CAR Rotating noise when braking in 05 Altima?

White Stormy

Take that, subspace!
Sep 17, 2002
Rear passenger-side wheel makes a strange rotating/light grinding noise when braking. It's not a normal brake squealing sound, and I just had brakes done like 9 months ago.

It's quiet enough that I don't hear it normally over the radio, but very noticeable with the windows down. I don't know a single trustworthy/reliable mechanic in the Atlanta area, so I'd like to troubleshoot as much of this as I can on my own.

Any ideas?


New Member
Dec 11, 2006
A mechanic buddy of mine told me last week he had to correct a brake job performed by someone who had no idea what they were doing, they had put the pad in upside down. It apparently was making a noise similar to what you are describing. I'm not saying that's what it is, but it's worth looking into.


New Member
Dec 31, 2004
You can't always gauge pad/rotor life by time since install. I've seen crappy pads separate from their backing material in a matter of weeks and ruin braking components. It always seems to be the inner pad too, so you can't see it simply by looking through the wheel. Could be your caliper piston is stuck and your brakes are dragging.

My best advice is take your car to someone who can remove your wheel and brake caliper and put it back together. Nissan's are pretty easy, no specialty tools or anything required. Inspect the pads and rotor, check for glazing of the pad material or hot spots on the rotor. If either are scored heavily I'd replace them, possibly turn the rotor instead of replacing if the run-out is within spec.

I just did a Honda which looked perfectly fine from viewing the pad/rotor with the wheel on. Outer pad almost looked new, she claimed she just had her brakes done a few months ago. Removed the caliper and pulled out the backing plate of the inner pad. ZERO pad material, it destroyed the other side of the rotor you couldn't see. Metal on metal. Shit 'Duralast' pads, looked like the pad material simply fell off. Her caliper was not stuck and her fluid was good/proper level. Replaced with new rotors and pads, no issues so far.


OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
A light grinding noise is probably rust on the rotors. Sometimes if the pads get damaged they won't contact evenly, and the rotors will develop rust stripes that are too thick to wear off like the normal light orange coating that develops after a rainstorm. Iron oxide is flaky and likes to fall off, but if it gets ground-up and packed together and burned onto the rotor, it will be just as wear-resistant as any other ceramic compound, and the pads may never be able to chew through it. Iron oxide is a main ingredient in red bricks, after all. Very tough stuff.

Even if the rotors look good on the outboard sides, the inboard sides could still be rusty as hell. That happens a lot when winter road debris gets lodged in the pads, and only the outboard pads get cleaned by rain and carwashes.
White Stormy

White Stormy

Take that, subspace!
Sep 17, 2002
I ended up taking the car to an Express Oil Change and Tune-Up Clinic ($1 off an oil change for each run (min 5) the Braves score in a game). They were pretty awesome. My ebrake was all sorts of hosed. Replacing the ebrake and rotor killed the noise. As good as new.

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