2003 SAAB 9-3 repair Question Loud ticking noise coming from

  • 2003 SAAB 9-3
Noises problem
2003 Saab 9-3 repair Question 4 cyl Automatic 145000 miles

I have a loud ticking noise that appears to be coming from my left rear tire area. It sounds like the type of noise something trapped in a hubcap would make, but I don't have a hubcap--I have open alloy rims. It goes away when I brake and increases in volume the more I drive--for instance, I may not hear it at all during a short drive to the store, but when I drive for 30 minutes or more, it gets louder and louder. I've had it in the shop and they hear the noise, but can't pinpoint what is causing it--they tell me that it isn't something I should worry about and that it's just an annoying sound.

Your thoughts?
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 10:11 AM

1 Reply

Hi ssfloyd. Welcome to the forum. If you have rear disc brakes, suspect a combination of a warped rotor and grooves worn in the knuckle the caliper and pads mount on. The warped rotor will make the caliper slide harmlessly back and forth on the mount once per wheel revolution and the pads will catch on the grooves worn into the sliding surfaces. They will make a snapping noise when they are forced to pop out of the grooves. The noise could get worse as the brakes heat up due to the rotor warping more when hot.

Once the noise starts to occur, raise the vehicle off the ground and run it in gear. The noise should continue. The are two ways to verify this problem. Remove the wheel, reinstall the lug nuts, and spin the rotor by hand with a dial indicator placed against the braking surface of the rotor. There should be no more than.002" or.003" of runout. Anything more you might be able to see by just watching the rotor and caliper.

The second method involves the use of a tool called the "Chassis Ear". It is a receiver and set of six microphones. A lot of mechanics have never heard of it but it is standard equipment at Chrysler dealerships and most likely many others. Clip one of the microphones right to the caliper and drive the car. You might be able to find this tool at the parts stores, otherwise check the guys who drive the tool trucks like Mac, Matco, Cornwell, and Snapon. From Mac Tools, it is item number ET6600 and costs $199.99 for the older version with six wired microphones. There is a newer model with four wireless microphones and two with wires.

If you have drum brakes on the rear, remove the drum and look for shiny spots in the inside. On some designs it is possible for the parking brake actuator lever to twist a little until it hits raised areas on the drum. This isn't common but then again, neither is a noise.

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 1:37 PM

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