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Thread: new rotors and pads make rubbing sound.

  1. #1
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    Default new rotors and pads make rubbing sound.

    Hi all,

    Is it fairly normal to hear a rubbing sound while driving and brakes aren't even applied? They are "Volvo" labelled pads and Brembo labelled rotors if that's any help. In reading the documentation that came with the pads it says to just drive moderately to bed them in. Perhaps one of the dust shrouds is bent, but before I go looking for this, I wondered if this is typical of other people's experience and if it will go away..

    Thanks!

    Yaleh.

  2. #2
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    In my experience there should not be a rubbing sound.
    Bill
    03 XC70 OSD (Traded-in 4/12)
    05 AWD S80 OSD
    12 XC70 T6

  3. #3
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    Concur Bill. Yaleh - these are brand new pads with new rotors?

    So, a couple of things to consider:

    1. new pads should be "bedded in" according to the manufacturer's recommendation. Simply, the pads need to be worn down a bit to get good even contact with the rotors. Usually, it involves about half a dozen medium stops from 30 - 0, drive 10 minutes to cool. 3 or 4 hard stops from 50 -0. Drive 10 minutes to cool...that warms them up and mates them to the rotor surface. I don't buy the "drive moderately" when every other pad manufacturer recommends a specific procedure. The goal is to set up good contact and to deposit a thin layer of pad material on the rotor (the transfer layer) and that takes moderate heat achieved under controlled conditions to maximize the effectiveness of the pads.

    2. When you put new pads on the car, the rotors should be replaced. They can be turned, but it's often the case that the rotors don't have enough thickness above minimum to be turned and re-installed. If they haven't been turned or replaced, that complicates the bed in because the rotors are not flat, and the pads are...and you need a clean surface to build that transfer layer. Sounds like you've got new rotors, though, so...

    3. The dragging could be because the caliper isn't fully retracting. There are a few causes for this. First, ensure that the springs are on correctly (and they often aren't...search the threads for pics). Next the caliper pins should be lubed but NOT with petroleum grease, which causes the seals to swell and bind the caliper, it needs to be silicone based. Finally, if the caliper seals are sticking in the bores (corrosion), then the caliper won't retract fully.

    4. It happens sometimes that a rock or piece of debris gets lodged in the pad - do you see a groove starting on the rotor surface?

    5. Is this sound coming from the front or rear? Are you sure the parking brake is not dragging?

    Finally, a good practice is to flush the brakes (replace the fluid) every two years, or when you replace the pads. Fluid is always absorbing moisture from teh atmosphere, this practices will ensure that the calipers and other components don't suffer internal corrosion from old fluid and ensure that the brakes perform under severe use (like mountain driving) because water lowers the boiling point of brake fluid...won't fix your rubbing sound...but since we were on the subject of brake maintenance...
    Cheers,
    Astro
    Last edited by Astro14; 07-19-2011 at 04:26 AM.
    Current Fleet:
    2006 Corolla (kid's car - 132K, Eco Contacts, Castrol Edge 5W30)
    2005 MB S600 (74K, Michelin AS3, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (178K, AltiMax RT43, Pennzoil Ultra 5W30)
    2002 V70-T5 (161K, IPD bars, Bilsteins, Extreme Contact DWS, Mobil 1 0W40)
    1992 MB 300E (Sportline - 137K, Yokohama Avid, Liqui Moly 5W40)
    1990 4-Runner (V6, 4WD, mild lift - 250K, 31" BFG AT KO, QS 10W40 syn)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemount spares, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    Concur Bill. Yaleh - these are brand new pads with new rotors?

    So, a couple of things to consider:

    1. new pads should be "bedded in" according to the manufacturer's recommendation. Simply, the pads need to be worn down a bit to get good even contact with the rotors. Usually, it involves about half a dozen medium stops from 30 - 0, drive 10 minutes to cool. 3 or 4 hard stops from 50 -0. Drive 10 minutes to cool...that warms them up and mates them to the rotor surface. I don't buy the "drive moderately" when every other pad manufacturer recommends a specific procedure. The goal is to set up good contact and to deposit a thin layer of pad material on the rotor (the transfer layer) and that takes moderate heat achieved under controlled conditions to maximize the effectiveness of the pads.

    2. When you put new pads on the car, the rotors should be replaced. They can be turned, but it's often the case that the rotors don't have enough thickness above minimum to be turned and re-installed. If they haven't been turned or replaced, that complicates the bed in because the rotors are not flat, and the pads are...and you need a clean surface to build that transfer layer. Sounds like you've got new rotors, though, so...

    3. The dragging could be because the caliper isn't fully retracting. There are a few causes for this. First, ensure that the springs are on correctly (and they often aren't...search the threads for pics). Next the caliper pins should be lubed but NOT with petroleum grease, which causes the seals to swell and bind the caliper, it needs to be silicone based. Finally, if the caliper seals are sticking in the bores (corrosion), then the caliper won't retract fully.

    4. It happens sometimes that a rock or piece of debris gets lodged in the pad - do you see a groove starting on the rotor surface?

    5. Is this sound coming from the front or rear? Are you sure the parking brake is not dragging?

    Finally, a good practice is to flush the brakes (replace the fluid) every two years, or when you replace the pads. Fluid is always absorbing moisture from teh atmosphere, this practices will ensure that the calipers and other components don't suffer internal corrosion from old fluid and ensure that the brakes perform under severe use (like mountain driving) because water lowers the boiling point of brake fluid...won't fix your rubbing sound...but since we were on the subject of brake maintenance...
    Cheers,
    Astro
    Hi Astro14- Thanks for helping me. Yes brand new pads and brand new rotors. Volvo pads + Brembo rotors. All wheels.
    1- I've heard about that bedding proccess. I'll give it a shot, though I wonder about the sounds even when not applying the brakes. Something is rubbing.
    2- Yes I think it just makes sense to replace rotors at the same time as pads for the reasons you mention.
    3- Springs are definitely in the correct spot. I made a point of looking at some of the pictures out there on how it should be installed and also referenced the spring setup before doing the brakes. I lubed the pins with silicone lubricant I also put a little lube where the pads ride in the channel of the caliper holder. I noticed on the old pads these spots were polished so I assume it to be a contact point. I did not lube the back of the pads though as I assume the film on the back that came with the pad serves this purpose (I might be wrong). Anyway, not squeaking, just a continuous rubbing sound. If I'm looking at corrosion in the bores, then I'm not sure how I will hunt for this..
    4- I doubt it could be a rock, since it's made this rubbing sound literally from the first moment after the pads were installed, but I will look for a groove.
    5- I wish I knew where the sound was coming from. Not sure. How would I see if my parking brake is dragging? I did adjust the tightness up front and the handle. Is there some other place I can make adjustments?

    Yes I will do a flush also. I bought a Motive powerbleeder for just this. I have to admit- I don't believe we ever changed it in the 4 years of owning our car.. I'm learning to be a better owner

    Would having too much brake fluid be the cause? I removed some, but maybe I should double check and make sure it's not too high. I imagine with all that pad thickness in there that the fluid must rise and maybe cause the brakes to be applied? Is that crazy talk?

    Thanks!

    Yaleh.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillAileo View Post
    In my experience there should not be a rubbing sound.
    Okay, Thanks BillAileo- Of course not what I was hoping to hear

  6. #6
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    Check the dust shield and make sure it isn't bent and making contact with anything.

    Edit: Just noticed you mentioned this in your first post. If you haven't yet, definitely check it. Happened to me when I did my brakes. I had bent the driver's side front shield.
    Last edited by Huzer21; 07-19-2011 at 07:36 AM.

  7. #7
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    Fluid level won't have any real bearing on the rubbing...the fluid sits above the piston that actuates the brakes, so when the Master Cylinder piston releases pressure, it's released, regardless of what the reservoir level is....With new pads on, if you didn't flush the system, you'll notice the reservoir level is much higher than before, since the caliper pistons are deeper in the bore than previously when they were in contact with thinner pads. The Motive Bleeder is good, and keeping fresh fluid in the system will save you $$ in component replacement in the future by preventing eventual moisture corrosion internal to the components...

    You're right about the film on the back of the pads for anti-squeal - that won't cause this...

    But the parking brake interests me...I would try bedding that with 2 or 3 stops from 30 MPH using only the PB. Pull up hard on the handle, and stop the car solely with the PB - give it a few minutes in between to cool. If you just adjusted the PB cable on the handle, it may be dragging just a tiny bit of the shoe on the inside of the rotor. Bedding them will remove any high spots...

    Open your windows on a quiet street...drive slowly so there is no road/tire noise and see if you can hear which side and which end of the car is producing this noise...locating it will sure help diagnosis...
    Current Fleet:
    2006 Corolla (kid's car - 132K, Eco Contacts, Castrol Edge 5W30)
    2005 MB S600 (74K, Michelin AS3, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (178K, AltiMax RT43, Pennzoil Ultra 5W30)
    2002 V70-T5 (161K, IPD bars, Bilsteins, Extreme Contact DWS, Mobil 1 0W40)
    1992 MB 300E (Sportline - 137K, Yokohama Avid, Liqui Moly 5W40)
    1990 4-Runner (V6, 4WD, mild lift - 250K, 31" BFG AT KO, QS 10W40 syn)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemount spares, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    Fluid level won't have any real bearing on the rubbing...the fluid sits above the piston that actuates the brakes, so when the Master Cylinder piston releases pressure, it's released, regardless of what the reservoir level is....With new pads on, if you didn't flush the system, you'll notice the reservoir level is much higher than before, since the caliper pistons are deeper in the bore than previously when they were in contact with thinner pads. The Motive Bleeder is good, and keeping fresh fluid in the system will save you $$ in component replacement in the future by preventing eventual moisture corrosion internal to the components...

    You're right about the film on the back of the pads for anti-squeal - that won't cause this...

    But the parking brake interests me...I would try bedding that with 2 or 3 stops from 30 MPH using only the PB. Pull up hard on the handle, and stop the car solely with the PB - give it a few minutes in between to cool. If you just adjusted the PB cable on the handle, it may be dragging just a tiny bit of the shoe on the inside of the rotor. Bedding them will remove any high spots...

    Open your windows on a quiet street...drive slowly so there is no road/tire noise and see if you can hear which side and which end of the car is producing this noise...locating it will sure help diagnosis...
    Okay thanks. I'll try the bedding in thing and also the quiet street listening technique..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzer21 View Post
    Check the dust shield and make sure it isn't bent and making contact with anything.

    Edit: Just noticed you mentioned this in your first post. If you haven't yet, definitely check it. Happened to me when I did my brakes. I had bent the driver's side front shield.
    Going to look tonight hopefully. Thanks for the reply.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    Fluid level won't have any real bearing on the rubbing...the fluid sits above the piston that actuates the brakes, so when the Master Cylinder piston releases pressure, it's released, regardless of what the reservoir level is....With new pads on, if you didn't flush the system, you'll notice the reservoir level is much higher than before, since the caliper pistons are deeper in the bore than previously when they were in contact with thinner pads. The Motive Bleeder is good, and keeping fresh fluid in the system will save you $$ in component replacement in the future by preventing eventual moisture corrosion internal to the components...

    You're right about the film on the back of the pads for anti-squeal - that won't cause this...

    But the parking brake interests me...I would try bedding that with 2 or 3 stops from 30 MPH using only the PB. Pull up hard on the handle, and stop the car solely with the PB - give it a few minutes in between to cool. If you just adjusted the PB cable on the handle, it may be dragging just a tiny bit of the shoe on the inside of the rotor. Bedding them will remove any high spots...

    Open your windows on a quiet street...drive slowly so there is no road/tire noise and see if you can hear which side and which end of the car is producing this noise...locating it will sure help diagnosis...
    SO happy to say the problem is solved! The sound did seem to come from the back and then I also started to notice a slight clunking/rattling in the back too. So yesterday I removed the rear rotors. Guess I must have loosened the little retaining springs that hold the brake shoes into place. So I twisted them back and voila- no more noise at all.. Just nice quiet strong brakes. What a relief

    Thanks everyone for the great advice..

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