I have a 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5S that has been making a metallic shh-shh noise. I've replaced the front brake pads and rotors, but the noise continues and is now becoming a distinct grinding noise.

It's difficult to tell, but it seems that the noise is coming from the front of the vehicle and when brakes are applied comes more so on the passenger side of the car. Today I noticed the noise has become louder and more of a grinding sound. The grinding sound becomes more noticable when I turn to the left, with some noise when driving straight and none when turning left.

I've linked to some recordings of the sound. They're both faint, but you can hear it better on the first one.

Recording #1 Recording #2

  • Your Recording #1 link was broke ... I think it's fixed now. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 13 '14 at 22:14
  • My car is making the exact same noise, but I just recently had the brakes checked at the dealership. – MrOodles Feb 20 '15 at 0:14

In this case, the sound came from the rear brake pads which had completely worn away down to the metal backing. Once I replaced the rear pads and rotors (which had significant scoring) the sound went away.

  • As a followup, this sound started once again. In this case the rear calipers had seized. This time I replaced the calipers, pads, and rotors. – Fireflight Jul 29 '17 at 3:45

When you are driving in a straight line, the load on the front axle is shared equally between the two front hubs, so any noises will be low. When you turn to the left, there is a weight transfer to the outside wheel(right wheel) and any noises from it will be more accentuated/louder. It is the opposite when you turn right. You need to check your hub bearings by rocking the wheels in the vertical plane with the vehicle raised and securely sitting on stands. Spinning the wheels by hand may also give you enough noise to make a diagnosis. Because changing the hub bearing involves pressing them in and out, this is a repair shop job.

  • With rocking the wheels in the vertical, do you mean to push the top or bottom of the wheels towards and away from the car itself? – Fireflight Aug 18 '14 at 17:46
  • Hold the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and rock it inwards and outwards. On the Altima there should be no movement in or out at the wheel rim. Spinning the wheel should only produce a smooth rolling sound. – Allan Osborne Aug 18 '14 at 20:05
  • In this case it was the rear brake pads. The passenger side had worn itself down to the metal backing. I replaced the pads and rotor and the noise has stopped. – Fireflight Sep 17 '14 at 17:03

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