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I have a 2006 Nissan Sentra and replaced both front rotors n brake pads not less than 6mo. Ago. My passenger side was making grinding noise so I took a look at my brakes cause it sounded like metal on metal. When I took my brakes off seen they were gone n my rotor looked worn yet on the drivers side both looked fine. Can you tell me what can cause this?

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I've seen this happen when the pads aren't aligned properly, sometimes from a missing shim or retaining spring. Basically the pad and rotor are in constant low grade contact and things wear really quickly as a result.

  • When you say shim, do you mean the thin metal pieces that the pads slide into? – Cricket Aug 18 '16 at 13:07
  • @Cricket yes exactly.. That's what I've heard them called around here.. Not sure if it's an official name or not. – Tim Brigham Aug 18 '16 at 13:53
  • @Cricket it's usually pretty obvious if the shim alignment is the issue.. You'll see shiny metal where it wasn't before. – Tim Brigham Aug 18 '16 at 13:54
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It's possible that you have a caliper that is stuck or simply not working or a bubble in the brake line/fluid. Bleed the brake line. If the fluid is brown, keep bleeding until it runs clear. If you see bubbles (or the fluid stops coming out for a few seconds) wait until you see all the normal brake fluid come out.

Don't forget to add more brake fluid (and try not let the line run dry, or else you will have to keep bleeding the line until you get those bubbles out).

Tip: I usually push a 3/8" clear vinyl tube over the bleeder screw so that I can better oberve the color of the fluid and see bubbles in the tubing as I bleed the brake line.

If one brake line has brown brake fluid it is getting over heated, probably due to a bad caliper. Bubbles may indicate over heating or a bad caliper as well but then again, maybe not. The brake line itself may be to blame, or there may be a small leak somewhere. Since brake fluid is corrosive to metal, look for any unusually rusty (nissans are notoriously rusty, so look for extra rusty) joints/unions in the brake line.

  • I haven't seen any rust. So is that the only way to tell if you have a bad caliper? – Cricket Aug 18 '16 at 13:24
  • Oh, not by a long shot! The easiest way to check a caliper is to squeeze the piston(s). So you have to take the caliper off the rotor to do that. If one side (like the driver's side) feels more difficult to depress then you have a problem. You should be able to depress them by hand (especially if you open the bleeder screw). – Ben Welborn Aug 18 '16 at 13:28
  • When I depressed the calipers I put old brake shoe in front of piston n used a clamp but it didn't take much was fairly easy. So could it be something else? – Cricket Aug 18 '16 at 13:53
  • Yes, it could be a bubble in the line... that's more common than a bad caliper... usually bleeding the brakes fixes your issue... sometimes the caliper is bad. – Ben Welborn Aug 18 '16 at 14:55
  • My caliper was "stuck" causing brake pad wear as @Cricket described. I replaced the brake pads and rotor, and in the process of doing so fully compressed the caliper piston. This appears to have addressed the issue; I've since bleeded the brake lines and have had no problems. – Steve Guidi Aug 18 '16 at 14:57

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