1999 Acura CL Repair Question
Replaced brake everything, but still have an
1999 Acura CL 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 202000 miles
Within the last 3 months I have had new bearings, calipers, pads, brake line, and rotors. Am now on the 2nd set of rotors and 3rd set of pads. Brake place I took car too has proven to be an absolute joke. Same problem everytime I pick the car up, which btw has been 6 different times. I am getting what appears to be a "crunching" noise in the passenger front brake. Only get the noise when I brake and doenst matter if I am turning or not. It is not the typical scraping noise you would here coming from a warped rotor. You can hear the noise with the revolution of the tire. I am at a complete loss as to what to look for to fix this. Gave up repair shop when after 6th time having it there, they threw up hands and said "I dont know".... Advice... anyone?
Hi lubicksby4. Welcome to the forum. Why were the pads and rotors replaced so many times? Was it for the noise or were they worn out? There are a lot of little things experienced brake mechanics do during a routine brake job to prevent noises and there are a few things inexperienced people might do to cause noises. A common cause of a crunching noise is failure to place a light coating of high-temperature brake grease on the hub where the rotor mounts to. Failure to do so won't cause any damage or harm but it can cause a scary noise but mostly when cornering.
Rubber bushings in the suspension system can become dried and cause noises when the car goes up and down over bumpy roads and when the front of the car goes down during braking. Warped rotors will make the calipers slide sideways twice per tire revolution on their mounting brackets. If those mounts aren't cleaned and lubricated, any noise will be much louder.
Many of these noises can be found using a tool called a "Chassis Ear". It consists of six microphones that are placed at suspect points, then the car is driven while listening with headphones and switching between the microphones. Many mechanics have never heard of this tool but it has been used at dealerships at least since the mid 1990s.
Any other clues you can observe will help in the diagnosis of the noise. Do you ever hear it when not braking? If so, what conditions make it occur? Do you feel anything unusual in the steering wheel or brake pedal? Does the noise always occur at the same time or must the brakes be warmed up first from performing a few stops?
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The pads and rotors keep getting replaced because this so-called brake shop insisted that they must have kept getting bad pads and/or rotors. I would get the car back from them and within a week it would be back to the same noise in the front right as well as the steering wheel getting "jumpy" when braking. All the work that has been done has been within a 3 month period. The crunching noise I get happens whether I am going straight or not... its persistently there. When I light brake its really bad, but if I have to hard brake there is no noise at all until I begin to let up on the brake, then it starts again. I am hearing this noise only when braking. I dont hear anything at all when not braking. Not until today did I feel that when I brake at higher speeds that the steering wheel slightly pulls to the driver side. As many months as this has been going on, today was a first for that. Although, even with the loud noise the right front is making, the car brakes smoothly. I drive 100 miles round trip to work and a lot of it is in stop and go city traffic, but whether it be first thing in the morning or when I get out of work the noise is always there. This last time I got the car back they put on some new ultra premium pads and I noticed my brake pedal is softer than it was before. I keep thinking the remanufactured calipers they put on may not be correct. Could something as simple as they didnt bleed them correctly cause this? Am seriously desperate for help on this. Thank you for responding.
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Very often new pads haven't worn down a little to match the microscopic grooves in the rotor so the brake pedal can seem a little mushy for a while. It will improve over time but so slowly that you might not notice the change. I recently did brake work on my minivan and it didn't feel right but it was "good enough" to get by for a while. Well, here it is a month later and it just occurred to me that the pedal and braking power are perfect. I know that isn't unusual, but it's hard to send a customer out like that with the message to "just drive it, . . . it will get better".
As for the noise however, that isn't something that typically improves over time. Ask if there was grease used on the caliper mounts and on the rotor to hub contact points. If there was not, the resulting noise won't hurt anything but it is a sign of a less than professional brake job.
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Today driving home it rained for like 5 mins, (gotta love the south) and the noise was completely gone. Then after it started to dry off it slowly came back. As far as grease is concerned I know that they put it on the back of the pads, but I never saw them put anything on the back of the rotor hub. And no have realized that I got took by some hacks that thought they knew brakes. Age old addage... want something done right.... do it yourself.
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