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Q: Sounds like something is loose

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I had my brake pads replaced and now there is a noise as if something is loose, or touching a moving part. I'm thinking it might be the heat shields, which are rusting away. The faster I go, the higher in pitch the sound gets. I also smelled a hot, burning smell from the interior vents when bringing in air from the outside. I thought it might have been the oil, so I added some, though I am not sure what the problem is.

A: If this all occurred right after the brakes...

If this all occurred right after the brakes were done, then it may be a backing plate hitting the rotor. This will cause the noise and can also cause some odor. It may also be a failing bearing which can cause the same thing. The odor can also come from new brake pads and rotors if they have not been broken in yet as there is a coating on them that will cause this. If it has been a while and it smells like oil then you may have oil getting on the exhaust. This will need to be diagnosed by getting under the vehicle to find the leak. Most of the time the leak on this engine comes from the valve cover seal. If you don't plan on doing this yourself, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to determine what is causing the smell and have this issue resolved accordingly.

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