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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

My old (Honda) rotors were so warped that you could feel the car pulsating when I braked.

So I replaced the rotors and the pads with EBC OEM replacements. I was very careful during the break in period (for about 600 miles). Everything was fine - braking power was great, and I've never felt such smooth braking.

A few weeks later, I started to hear (and feel!) very apparent groaning/grinding coming from the brakes sometimes during low speed stops. It doesn't happen all the time, only sometimes, and only during low speed stops. I never hear (or feel) it when slowing down on the highway or when coming to a hard stop. However, every now and then, when I come to a slow stop, I hear it (and feel it).

The sound is hard to describe - it's a type of groaning/grinding, as if rough metal on rough metal. The actual performance of the brakes does not appear degraded when I hear the sound - still a smooth, powerful slowdown, but with the added noise. And the weirdest part is that it doesn't happen all the time - only sometimes. I feel that it happens more often in wet/cold weather than it does in hot/dry weather, although that might just be an illusion.

Any ideas what this could be? I'm confident it's not the indicator tabs or anything like that - the pads are practically brand new and I made sure to install them correctly, exactly the way the original pads were installed. I also cleaned and greased the caliper pins and the shims, and I sanded the wheel hubs to ensure a proper fit for the rotors.

To recap:
  • Groaning/grinding noise and feeling
  • Only happens sometimes (not always!), and only during low speed braking - never during high speed braking
  • New EBC rotors and pads
  • No degradation in stopping power
What could it be? I have stopped quite hard a couple of times, long after the break in period. Could I have ruined the new pads and rotors already? It's weird because it doesn't happen all the time - which leads me to believe that the pads and rotors aren't damaged.
 

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If it happens in wet/cold conditions and only the first time or two of braking then it would make sense. The rotors could get a little surface rust on them in wet conditions if the car has been sitting for awhile. Some rotors are worse than others. If it goes away after a time or two of braking and you are sure the pads are installed correctly I wouldn't worry to much about it. It wouldn't hurt to remove your wheels and double check your work.
 

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I believe they have a break in period too...did u follow the ebc brake in rules?
 

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What do the rotors look like? Any grooving? Did you apply brake grease to the backs of the pads prior to installation? Where were the pads manufactured?

I once bought OEM ceramic pads for the P5 and after a few hundred miles they began grinding. Eventually, the rotors became badly scored and when I pulled the pads, I discovered they were not ceramic and were filled with chunks of scrap iron or steel. Wearever brand made in China. The rotors were too badly damaged to be turned and had to be scrapped. I would not expect this from EBC, but thought I'd throw it out to be checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If it happens in wet/cold conditions and only the first time or two of braking then it would make sense. The rotors could get a little surface rust on them in wet conditions if the car has been sitting for awhile. Some rotors are worse than others. If it goes away after a time or two of braking and you are sure the pads are installed correctly I wouldn't worry to much about it. It wouldn't hurt to remove your wheels and double check your work.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's the problem. My car doesn't go longer than 7 or 8 hours without being driven. But I agree, I'm planning on taking the wheels off this weekend and double checking my work.

I believe they have a break in period too...did u follow the ebc brake in rules?
Yup, the EBC rules for these OEM replacements were to drive carefully and avoid any sudden/harsh braking. I followed the break-in procedure about about 600 or so miles.

What do the rotors look like? Any grooving? Did you apply brake grease to the backs of the pads prior to installation? Where were the pads manufactured?
I'm going to double check the rotors when I take off the wheels this weekend. I did not apply brake grease to the back of the pads, only the pins and the pad shims. Should I apply grease to the back (shouldn't I use silencer for that)? I plan on cleaning and re-greasing when I check my work.
I once bought OEM ceramic pads for the P5 and after a few hundred miles they began grinding. Eventually, the rotors became badly scored and when I pulled the pads, I discovered they were not ceramic and were filled with chunks of scrap iron or steel. Wearever brand made in China. The rotors were too badly damaged to be turned and had to be scrapped. I would not expect this from EBC, but thought I'd throw it out to be checked.
Hm, interesting. I'll have more info when I check them this weekend. These are EBC brakes (rotors and pads) and they say they're made in Britain. The rotors are OEM replacements (not slotted or anything) and the pads are semi-metallic (not ceramic).

Why don't u use your phone to film a 15-20 seconds video and post the sound


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Will do. The sound is very random/intermittent so I'll try to have my phone ready for the next time it happens.

Thanks for the help so far guys. I'll post back more info ASAP.
 

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Should I apply grease to the back (shouldn't I use silencer for that)?
Yes, Silencer, I used the wrong term. It's a high temp. silicone grease, but I've always used it on the back of the pads or shims (if they are used) to keep the pads from rattling in the calipers. It only takes a small dab to work.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Hi guys,

After driving around for a while, I got a chance to record the noise: https://soundcloud.com/nullsquared/brakes-groaning-and-grinding (I couldn't attach an MP3 to the post)

You can hear it every time I brake, and it gets louder as I come to a stop.

Keep in mind that the noise is not constant. It happens sometimes, and other times it doesn't happen. I drove around for about 1-2 hours with perfectly silent brakes before I got a chance to record the noise.

Let me know what you think!
 

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Hmmm I could hear it on your soundclip but sure can't identify what would be making that noise from my lazyboy chair. I would take your wheels off and do a good inspection of each corner. I would make sure that there is nothing strange and obvious.

One time I had a noise kinda similar to yours and it turned out to be a pebble that would get in just the right spot and make the noise. Easy and quick fix that day. Good luck.
 
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surface rust can happen in only half an hour to an hour. if i wash my car, dry it, spray wax it, clean my windows, clean my wheels. dress my tires.. my rotors are covered in a thin layer of surface rust. makes noise and dust the first time or two i hit the brakes.. so dont rule that out unless you are driving for a while, dont stop driving then hear it randomly. then it is surely not rust... honda reccomends using "moly paste" on the backing of the brake pads, under and over the shims. i personally like CRC brand disc brake quiet. i find it works very well. any sort of disc quiet grease should work just fine. if not, then i would contact EBC with your concern. 9gensi has a good point too. if you have a pebble or anything small and hard (thats not what she said) stuck in between your dust shield behind the rotor and the rotor it could make intermittent noise. id tap on each of them that you replaced rotors ( expecially at the bottom where any rocks or junk would settle) for and see if you get any buzzing noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So I finally got the chance to take apart the brakes the other day. I didn't notice anything unusual, except for one thing - there was very apparent scoring on one side of my left rotor. It's clearly visible to the naked eye, and it feels like an obvious groove if you run your finger over it. I've attached pictures of the rotor and the corresponding brake pad. You can easily tell where the scoring is - it's the main, thin, circular groove on the rotor, and it's the darker line on the pad (look to the left of the pad).

The other side of my left rotor as well as my entire right rotor were completely smooth. What could cause this scoring on one side of the rotor?

Furthermore, could this scoring be the cause of the groaning/grinding sounds? Keep in mind that the sounds are intermittent - if the scoring was the reason, wouldn't I always hear the sound?

Also, I'd like to add that the pads look like they're wearing out unevenly from top to bottom. The top of the pads visually appears thinner than the bottom of the pads. Is this normal?

Let me know what you guys think.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Regardless of the noise does your car still brake fine? Do the brakes still make noise while braking hard/thresh hold braking? Any vibrations or irregularities whist braking?
The braking itself feels fine. I don't hear the noise during high speed braking or throttle braking - only now and then during low speed braking when coming to a stop.
 

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When taking your brakes apart did you have any trouble retracting the pistons into the caliper bore? A stuck piston could do that to your rotor.
 

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I se a bright speck in left side of the pad where the dark line is. Can you tell if somethiing was imbeded in there? Is the line on the pad a ridge or a groove?
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
When taking your brakes apart did you have any trouble retracting the pistons into the caliper bore? A stuck piston could do that to your rotor.
Nope, went back in fine. I use a C clamp and a plank of wood, but it takes very minimal effort to slowly retract the piston to make room for the pads.

I se a bright speck in left side of the pad where the dark line is. Can you tell if somethiing was imbeded in there? Is the line on the pad a ridge or a groove?
The line on the pad is a groove (the line on the rotor is a groove too). I think it may have been possible that something was embedded in there - the edge of the pad feels a little rough right where the line starts. Although, how would that cause a groove in the pad as well?

With that said, there's nothing embedded in there now. Is it possible for the groove on the rotor and the pad to make this grinding/groaning sound every now and then? Wouldn't it be a constant sound?
 

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It should be a consistent sound.
 
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