Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Car: 2011 Outback, 3.6R Limited, Black
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
OK ... here is the latest. Grinding noise was in fact brakes.
I knew the dealership wanted at least $1400 for rotors, pads, caliper service, etc. So, after many phone calls, I brought it to a brand name brake shop. Thinking it would just be a relatively inexpensive brake-service-only visit I said, "Let's do it!!"
They couldn't get the tires off because 9 of the 20 lug nuts were seized on the studs. According to them, whoever had previously installed the tires had over-torqued them ... even though I told them to use a manual torque wrench and not the "torque-stick" on impact gun that they prefer. I told them to go ahead and try to remove them, but they ended up breaking a stud!! Thankfully, it was only 1, but add another $100 for parts and service!!
Once the tires were removed, I checked out the status on all four corners. All pads needed to be replaced ... no problem, because I expected that. Next, found that the rotors were not scored at all ... GOOD!! But they were about 4mm under minimum thickness ... BAD!! All the rotors needed to be replaced ... $$$ Right rear caliper and left front caliper were seized ... $$$ Got no choice now; in for a penny, in for a pound.
After all was said and done, it cost me $1100 and 3.5 hours of my time at the shop. New pads, rotors, service on all four calipers - rebuild included new seals for sliders and pistons, new wheel stud, and installation of my summer tires.
Lesson learned ... monitor my brakes more closely and not let them get to this point again. AND - absolutely insist that mechanics use a manual torque wrench when installing lug nuts on to wheel studs. If I break another OEM lug wrench trying to get my wheels off, I will tow my car to the shop and use the broken lug wrench to open their front door.
BTW ... thanks for the feedback, mjohnson!!