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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
**UPDATE**
I solved the problem. I removed both wheels and had a good look at the rotors with a flash light. The top edges of the back rotor plates were awfully rusted... like disgustingly rusted. The rust was uneven, too. I rotated the wheel hub and filed off the major rust buildup around the edges of the back rotor (wear a mask if you do it!). NO MORE SOUND! Apparently the culprit wasn't a bent dust guard but instead the horrendous stock rotors that rusted up and ended up intermittently scraping against the dust guard. It's so nice to have silent wheels again...


Original post below:

I have a 2012 Cruze Eco with 50k miles. For the last few weeks I have been annoyed by a recurring sound from the front of the car. Originally it started out as a metallic rattle when I went over bumps (window had to be down to hear it). One day I was inspecting the front end and hopefully flicked the dust cover behind the rotor. To my surprise, it produced a loud rattle that was exactly the same noise I heard going over bumps. I concluded that going over bumps caused the dust cover to vibrate or shake and then contact the rotors. Further inspection revealed that the dust cover was closer to the rotor around 3:00 and 6:00. I pressed the dust cover back as best as I could and... that solved the problem!

For a few days.

The sound came back and I did the same thing--bent back the dust covers. It never went away for good, but eventually the sound changed for the worse (i.e., more annoying). When I turn left (but not when I turn right), I hear a loud metallic rubbing, scraping noise. The metal rubbing sound is coming from both front wheels, but it's louder on the right. Again, my diagnosis is that the dust cover is scraping against the rotors during left turns. To confirm this, I carefully inspected the dust covers and I found (at least for the front right wheel), there is a clear line of rust at the 6:00 position on the dust cover. This seems to indicate that the rotors are rubbing against the dust cover at that position (the edges of the rotors are all rusty).

I tried scraping off some of the rotor ridge rust but it didn't seem to help very much (maybe I didn't get all of it). I keep trying to bend back the dust covers but it doesn't work. Part of the problem is that the dust cover is very resistant to bending--it usually goes back to where you started. Another problem is that I can't bend the dust cover back too far because the bottom of the steering arm is in the way. Finally, if you look carefully, you will see that the dust guard is very close to the rotor, but it is ESPECIALLY close to the rotor at 6:00. There's not a lot of clearance at all.

I asked the Chevy service folks to take a look at it a few months ago when they were performing a recall service. They also bent the dust cover but of course the sound came back.

So I have some questions for you...
1) What originally caused the problem? My crazy guess is that the front wheels may have been over torqued and that slightly bent the dust guard. I bet this is impossible, so it's just a wild guess. My more reasonable hypothesis is that normal rotor rust buildup has gotten so bad that finally the rotor is intermittently contacting the dust guard.
2) Why does the metal rubbing sound only happen around left turns and not right turns?
3) How can I solve the problem? I suppose I could remove the dust covers. This would be a pain because it requires removing the entire wheel hub (unless I just cut off the covers with tin snips). Another thing I could do is buy new rotors. I'm going to do that when I replace the front brakes, but I was hoping to get another 10-20k miles out of the brakes first. The pads have some life left. Still, new rotors might not solve the problem.

Thanks for reading.
 

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I have been having this same problem with my 03 mdx. After i changed the breakes it started happening. Have taken the right front apart about 5 times trying to fig it out to no avail... sounds to me like you know what your prob is tho.

I would take the brake calpier and bracket off along with the rotor and look for rub marks. Wherever you find one take a nice little hammer and knock it in a little and retest. Wouldnt remove the whole thing tho (hub actually isnt too hard to take out with the right tools, i pulled all 4 of mine to do extended studs a week ago).

Unfortunately its a test and re test when it comes to noise.

To answer your questions tho
1. Anything could have caused the problem really, heat, something hit it, warped.
2. Turnning left puts more load on the right wheel which changes the geometry of the suspension and corosponding parts.
3. Pull the brakes apart and look for rub marks (shiny or paint missing) and knock them in a little with a hammer. Dont go crazy with it and beat everything lol.

Remember unfortunately with noises its test and re test. Let us know what you find! Any pics would be great too!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I updated my original post to indicate that I solved my problem. Turns out the crappy stock rotors were to blame.
 

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I updated my original post to indicate that I solved my problem. Turns out the crappy stock rotors were to blame.
I have a similar rattling after I just replaced the rotors and pads! One side only, I checked twice and couldn't see nothing wrong. When I brake there is no sound so it's something related with the rotor..
 

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One of my hobbies is painting backing plates, drums or discs don't make any difference, both rust. Use to get them electroplated until our wonderful EPA banned electroplating in this country. (USA).

Disc are worse, can also get small stones jammed up there, shop tried to screw my youngest daughter telling her, her hub bearings were bad. She is going to die if she drives it when the only problem was stones were stuck up in there.

Always get surface rust on drums or disc, not bad if you drive everyday, wife panics with the motorhome, sitting all year, but is free from road salt. Just several stops, clears that up. Still cast iron in these things, if they added about 0.5% nickel, would be much better.

Brakes in road salt country is a yearly spring job, would be nice if they electroplated the backing plates on the disc and even stainless steel on the caliper guide pins, do a terrible job of plating the torque plates for the disc.

Just about any shop job I have seen, charge 99 bucks for the front pads, they install these with a hammer, and you wonder why your rotors go to pot. They sure don't clean and paint the backing plates. Only right way to do it is to do this yourself.
 

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Unfortunately no :dazed002:
The rattle is like a metallic sound but although I took the wheel twice out and inspected all the bolts, etc, I couldn't find the root cause. If I keep the food on the brake there is no sound so I think maybe the pads are touching the dust cover? I may take the rotor out to redo everything but I was to lazy. I changed both rotors but only the driver side is noisy.

Cruise-Cruze, any update? Just did the same as you and noticed the same thing.
 

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Unfortunately no :dazed002:
The rattle is like a metallic sound but although I took the wheel twice out and inspected all the bolts, etc, I couldn't find the root cause. If I keep the food on the brake there is no sound so I think maybe the pads are touching the dust cover? I may take the rotor out to redo everything but I was to lazy. I changed both rotors but only the driver side is noisy.
When you put the rotors on, did you put these bolts back in after the rotor was fully seated?

 

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When you put the rotors on, did you put these bolts back in after the rotor was fully seated?

Ha, seeing this photo is one reason when getting a new toy, I paint anti-seize all over this stuff, can't even remove a tire. That countersunk screw in particular, just used for production, use to use a palnut to hold the rotor on, but that would be rusted off in a couple of months.

Could go even further to remove the half axle and hub bearing, but draw the line there, spline rust solid to the inside of the hub bearing, and that bearing is rusted solid to the yoke. Also all those CRS unplated bolts in aluminum.

Should at least do the water pump, but this requires draining all the coolant its lot of work, with a single drive belt system this little bearing sees the same load as the alternator and the AC compressor and is the first thing to go, least the PS pump is gone, this really puts a load on the water pump.

But the spark plugs sure get a light coating of anti-seize and the boot plenty of silicone or you will never get those off. So do all the caps on lighting, with an 0'ring, they bake on, will break those plastic caps in trying to remove them, silicone sure helps. Also protects the rubber. Sealed beams never had this problem, even used stainless steel screws.

But if you did do all of this extra work, would be worthless when rear ended by a drunk or a texter. Either way, you can't win.
 
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