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.