Q: Brakes are making a subtle grinding sound

asked by on July 18, 2017

Whenever I apply the brakes, the back ones make a grinding sound. It is not loud. If I have the volume on the radio at an indoor talking volume, you can't hear it. It basically makes the sound that cars make after you haven't drove for a while and there is some rust on the rotor. But, the sound doesn't ever completely go away after even if you use the brakes multiple times. I recently had my front brakes changed at Firestone and along with that, had them do a full multi-point inspection and they didn't say anything about my back brakes. The only reason I noticed this was because the front brakes were making a louder noise which caused me to get the rotors/pads replaced, and now since that louder noise is gone, I notice the back ones are making this sound.

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Car is making a noise Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

Hi there. Quite often a mechanic shop can miss issues like this - especially when they are trying to get cars in and out of service in their busy shops. However, if the brake pads are good and rotors have a bit of rust, the grinding sound might come from the application of the brakes. It’s also possible that the rear wheel bearings are the source of your noise. It’s probably a good idea to have a professional mechanic come to your location and complete a car is making a noise inspection to determine the exact source of this noise and recommend or complete the right repairs for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

I bought a brand new alternator and my car still wouldn’t start

Hi Breona. Thanks for contacting us tonight. The fact that your boyfriend was able to 'fix' the car temporarily by 'messing with the wires' indicates that the root issue is likely poor electrical connections as opposed to a mechanical problem...

Speedometer broke.

Hello, to check the operation of the speedometer, a scan tool needs to be connected to monitor the speed sensor output and see if it has any output, and if it is smooth. You will probably need the aid of...

When replacing ball joints can you just replace the ball joints or do you have to replace the whole control arm?

The ball joint on this vehicle can be replaced separately from the lower control arm. However, on this vehicle it is also a known problem where the ball joint becomes loose inside the mounting in the lower control arm and...

99 mercury cougar with a 4 cylinder leaking antifreeze from the overflow hose but car is not over heating could it possibly be the

The first thing you should have done is to have the reservoir pressure cap checked to see if it is able to hold pressure specified on the cap. If the cap cannot hold pressure then it will leak out of...

Horn only works intermittently

Hey there. It sounds like the horn switch is on it's way out if you are having an intermittent issue. Another way to tell would be to see if the horn sounds with the panic button on the key fob....

New alternator is loose

The alternator locking sleeves should be moved all the way away from pulley side before installation. Also, check the mounting bosses and make sure they are the same thickness. If you'd like some assistance with this, consider YourMechanic, as a...

Will these tires fit my 2010 Chevrolet Malibu?

The 265/65 R17 tire is considerably larger than the OEM recommended tire size of 215/55 R17. They might be good for a 4x4 look, but not necessarily practical for a Malibu. Clearance within the vehicle's wheel wells will be too...

steering wheel shaking

Hi there. Thanks for writing into YourMechanic.com about the issue with your 2005 Suzuki Forenza. At first glance, it appears that the problem you're describing sounds like a misfire with one of the cylinders. It could be related to your...

is it normal for an engine light that's been reset after service to come back on?

Any given diagnostic trouble code will typically have multiple faults listed as potential causes of "the" code setting. It is possible for one fault (in your case an oxygen sensor that might not be putting out the expected waveform) to...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're On a Budget
If If you’re on a budget and need to purchase a car it can feel as though it’s slim pickings. Thankfully, there are plenty of great options available even to those on a tight budget. Let’s take a look. The...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Doctor Who Makes House Calls
If If you are a doctor who makes house calls, reliability is likely to be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to choosing a used car. You also expect a certain level of comfort. We have...
Understanding Hyundai Service Required Lights
Car symbols, or dashboard lights, are a car service reminder. The Hyundai Service Required light indicates when your car needs service.