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All,

I have a 1999 Outback Wagon with the 2.5 and 5-spd. I have been hearing a grinding noise coming from the front end of the car during slow left hand turns. Noise is not present during acceleration, only braking or coasting. Could this be a brake pad problem? Or is it more likely a wheel bearing? The noise sounds like a metal to metal grind/scrape. I have inspected the wheel wells for any indication of rubbing.. none. I have also recently learned that the torque spec for the lug nuts is 60 Lbs. Needless to say, mine were considerably more than that for the last 15K miles or so. I am planning to replace the front pads in the very near future as I read more on the news groups about noises like this. As far as I can tell, the car has the Original pads on it with 87k on them. The tires are about shot as well. Michelin 4XW's. I am planning to replace them with Goodyear Aquatred3's. Any input on the goodyear's would be appreciated as well.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Welcome to the site. And you wanted input on the goodyears? Don't do it man, just don't do it! Browse the Tirerack for tires and customer surveys. Continental makes good, inexpensive tires. Could be a pad problem with the noise. Most likely not due to too much torque on the wheels. CV joints are always a possibilty also. But I would check/replace the pads and see if there are any foreign bodies (rocks, etc.) around the rotor/caliper. Brian

Tirerack
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brian,

The Aquatred's are rated at the National Highway Transportation Safety Board as having a better tread wear and better traction than anything else I've seen on the market. I was looking at the Michelin Symmetry tires but they're $99 each and the Aquatred3 is rated better with a $74 sticker. I am mostly concerned with road noise and the AWD. My mother has a 97 O/B Sport and had problems with her tires. Couldn't hear herself think in the car with the wrong tires installed.

Thanks
Chris
 

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What size tire are you looking at? Let's take Continental for example. Let's say the Conti Extreme Contact. Ratings are through the roof, customer feedback wise. Now, that's not the NHTSB, but a more real life comparo.
The Conti rates better tahn the Goodyear across the board, go look. (Tirerack surveys) And the Conti is inexpensive also, and has a great warranty and treadwear rating. So, the noise...Check for rocks between the rotor, and the metal bracket next to it. Other than being brake realated, maybe CV joints. Brian
 

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First off, welcome to Outback.org! Always good to have another Miller on board! :D

I tried to post in here earlier although my computer decided to poop out right in the middle of writing :mad:

Anyway Mr. Miller (my name as well ;)) I can't really help you with your grinding problem although you have come to the right place to talk about tires. We have many ongoing discussions throughout the board on tires, wheels, etc. Anyway I will agree with Brian that Conti's are the best tires for the lowest price although I think the best all around tires period are Nokians. Anyway check around the forums here and there are some good tire discussions, I'll leave a few links below:

All Season Tires

Wheels and Tires

Tires, Tires, Tires!

Snow Tires Although this thread is primarily about snow tires of course there is still some very good info.

Hope this all helps, being from Connecticut I'd figure you'd want some all-season tires that also go well in the snow. Many people I know from the Northeast are religiously faithful to Nokian tires and I myself would recommend that you check out some Nokian WR tires ;)
 

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I had a similar problem on my 2001 recently. Whenever I'd turn right I'd get a metal on metal whistle. Not really a grinding... very high pitched. It was my brake pads. Got 'em replaced and the noise is gone. Many places will perform a free brake inspection. May be a good place to start.
 

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Grinding noise solved.

As it turns out, the brake pads were in need of replacement. I went with the TRUSTOP NAPA brand and they seem fine. I do, however, have some gouges in my front right rotor. I am now thinking that I need to have the rotor turned. I installed pads all around, the front were very thin. Passenger's side was down to the metal on inner and outer and wore in a wedge with the trailing edge down to the metal. Driver's side had about a quarter inch on both. Rear didn't look too bad and were wearing evenly.

Anyone have an idea on the price to have the front rotors turned at NAPA or similar machine shop?

Chris:cool:
 

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I don't know much about rotors in general, but from my (very) limited experience shopping for new rotors for my '97 OBW (performing some preventative maintenance), I seem to remember the price on rotors being *WAY* cheaper than I imagined they would be.

I'd guess that having your old rotors "turned" at a machine shop would cost just as much, probably more, than just buying a new set, straight-up.

Thats just my opinion/experience.
 

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You got your answer before I had time to respond; I had the same situation on my 98. In my case, it was the left front rotor that got gouged because I left the original pads on too long. Way too long.

I just put new pads on (easy DIY) and I plan to upgrade to better rotors and pads sometime soon. Meanwhle it's working fine.

Supposedly these rotors have to be turned on the car. If yours are like mine, they're probably too damaged to re-surface.

If this attachment works, here's a comparison of the most worn of the 4 pads I removed, compared to a new one (also NAPA)
 

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Re: Grinding noise solved.

millerc33 said:
As it turns out, the brake pads were in need of replacement. I went with the TRUSTOP NAPA brand and they seem fine. I do, however, have some gouges in my front right rotor. I am now thinking that I need to have the rotor turned. I installed pads all around, the front were very thin. Passenger's side was down to the metal on inner and outer and wore in a wedge with the trailing edge down to the metal. Driver's side had about a quarter inch on both. Rear didn't look too bad and were wearing evenly.

Anyone have an idea on the price to have the front rotors turned at NAPA or similar machine shop?

Chris:cool:
If the gouges are neither deep nor broad, and aren't 'steep sided' (have a ramped transition from the flat surface of the rotor) your pads will wear in and you may only have a few miles of reduced swept area immediately after putting the new pads on. If the car stops well and straight, you could delay getting the rotors turned or save up for new rotors. One reason why folks have issues with 'warped' rotors is because designers are under a lot of presure to make cars ride well, and that often means reduced unsprung weight. So brakes are now made somewhat closer to the 'edge of the envelope' durability-wise and rotors may not survive a lot of resurfacing before they become even more prone to warping. Bottom line IMHO is , minor grooving = live with it, major grooving=replace rotors.(in pairs)
 

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I'll use this as my excuse to upgrade, anyway.

I'm fortunate to be driving a manual tranny, so I can use the brakes less than the auto tranny people. If no one else is behind me, I can often simply lift off the gas and/or take it out of gear, and let the car coast down to a lower speed. If I'm not coming to a complete stop, I'll downshift frequently, though not always,
 

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metal on metal noise..front brakes.

Recently I was 75 miles from home and experienced front noise when applying brakes. As it happened was near the dealership and drove in after maybe 10 stops (driving slowly) dropping automatic to lower gear, applying hand brake and finishing up W/ TAP of the brake pedal. Thinking a pad replacement would take care of it I was amazed when my cell phone rang asking if ok to grind the rotors. Gave my ok and went to pick up and the bill was about $200!!!

How long after you hear the noise can you go before rotor repair/replacement becomes necessary? I listen for this kind of thing as the car has not been reliable since new. (now has 50K miles)
 

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Chirs--

turning them down (actually milling ratherthan ginding) shd be abt $10/per. replacemernt shd run from abt $35-65 per. do one or the other if you were down tometal on pads, but i'd probably replace. as the Liz mentioned, this is good opportunity to upgrade to ventilated Brembo rotors.
 

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Just out of couriosity, which wears break pads faster, slotted or drilled? And will they really make that much of a difference without replacing the calipers also?

enouen
 

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Re: metal on metal noise..front brakes.

Joevegas said:

How long after you hear the noise can you go before rotor repair/replacement becomes necessary? I listen for this kind of thing as the car has not been reliable since new. (now has 50K miles)
When you hear metal on metal, unless you happen to be pulling into you're dealer's lot the first time it happened, chances are it's already too late.

You need to listen for the squeeling noise that happens when the plastic wear markers start to hit the rotor. You do not want to hear metal on metal, ever!
 

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Re: Re: metal on metal noise..front brakes.

FastSly said:

You do not want to hear metal on metal, ever!
Resurrecting this thread to say, in the last two days my rear brake rotor 'warp" morphed into a grinding noise. These pads and rotors are original at ~93Kmi. I suspect a piece of pad broke away to make such a sudden change. I plan to replace the pads and rotors this week (already have the pads) and unfortunately I'll probably go with stock-equivalent and postpone any upgrade for now.

Sad, when people can hear your brakes grinding in traffic. Fortunately, everyone has their windows shut and AC cranked in this heat, so nobody notices.

:p
 

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Well, I put the rear pads on, but I could not get past the castle nuts to take the rotors off. I put a breaker bar on my 1/2-inch socket wrench and could not torque it enough to break.

The rotors have to go, they are deeply gouged. One of the old pads was all the way down to the backing plate.

The grinding noise is gone, and the braking is greatly improved. I did a few miles on straight empty small country roads and tried an increasingly firm series of stops.
 
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