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squeaking/grinding sound- front driver side wheel

Customer Question
The sound is intermittent and...
The sound is intermittent and hasn't happened for a several weeks. Today after driving about 50 miles on the highway the sound was so bad that I wouldn't get back on the highway. It started when I turned a corner and/or applied brakes. It was a squeaking/grinding sound from the front driver side of the car (wheel/brakes/belt ???). I took the car to the mechanic about two hours later and there was NO sound and the car drove normally. This is the fourth time I have tried to get the problem diagnosed. In the past, brakes and wheel appeared fine. No strange noise. This was the case again today. It may not happen again for weeks, but it is a very disturbing noise. Any idea what this could be?
Submitted: 10 years ago.Category: Car
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/25/2007
Auto Mechanic: Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician replied 10 years ago
Mazda Ed
Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2,223
Experience: ASE Master Technician, Mazda Master Technician, GM and Ford factory trained. 15 years experience!
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Does it only make the noise when the car is moving?

Any recent repairs in the area you hear the noise?

How many miles on your Toyota?

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Customer reply replied 10 years ago
Reply to Mazda Ed's Post: It only makes the noise when moving, mostly it starts as a soft squeaking sound that gets louders and becomes a squeaking/grinding kind of sound.

I have not really had any repairs in that area. The noise started around April of this year and I have made several attempts to get the sound diagnosed. It does not happed every time and especially when I take it to the mechanic. It hasn't made the sound for several weeks (almost two months now) and seems to have been aggravated by the long drive on the highway today.

My car has 98,000 miles on it.
Customer reply replied 10 years ago
Also, one thing I have noticed and don't know if this is related to the problem is that my brakes pulsate when applied. The stop is jerky, not smooth.
Auto Mechanic: Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician replied 10 years ago

The pulsating brakes is most likely warped brake rotors. The fact that the noise is louder when it heats up sounds like you have a cracked brake pad. Has anyone actually removed the pads and checked them? Even if there is a lot of material left on the pad, the material can be broken causing a noise.

I recommend replacing the pads and machining the rotors.

Mazda Ed
Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2,223
Experience: ASE Master Technician, Mazda Master Technician, GM and Ford factory trained. 15 years experience!
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Customer reply replied 10 years ago
Reply to Mazda Ed's Post: Thank you for your answer. Actually, yesterday I took my car to a reputable mechanic who did tell me that my rotors were in very bad shape. He replaced the rotors and pads, and adjusted the rear brakes. The car is definitely driving much smoother. I will begin replacing my tires, which were also in bad shape.

Thanks again for your answer. I thought you guys had given up on me :-)
Auto Mechanic: Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician replied 10 years ago
Nope, we didn't give up. It's just hard to keep track of all the customers sometimes :(
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