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Discussion Starter #1
I just got the front brakes (rotors and pads) replaced in my '05 2.5i with 90k miles on it. I bought this car with 50k miles and I drive stick- mostly on the highway, so this is the first time I've had to do brakes since buying the car.

The brakes were replaced at the beginning of August. Almost immediately, I noticed that right at the tail end of my stops, like in the last 5 miles per hour, I heard (and felt) a crunching noise coming from the front brakes. Almost like rough metal rubbing on rough metal. This started up almost immediately after getting the new brakes and continued for the next week. It was particularly loud when stopping going down a steep hill or braking from a higher speed down to a stop. Basically, the more gentile the stop, the quieter the noise. I called the local shop (non Subaru dealer) where I got the work done and they had me bring in the car. They heard the problem and replaced the whole job under warranty with the same parts.

So now I have another new set of brakes, and... Sure enough the problem starts happening again! It's the same exact thing.. worse on hills and harder stops. I decided to wait two weeks before calling to see if it would go away. It didn't.

So.. Third time back to the shop. This time, the shop owner said that it was because these were metallic pads, which were supposed to be okay for my subaru. This time they were going to replace them with *premium* ceramic pads and rotors. So yes, I got another new set of brakes (for free).

I talked to the mechanic who said that when he took off the second set of brakes, he noticed some rust on them and that I must not drive very often. This isn't really true. I drive almost every day, sometimes just around town, but often trips of 50-100 miles. (I drive about 300 miles per week).

Well, now I've been driving around on these sweet new premium brakes. Man, do they stop well, but.. THE PROBLEM HAS STARTED AGAIN. Same exact thing. Bad metallic crunching sound from the front brakes as I stop.

So, here's what I'm thinking:

There's either something else wrong with my car that is causing the front brakes to make this sound

OR

This shop is incapable of installing brakes. <- I find this hard to believe. I've been going to them for a few years, and have had much more difficult things done to the car without any trouble.

OR

Something else that I haven't though of?

Any thoughts or advice would be great. I want to go back to the shop and get this fixed, but they've had 3 tries now and it's still happening. This sound definitely is not acceptable- certainly not something I would expect from brand new brakes. I'm planning on selling the car in the next year and if the sound doesn't go away, I can't imagine that it would go over well on a test drive...
 

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My car makes this loud groaning sound when I come to a stop. If I hit the brakes while on the highway it's completely fine. But, at the tail end of coming to a stop they start groaning. The harder I brake the louder it gets. I double checked everything and my brakes and rotors are fine. I suspect it's either my strut mounts (I do need new ones) or it's the pads the PO used.

If there is metal on metal contact somewhere in that area it should be really noticeable.
 

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Yea my car does the same exact thing except for it sounds like it is the back brakes. I bought the car four weeks ago. The shop I bought it from installed new calipers pads and rotors in the front, and just pads in the rear. Also new Bridgestone Insignia se200 tires. Worst tires ever. Any way if anyone has any ideas or advice it would be much appreciated!! TIA!!!!

:confused:
 

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could be the aftermarket brake rotors are moving a little bit on the hub during braking. I notice my car clicks the first time I apply the brakes backing up and then sqwacks on first brake application. just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm, something to look into. The noise has been identical through three sets of breaks, and it's definitely a lot more than a little click. It's a pretty bad grinding sound almost every time I stop. If I didn't know I just got brand new brakes I would think that the rotor was covered in rust.

could be the aftermarket brake rotors are moving a little bit on the hub during braking. I notice my car clicks the first time I apply the brakes backing up and then sqwacks on first brake application. just a thought
 

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Do the hubs feel very hot? One more so than the others? If so, try re-greasing the caliper pins. They might not be letting the caliper release the pad from the rotor.
Can you feel anything in the pedal or steering wheel? If so, it may be judder caused by the pads not being properly bedded or seated to the rotors. Very common with new pads that are installed without replacing the rotors.
If the noise is coming from the rear it may also be caused by a poor adjustment on the parking/emergency brake causing the shoes to rub and vibrate against the drum. This can happen when a wheel is removed to replace the rotors.
Is the inside of the aluminum wheel corroded or dirty where it mates with the hub surface of the rotor? This can cause a harmonic vibration while braking at low speeds. It is sometimes accompanied with a slight shudder.

If none of these apply, you can still buy a can of brake cleaner from your auto parts store and give everything a good "rinse" with it. It will not hurt to squirt some between the rotor and the pads. Sometimes some dirt or grime can get caught between the rotor and the pad and needs time or a little rinse to get it out. The tiniest pebble makes a lot of noise.
 

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it's also worth making certain the dust shield isn't dragging on the brakes.

also, I've read that some folks will grind the 'tabs' down on the mounting plates of aftermarket pads due to rust buildup causing some dragging.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi David- thanks so much for the advice! The car is back in the shop this morning for the same problem. I had another friend who is good with cars say something similar- that sometimes rust can prevent the caliper release the pad from the rotor. But wouldn't this problem show itself after releasing the brakes? My problem happens just in the last few feet of a stop.

The pads have been replaced with the rotors all three times, and the noise is only coming from the front. I got the rear brakes replaced at the same time as the fronts and they haven't given me any trouble.

This vibration and sound is much louder and more variable than something harmonic. It literally sounds like a churning/grinding and less of a hum.

Thanks again for the ideas and I'll let you know how things turn out!

Do the hubs feel very hot? One more so than the others? If so, try re-greasing the caliper pins. They might not be letting the caliper release the pad from the rotor.
Can you feel anything in the pedal or steering wheel? If so, it may be judder caused by the pads not being properly bedded or seated to the rotors. Very common with new pads that are installed without replacing the rotors.
If the noise is coming from the rear it may also be caused by a poor adjustment on the parking/emergency brake causing the shoes to rub and vibrate against the drum. This can happen when a wheel is removed to replace the rotors.
Is the inside of the aluminum wheel corroded or dirty where it mates with the hub surface of the rotor? This can cause a harmonic vibration while braking at low speeds. It is sometimes accompanied with a slight shudder.

If none of these apply, you can still buy a can of brake cleaner from your auto parts store and give everything a good "rinse" with it. It will not hurt to squirt some between the rotor and the pads. Sometimes some dirt or grime can get caught between the rotor and the pad and needs time or a little rinse to get it out. The tiniest pebble makes a lot of noise.
 

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SAME EXACT ISSUE!!! you describe it to a "T."

I have given up on fixing it. The brakes work dandy and neither I nor the shop can find anything wrong. I did have them ONLY replace the front pads and rotors.

After the second time they suggested the rears were worn out and needed replacing. Well, I figured I could manage this (since I still thought the shop was coo coo) so I purchased new pads and discs. Middle of the road good, not cheap, not premium.

When I got the old pads out they looked great. Nearly as thick as the "new" ones and the discs were dandy. Grrr. I put them back and have a set for the rear so I can do the job in 15 years when I calculate they will finally wear out.

In any event, the crunching from the fronts we experience is exactly as described by ejdub.

I can add that when truely cold or in very cold or wet weather they crunch not at all or very little and under all circumstances it is only in the last few feet of stopping, often worse if you brake lightly (although I suspect it is just lasting longer).

I also suspected bedding issues so I did a comprehensive bedding program but it did nothing. It may have been too late (car already driven several miles with stops before I did it because shop said "don't worry about it.").

I was told it was "squeal" and to use some anti-squeal goop... I have NEVER used anti-squeal goop or pads or anything on any disc brake equipped car and I have NEVER experienced squeal, although I have heard it plenty and this is NOT squeal.

I know the shop put in whatever was "OEM" due to liability... not that it seems to have helped.

So, if anyone can help with a real solution. Preferably someone who has experienced this and fixed it?

Oh, no rust on any of the brake parts at all. It rains very seldom here in Nevada.
 

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Hi,
Anyone figure this out? I came across this forum while searching for exactly the same problem on my 2006 Acura TL. I realize the thread is 2 years old, but I still can't find the answer after searching for 'crunchy brakes' here in Aug 2004, and there doesn't seem to be an answer here. Anyone out there? Hello, hello?!
 

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If the caliper can't slide smoothly on the bracket, you can get some funky noise. I don't see much mention of servicing the slide pins in the thread so far...
 

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I had this problem with the 02 Legacy I had. The noise seemed to be caused by the brake pad(or pads) on the passenger front side grabbing and releasing causing them to bang around between the clips. Both front rotors and pads were new and OEM. But it sounded like a low speed machine gun that would catch pedestrian's attention when coming to a stop.

In an effort to narrow down what was causing the problem I touched one part at a time. First I regreased everything including the sliders. Sound came back. Pad adhesive. Sound came back. Scuffed the pads and rotor and rebedded. Sound came back. Swapped pads from one side to the other. Sound came back. Swapped rotors from one side to the other. Sound came back.

When I say the sound came back, it wasn't right away. Usually a few days to a couple of weeks. On one stretch I found as soon as I washed the car the sound was back right away. So I regreased everything and went for a drive and the sound was gone. Sprayed the hose on that wheel and went for a drive and the sound was back immediately.

Never figured out a final solution. Sold the car before finding out what would fix it permanently. Moved on to bigger and better issues with my current ride. :)
 
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