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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 09-26-2005, 11:23 AM   #1
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metal on metal rubbing sound from front wheels...please give input!

I have had a metal on metal rubbing sound coming from the front wheel(s) for quite well over a year. This weekend, I took it to a shop to check on an emissions problem and had them rotate the tires. When I got my car back from the shop, I noticed that the sound has grown MUCH louder. At first I only noticed it a speeds less than 10 mph when the windows were down. Now, I can hear a whirling metal on metal sounds from 40 - 60+ mph. It is so loud that I can hear it over a blasting radio with the windows up. It's awful. What would cause this sudden noise? Someone suggested that the shims for the front brake pads are the source of the problem. Can I buy new shims or would I have to buy a whole brake pad/shim kit?

The noise does not go away when I brake. I noticed the rubbing sound grows when I turn the wheel sharp (ie navigating a parking lot at 5mph).

*********************edit************************* ******

I should also note that I asked the mechanics at the shop (not Nissan) to check the brakes to see if they were causing the mild rubbing noise and they found nothing. They found nothing. The sound is now much much worse. Could they have made the problem worse? Could this be a coincidental new problem?

The front pads and shims are NOT OEM?

one more thing to note, the ABS light came on a while ago, and then went off. It was only on for a few miles. Could this be related to a wheel bearing issue. I know the ABS speed sensor is right there next to it.

note: this is not a hum sound. It is a metal grinding/whirling sound.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:32 AM   #2
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Could be your wheel bearings. Can you lift your car up and try to turn your wheels, left and right and up and down? If the hub doesn't feel tight then it could be your bearings.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bone
I have had a metal on metal rubbing sound coming from the front wheel(s) for quite well over a year. This weekend, I took it to a shop to check on an emissions problem and had them rotate the tires. When I got my car back from the shop, I noticed that the sound has grown MUCH louder. At first I only noticed it a speeds less than 10 mph when the windows were down. Now, I can hear a whirling metal on metal sounds from 40 - 60+ mph. It is so loud that I can hear it over a blasting radio with the windows up. It's awful. What would cause this sudden noise? Someone suggested that the shims for the front brake pads are the source of the problem. Can I buy new shims or would I have to buy a whole brake pad/shim kit?

The noise does not go away when I brake. I noticed the rubbing sound grows when I turn the wheel sharp (ie navigating a parking lot at 5mph).

Sounds like a wheel bearing. Is it coming from both sides?
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fornimage
Sounds like a wheel bearing. Is it coming from both sides?

I think so, but I'm not 100% sure. How much does this cost to fix?
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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I jacked up the car and tried to turn the wheel. I did not feel any looseness.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:16 PM   #6
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simple problem...simple solution. It's the metal dustshield behind the front rotors rubbing against the backside of the front brake rotors. common problem. Easy to fix...just bend it back away from the rotor a bit (can be done with your hands or any kind of prying tool). It was probably already bent a little, and when they did your wheels, they probably accidentally bent it even more toward the backside of the rotor, causing the "more" rubbing. It's easy to bend in accidentally, and just as easy to bend back away.

bad bearings will not cause a metal-on-metal sound unless they are TOTALLY gone, in which case you'd have a TON of play in the wheels....

try the dust shield.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j
simple problem...simple solution. It's the metal dustshield behind the front rotors rubbing against the backside of the front brake rotors. common problem. Easy to fix...just bend it back away from the rotor a bit (can be done with your hands or any kind of prying tool). It was probably already bent a little, and when they did your wheels, they probably accidentally bent it even more toward the backside of the rotor, causing the "more" rubbing. It's easy to bend in accidentally, and just as easy to bend back away.

bad bearings will not cause a metal-on-metal sound unless they are TOTALLY gone, in which case you'd have a TON of play in the wheels....

try the dust shield.
That's a great shot of your Max in the autocross there....but back on topic:

I have the same problem, and I also have no play in the wheels with the car jacked up. I've checked all four dustshields several times, and none are bent, or at least none are bent to where they're hitting the rotors. I had Nissan check this out over the summer while it was in for something else and they simply said "rust ring on rotors". Now, I know that all rotors rust slightly from sitting in rain and humidity, but any noise they make should be gone after a little while of driving. Not only is there no visible rust on those things, but furthermore the noise doesn't go away after a few minutes of driving. So first off, I say screw Nissan, and second that there must be something else causing this. It's not a huge deal, but it's a little annoying knowing that people hear your wheels maknig a scraping noise while you're driving down the road. Kinda takes away from the rest of the appearance, you know?

-Brian

EDIT: Sorry for the tone there, irish. I didn't mean to imply that a bent dustshield couldn't cause a scraping noise, because I know it can. But in my case, and maybe some others', that's not the problem.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:06 PM   #8
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Its either the dust shields, or the tabs from the pads dragging at an angle on the rotors.
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Before you post your dyno #'s, make sure your shop isnt doing anything on this list: http://www.turbomagazine.com/tech/04...icks_problems/
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:23 PM   #9
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If the noise is louder when you turn its probably a CV-Joint, the same thing happened to me this summer. Check for leaks in the boot.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:20 PM   #10
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what E55 said is what my second thought would be....I had one of the spring clips contacting the rotor once...make sure they are centered in the caliper.
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:14 AM   #11
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It was indeed the dust shields. The sound is gone! Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2005, 03:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff92se
Again Irish the voice of reason in this coversation.
2000 Maxima SE (sold)
2009 Subaru WRX 280awhp/280awtq
1985 BMW 318i MR Rallycrosser
1970 Triumph GT6+
2008 4Runner SportEdition


The final "mod list" for the maxima (or at least most of it) LINK
The current mod list for the WRXLINK
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Old 09-28-2005, 06:06 PM   #13
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Old 09-28-2005, 06:06 PM
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