So I leased a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, brand new (only 2 miles on it), last November, 2010. It was running perfectly fine for a while. Brought it in for the standard tire rotation/oil change a few months ago. I brought it to an actual Chevrolet dealer to get everything done because they gave me a card that racks up points or whatever, not important.

Since then, I have been hearing a clicking noise when braking. Some more details:

  • Seems to only be coming from the back of the car.
  • Seems to only happen when I'm braking at low speeds.
  • Brought it to another Chevrolet Dealer and they said they have no idea what it is, but it doesn't look like it's affecting the car in any way.

I don't know about you, but the fact that my car clicks when it slows down doesn't seem to be something I'm willing to live with, considering my bad history with vehicles.

Also, I don't know if these have any bearing on each other whatsoever, but starting at the same time, my emissions light started coming on randomly in the car. One day it's there, the other it isn't. When I brought it to the dealer to check the clicking, I also mentioned this, but they said they couldn't fix anything b/c the light wasn't on that particular day. It's still been randomly on and off, but the clicking happens every time.

Any ideas?

  • I have a 2011 Chevy Cruze, and I have the same clicking sound in the right rear. Am going into chevy tomorrow, but this is my second trip for the same problem. If I find anything, will post back. Thanks
    – user937
    Aug 15 '11 at 18:56
  • we also bought a brand new 2011 cruze and it's only been a year the bearing at the rear (driver's side) has a whistling sound so as when u step on the brakes.. we take it to the dealership regularly for oil check and everything
    – user1950
    Jun 26 '12 at 13:47

Returned from dealer - this was their report: "clicking" noise from the R/R of the vehicle when slowing down. The technician road tested the vehicle and verified the concern. Found the rear brake shoes grabbing the drum causing minor grooves in the drum, also the technician found some grease on the backing plate. Cleaned off the grease and cleaned the brake shoes. Resurfaced the rear drums. Road tested - ok now.

So basically after 7,000 miles, they resurfaced. I drove back with no clicking, so you may need to do the same. Hope this fixes my problem as well as yours.

  • Okay. I have about 13k miles, I hope I didn't wait too long! How much did this cost, or did warranty cover it?
    – slandau
    Aug 16 '11 at 14:55
  • Warranty covered it. I added an oil change because my car said the oil was at 30% life... but thats all I paid for.
    – Eric
    Aug 16 '11 at 16:23
  • Well I'll note this down and bring it to my dealership in the next couple of weeks. Thanks man!
    – slandau
    Aug 16 '11 at 17:13

They might have bent a shield, and can really only be heard when going slow. Sometimes this happens if a tire hits them while removing them, or during installation.


I am a GM mechanic with 25 years experience working on GM vehicles . I recently road tested a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze with a clicking noise from the right rear while braking . After having the rear drums off a couple of times, I found that the Gray grease installed at the factory on the rear backing plates had been missed in a couple of spots. The grease was a very dry application ( not much of a lubricant ) so I installed backing plate lube to the pads on the backing plate and the noise was gone . Hope this helps some of you out there with this concern .

  • I have a Cruze 2011 and started to hear a noise while braking left rear. Can i solve this with some lubricant. It's a 9 years old car and till now only some fixes , mostly electrical problems
    – Carlos E
    Sep 3 '20 at 16:44
  • Correction the noise is in the front left wheel
    – Carlos E
    Sep 3 '20 at 19:36

The check engine light and rear wheel clicking are not likely related. Buy a code reader, or take the car somewhere the next time the check engine light comes on. Pulling the code will give you a much better idea as to what the problem is.

For the clicking, you could jack the back up and rotate the wheels while listening for noise. Maybe then do the same without the wheel on it. If the rear brakes are drums inspect them for springs or adjusters that might not be connected correctly.


This sounds like it could be brake pad material on the disk.

If you brake from a fairly high speed down to a stop (e.g., highway speed down to a red light) where you have to sit, foot on brake for a significant period of time, you're holding the brake pad up against the hot disk. That pad material is sticky (on purpose - you want to slow down, right?) and, since it doesn't have anywhere to put that heat, the material can leave a thin residue behind.

One way to check is to:

  1. Follow proper safety procedures, etc. Take it to the shop if you aren't comfortable.
  2. Wait for the brakes to cool down - some minutes after driving.
  3. Jack up that corner of the car and remove the wheel. As an aside, I always put the wheel I just removed under the frame of the car as that ultimate last resort if my jack were to let go, jack stand were to tip over, who knows what. If the car were to fall, I might lose the wheel but keep my foot.
  4. You should see the brake disk and it should be largely clean and shiny-ish. You were just driving and the brake pads tend to scrape off any shmutz as you're going about your day.
  5. Visually inspect the disk. Run your bare fingers all around the surface of the cool disk. You're looking for anything that isn't perfectly flat.

My suspicion is that you're going to find a shape that looks like the outline of the brake pad rising slightly above the base surface. As you brake with relatively light pressure, that raised shape taps the brake pad (click) every time the wheel rotates.

Full disclosure: I've done this many times myself and cursed afterwards. The clicking should decrease over time as the residue is worn away. Resurfacing the disks will, of course, help but at fairly unreasonable expense for an effectively cosmetic issue.

As always, driver's judgment is the final say.

  • Yes, I try to make #3 a habit for the same reason.
    – jzd
    Jul 27 '11 at 17:06

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