Spinning metal on metal noise; turbo? brake pads?

Posted by AlphaAssault, Feb 9, 2008
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  1. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    I was driving to work today and I notice that every time I pass another vehicle, I hear a high pitched noise (squeal?) from the front left of the vehicle that can best be described as one quickly rotating piece of metal scraping against another piece of metal. I roll my window down and I can just make out the noise as Im cruising (40mph) down the road. Every now and then it would go away, but it was there pretty consistently. The tone sounded fairly constant also; it only changed tone as I sped up or slowed down, and it didnt change much at that. While I could barely hear it while driving, the noise must have been quite loud from outside the car because it sounded pretty loud every time i passed another vehicle and the sound waves were reflected. Eventually, caution got to me, and i pulled over about a mile and a half from where I first started hearing the noise. While I waited for my ride to come pick me up, i popped the hood and put the car into neutral, and revved the engine to build up a little boost. doing this, i never managed to recreate the sound, even though I know the turbo was spinning.

    I havnt been back to look at it because I had to get to work, but does this sound like a dying turbo? Thats the worst case scenario, i think. The only other things I could think of is maybe a brake pad, or something to do with the axle since it was recently replaced; after that Im all out of ideas on what could be causing this. Any help on this one?
    #1
  2. EDM95

    EDM95 Proven Member

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    amarillo, Texas
    Maybe the brakes or rotors are no good.
    You might want to check them out.
    #2
  3. TSiAWD666

    TSiAWD666 Supporting Member

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    Herndon, Virginia
    Many brake pads for our cars have wear indicators, which are just metal strips oriented perpendicular to the rotor at a length so that when the pad is really low it starts touching the rotor and producing a scraping noise. Could be your problem.
    #3
  4. peypey's ride

    peypey's ride Proven Member

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    Lilly Lake, Illinois
    Check your wheel hub. Do you notice any vibrations? or clicking on a right hand turn?
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  5. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    no clicking or vibrations. My ride is smooth as silk. Well, as smooth as 18-year-old silk anyways. Why is the turbo being ruled out? That was the most likely cause, i thought.
    #5
  6. mini zilo

    mini zilo Proven Member

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    Chicago, Illinois
    It's your brakes. Change the pads.
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  7. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    oh man, I should go for some drilled and slotted rotors, since im there! how difficult is it to replace brake rotors by yourself?
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  8. peypey's ride

    peypey's ride Proven Member

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    Its easy!
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  9. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    Id still like to know why no one suspects the turbo.

    Assuming it is the break rotors, wheres a good place to get replacements (drilled and slotted) from?
    #9
  10. BoostedTalonTS

    BoostedTalonTS Proven Member

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    Lets not jump to conclusions here guys... If you have had the wheels off for any reason lately, I'd start by checking the FREE stuff first: Make sure that you didn't bend a brake rotor shield or something. THEN buy yer parts after you know what's going on down there :D

    PowerSlots are decent OEM replacement, slotted rotors.. Look purdy too! I wouldn't recommend cross-drilled rotors.
    #10
  11. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

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    I second the above post.

    Look at your pads and dust shields. Check the wheel bearing play while you have it jacked up (try and push on the wheel at 12 and 6 - up and down - and then at 3 and 9 - side to side - and see if there's any play).

    I would not suggest getting cross drilled rotors. Slotted ones are good, but I have read they eat up pads quicker than solid rotors. If you want the slotted, go with Powerslot. I have them and they work very well.

    And it's not the turbo if your sound increases with your speed. While you're cruising on the highway, you are most likely not spooling the turbo at all. You would not hear it if it's not spooling.
    #11
  12. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    I went out and drove the car back home. I noted the sound came and went, and there was a slight clicking when there wasnt any squealing, though I couldnt tell if the clicking was from the wheel of from my lifters :|. When I jack it up and take the wheel off, how can I tell if the brake is getting low, if its the dust shield, or if its the hub itself?
    #12
  13. meliketoball

    meliketoball Proven Member

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    Do you know when the last time the brakes were serviced? If you think it may be the turbo, is it squealing when you are boosting? Check the shaft play on it if you may but, I never heard a turbo "squeal" before only whistle a high pitch or a loud sucking of air sound.

    Do you brakes vibrate when you hit the brakes hard?

    Go for a test drive, have buddy stand outside while you brake hard or whatever how you can produce that noise so a person on the outside can hear and help you diagnose it.
    #13
  14. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

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    Downingtown, Pennsylvania
    To tell if the brake pads are getting low, take the wheel off and look at the pads. There is a metal piece that is the wear indicator. If this is coming in contact with the rotor, then they need replaced. You can also look at the pad itself and see how much is left.

    To check the dust shields, just look at it and see if there would be any place that it could come in contact with the rotor. The dust shield is the large metal part behind the rotor.

    And to check the hub (specifically the wheel bearing), follow what I said in post #11.

    Does the clicking happen to get louder at any points? While turning, going straight, slow, fast?
    #14
  15. peypey's ride

    peypey's ride Proven Member

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    Lilly Lake, Illinois
    Well, with the wheel off, you can spin the rotor and see if the shield is close to or is rubbing anything. Also, look at your pads. I there thin or one side is thinner then the other. You will need to replace the pads and lube the slider clips that are attached to the caliper itself. You may also need to have your rotors turned, or if your opting for new ones dont worry about turning the rotor.
    As for the wheel hub bearing, you said you heared a clicking, was it while driving straight or while you were turning? You can check it with the tire on, its best if you have someone to help. With the car jacked up, wheel off the ground, grab the 12 and 6 o'clock of the tire(top and bottom). Try and move your arms in and out. You shouldnt be able to, if you do it may just be the hub bearing. If you help, have them watch the back side while your doin it and watch for movement. If you grab the tire at the 9 and 3 o'clock and move it the same you can check for tie rod movement, it should be solid. You can also tell if the hub is moving too.
    If you wanna check your balljoint, lower the tire to about an inch off the ground. If you still have a helper, have them watch the back side of the tire, watching the lower ball joint. Take a long braker bar or something like it. Fit it under the tire and try to lift up on the tire. With your helper watching to confirm if there is movement or not. You can also tell if the hub is moving too.

    Hope this helps you to check things over.
    #15
  16. AlphaAssault

    AlphaAssault Proven Member

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    Tyler, Texas
    I heard the clicking while driving in a strait line. However, the more I think about it, the more I think it was lifter tick. Also, it didnt actually make the noise when I was braking, which was kinda odd, i thought.
    #16
  17. peypey's ride

    peypey's ride Proven Member

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    Lilly Lake, Illinois
    Ok, re-reading this again, if your front left brakes and everything look to be good. It has to be something in the driveline. Thats why you are not able to recreate the noise at a stop. When was the last time you checked/changed your fluids in the tranfercase and rear diff?

    Also, check over your U-joints, see if any of the boots on the cups have let go. You would see a bunch of grease or a bunch of dirt covered grease. You can also grab the drive shaft and turn it by hand and you maybe able to feel if there is play in the U-joints.

    I am not saying go out and by a ton of stuff! Just things that you can do to inspect and track the sqeal that your hearing. Once you pin point the problem, then get the things you need.

    Hope this helps alil more. Good luck.
    #17

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