Front brake noise on light pedal, left side only - Camry Forums - Toyota Camry Forum

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Front brake noise on light pedal, left side only

Hello, fellow Camry enthusiasts! I'm back with another technical question regarding my 1990 Camry DX with A/T. This time it's about a weird noise coming from my left front wheel/brake area. The ONLY time I hear it is upon light braking. If I either let off the brakes or push harder, it goes away instantly. I never hear the noise when turning in either direction or upon acceleration. It started a couple months ago but got a bit louder. I figured it had to do with the brakes, so I replaced all four pads on the front, plus installed a brand new rotor on the side making the noise (front driver's side). I also lubed both caliper sliders with white lithium grease. NOTHING helped. The noise is still there. It sounds like a scraping noise. It's extremely uniform (never changes tone or sound). Like a "goosh... goosh... goosh" or something. It's hard to explain.

I jacked up the car several times and ran it in drive. But I can't ever hear the noise! I've checked the wheel bearing doing the old "rock from top to bottom method" but it's tight. CV boot on that side is sealed, and not cracked and is dry on the outside.

This noise is really starting to bother me. Mainly because I can't find it with the car off the ground, and only hear it when I'm slowing down while driving.

The ONLY thing I found when I've checked everything on that side is the axle seems slightly lose where it goes up into the transmission. Not really lose, just a bit. Can't find anything else.

My friend suggested I take it to an alignment shop and tell them I want to get an alignment but need to have it checked out to see if it can be aligned, then let them see if the shop finds out what it is.

Any ideas of what to check would be appreciated very much! I can tell you for sure what it is NOT:

1. Brake pads
2. Rotor
3. Caliper
4. Thin metal backing plate

Could it possibly be a bad bearing or CV joint? If so, wouldn't I hear the noise at other times, like when I'm turning?

Thanks much for any opinion or advice!
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:30 PM
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Oh, forgot to mention what I "thought" it was/could be: I kept thinking the tire was making noise like maybe it isn't properly seated on the wheel. Some friends don't think so, but the noise started shortly after I had these new wheels put on. They have some kind of black plastic "Toyota Adapter Ring" on each wheel, and I even wondered if that was the problem. So today I'm heading back to Discount Tire to have them rotate my tires and if the noise is suddenly in the back, I'll know exactly what the problem is: a tire! After all, it does kind of have the sound of "tire squish". I'll let you all know if this solves the problem. (But I doubt it.)
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:03 PM
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A bad CV joint typically cause a clicking or popping noise when making a turn in the opposite direction of the bad joint. Or clicking, etc when accelerating.

A bad bearing typically makes a growl that get louder until it fades into the road noise. The noise may get louder if the cars weight is shifted by turning the steering wheel slightly left or right when driving at higher speeds.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:58 PM
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yeah, that's what makes THIS noise such a mystery! There is NO noise upon acceleration or turning. ONLY when I lightly apply the brakes. I had to make an appointment because they were too busy today, but I'm going to get my tires rotated in the morning. If the noise moves to the back, I'll have solved the mystery and my original theory will have been correct. I keep thinking it's a tire/wheel issue. Sounds far-fetched, but if rubber isn't properly seated on steel, it can cause a noise. It's such a uniform noise that I'm baffled. Pretty much ruled out CV joints, but not the bearing. But again, no noise on turns or take-offs, only with light braking. Oh, by the way, I can't get the noise to happen deliberately no matter what I try! Nothing at high speeds moving steering wheel back and forth, nothing while turning. Again, ONLY when braking. My brother seemed to have a good theory: he said "If it ONLY happens when you apply the brakes, it's something in the brakes!". Makes sense to me. If so, WHAT? Dang I'm baffled by this!!


Last edited by Shawn98408; 10-18-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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