltire.com/whats-causing-your-uneven-tire-wear/ Also worn shocks can cause uneven wear as well check your struts for leaking or push on the hood and if it bounces or comes back up fast the struts are likely worn. Mileage will tell you if they are worn as well I changed my struts at 220000 kms but I think they recommend changing them earlier.

doh133

And to answer your questions the tires will still growl especially if they are scalloped I know this from experience. You can try moving the most worn tires to the back and it should reduce the noise because the front tires usually have most of the weight on them. And in the future you should mark the tires and rotate them properly .Since your car is an 03 I would look into the struts if you have never changed them I'm assuming it's time but it's not a cheap endeavor. If you want to cheap out then adjusting the camber or have a complete allignment can compensate for worn suspension to some degree. Doing this likely won't help your current tires stop growling though.

RonD67

Dom/Doh133 I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

The car has 159,000 miles on it. Tire pressure is kept at 30 psi cold. I have not had the bearings checked. The alignment appears to be good as I can drive for quite a long time at 65 miles an hour on a straight and level road with my hands off the wheel. The car does not pull to one side or the other. Does not vibrate or have any handling problems at all. The tires when visually inspected look normal with no signs of any kind of ware other than normal tread ware. The scalping/uneven lugs is not noticeable except on close visual inspection and even then you still have to feel it to detect any difference. The difference is very slight. Horizontally across the tire it looks very even as far as tread wear goes. The shop I took it in to, checked the shocks and said the shocks were good. He did the bounce test for me while I was there and watching. The noise is not always present. When it does occur, it occurs only after the car has been driven for a while. In other words warmed up. The colder it gets, the less often the growling noise occurs.

dom

Yeah it's likely your front wheel bearings. They have to be pressed out of the steering knuckles to then press in the new bearings. It then requires a front wheel camber and toe alignment, so it'd be a good time to replace your worn out 160k mile front and rear struts at the same time... An attempted bounce test will not reveal much on the front end of the Corolla. Check your front suspensions' control arm rear bushings for ripping or separation as well.

Timken # 510070 http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,2003,corolla,1.8l+l4,1432914,brake/wheel+hub,wheel+bearing,1672

doh133

You could test the wheel bearings by jacking one side of the car up and with the other tire on the ground and with your parking brake on very very gently accel and ur tire should spin and the other one wont . If you hear the grinding type noise it's highly likely your wheel bearing I diagnosed my bad wheel bearing on the driver's side this way as I also thought it was my tires. The bearing noise was there but there was no noticeable play or other signs. My car had less miles approx 149,000 when the bearing needed replacement. I changed both as well since the other one was prob not far behind. Also like Dom said with that many kms it's a good idea to change the struts as well even if they seem ok since changing the bearing involves removing alot of stuff the struts could be changed easily when changing the bearings as well if you have the cash. That will likely help with ur uneven wear

doh133

Spend the extra on the timken bearings Dom linked if needed and they may outlast the car.

RonD67

dom/doh133

Again thanks for the reply and the advice.

I think I'm going to go with new winter tires 1st. This is the last year for these ones anyway. I looked in detail at the tread and they are definitely not wearing evenly. Between the Individual tires that is. Each tire itself has even treads except for the lugs as I mentioned before. If that doesn't work then I will go with the bearings.

Ron

RonD67

Well I changed my mind and decided to follow your advice. I did the bearing test and heard nothing. Not trusting my own aging hearing, I had my son and daughter also listen and they heard nothing also. I did it on both wheels. So I pulled both front tires off the car and checked the brakes myself. The inner and outer pads of both tires are wearing very unevenly. It is the same on both tires the inner pad is far more worn by at twice as much than the outer pads. I'm wondering if that shop I took it to just looked at the outer pads did not check the inner pads. I will start looking into this tomorrow in more detail.

dom

Inner pads do normally wear faster than the outer pads.

Make sure the sliding pins are not seizing up. You just need to unbolt the brake caliper from the pins to pull them out, clean and lube... Check also for a rust buildup on the outer edge or rotor, which can be chipped off. Make sure the rotor shield is clear of the rotor on the back and not making contact.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/132-9th-gen-corolla-1st-gen-matrix-2003-2008/399511-diy-2003-2008-corolla-matrix-pontiac-vibe-front-brake-job-pics.html

doh133

Seems like your bearings are OK if there is no noise or movement, as Dom said inner brake pads usually wear a bit faster than outer due to the piston pressing on the inner pad with more force. If the slider pins are stiff or seizing it could cause them to wear even more unevenly but my thinking is that they are OK but it's possible you have a seized/sticking caliper you can check by driving about a mile then trying to coast to a stop and not using much brakes and then put your finger on the calipers if they are almost too hot to touch theres a good chance they are seizing. If that's good then it seems your back to the allignment/worn shocks possibility. If you get new tires that may be the fix since your current tires may have a defect like a broken belt that caused the uneven wear. Right now it might be the easiest thing to change the tires and see if it helps but monitor the wear closely and rotate them properly. If the wear is looking uneven you will catch it earlier and be able to look into other possible causes such as allignment / shocks/struts.

snailJ

dom/doh133

Again thanks for the reply and the advice.

I think I'm going to go with new winter tires 1st. This is the last year for these ones anyway. I looked in detail at the tread and they are definitely not wearing evenly. Between the Individual tires that is. Each tire itself has even treads except for the lugs as I mentioned before. If that doesn't work then I will go with the bearings.

Ron

Which tires did you go with? My brother in MI had Nokkians for winter and another set of Toyo tires for summer.