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Q: Brakes making chattering noise

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The brakes in my car are making a chattering noise. This started around one month ago, but I just tolerated it and didn’t look into the cause of the noise. Now, my car feels like it is out-of-round and there is a bit of a braking noise. There has not been any ‘early warning’ squeak. Last year, the rotors were turned and yesterday when I took a look, they seem to still be okay; plus, the brake pads seem okay also. I am thinking that it might be the ABS, but the ABS light is not on. I really don’t want to have to take it to a shop and have it torn apart to find the problem. Can you give me your assessment and what I need to do to fix it myself?

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2000 Saturn LS. There are a couple of possibilities this could be. A warped rotor can sometimes be hard to see with the naked human eye, but can often cause enough chattering or vibration to notice easily. Typically, when there is more than 0.05mm of movement of the rotor from side-to-side, the vibration will be noticeable. When this happens, it can cause a bit of a chain reaction in that the brake pads will then start to wear abnormally as well. To have this checked, a qualified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the brake system and determine what fixes will help.

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