My Renault Megane III Grandtour 1.5dCi 2010 has been annoying me for the past two winters. If left in cold weather overnight (which is almost always the case), I can hear a noise from the rear end when I brake. This persists for the first couple of kilometers when braking. It seems to go away after the thing heats up.
I always use my parking brake (handbrake) when leaving the car parked (and when I say always, I mean always). I suspect that may have something to do with it. I've been to the shop and they cleaned and tested the brakes. They assured me that everything is OK (and I trust their assurance, since the brakes perform as usual), but the noise did not go away. I also remember trying to not use the handbrake for a while last year, but it did not do much.
The parking brake did undergo maintenance during the time this has been happening - the "pulley wires" for both left and right side parking brake have been replaced due to wear, each a year apart (after a technical exam). But this has been happening since slightly prior to their replacement. It is more pronounced now, however. Note that I'm the second owner and the car was three years old when bought. This sound did not occur then - and the car was bought during winter time.
The sound is a deep "grinding" sound (which I'm having a hard time explaining in English). No squealing. It intensifies with more brake applied. It almost sounds like water flowing under pressure, like heating pipes - or hearing a neighbor above taking a shower (not the droplets, the moving water in the pipes).
A friend of mine suggested to try driving a couple of hundred meters with the parking brake partially active, but I'm not sure whether that is a smart idea. Is there anything else that could be done about it? It's just an annoyance, but still...I do feel some discomfort every time I start driving. I've driven several cars in my time, including a prior model of the Megane. None had such a problem.