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I have a 2003 Corolla which was shaking pretty badly upon braking. I replaced the front rotors and brake pads—and everything went well. After a couple of days of driving, I began to hear a harsh grinding noise; it sounds like a low, raspy metal on metal grind. At first I thought it was coming from my passenger-side brakes, but after checking and re-checking brakes on both sides, and paying more attention to where the sound is coming from, it actually sounds like it's coming from the rear passenger side.

The sound gets worse the slower I'm going (so, if I brake at 60mph I can barely hear it, but when the car is slowing down to ~30mph, it's very pronounced). It also persists for a little after braking, when I begin to accelerate again, but generally I don't hear it while not braking.

The rear brakes are drum brakes. What might be causing this? Is there any reason why changing the front brakes might affect the back brakes?

  • If the front brakes were worn so far as to need replacing - then properly checking and inspecting the rear brakes was also required... – Solar Mike Aug 3 '18 at 13:24
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    @SolarMike Ah, I was planning on changing the rear brakes, but not for another couple of weeks—though, it'd be strange if it were just a coincidence that this grinding started happening after changing the front brakes. Is there something about changing the front brakes that might affect the rear ones? Maybe involving changes in pressure when I pushed in the pistons or something? – AmagicalFishy Aug 3 '18 at 13:28
  • The pressure you create when pushing in the pistons is much lower than that created with your size 10 boot... I would suggest that basically it is down to lack of servicing or too long between service intervals and the only link between the front and rear is they should all have been checked. – Solar Mike Aug 3 '18 at 13:32
  • @SolarMike Indeed, the rear brakes should have been checked. But, what I'd really like answered is: Are you saying the grinding happening now is just a coincidence? Or is your pointing out that the rear brakes should have also been checked independent of that? – AmagicalFishy Aug 3 '18 at 13:35
  • It is not a coincidence - the rear brakes have covered the same distance / time / and amount of use as the front ones. The brakes should have been checked - ALL of them, and this should be at the specified service intervals. I note you have not confirmed or denied the servicing issue (lack or incorrect intervals). The issue is not a spurious link between the front and rear, it is down to use and servicing and the owner / driver's responsibility to drive a legal and safe vehicle on the road. – Solar Mike Aug 3 '18 at 13:41
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The problem was, in fact, the rear drum brakes. They were pretty worn down.

When I changed the front brakes, there was more pressure in the system (when I pushed onto the brake pedal) going to the rear brakes. This pushed the rear brakes into the drum harder than before I changed the front brakes, causing the grinding noise.

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If the noise IS actually eminating from the rear brakes its time to pull the drums off and check the brake shoe linnings.

If the handbrake was firmly applied when you were doing the front pads and the car was only jacked up at the front, then its possible that one of the rear shoe linnings has detached from it backing plate.

This can happen as you jack the front of the car up with the handbrake on. Basically the rear wheels/drums are trying to rotate backwards and forwards a few degrees as you raise and lower the jack, and with the handbrake on tight this can stress and crack an old brake shoes bonding material, which then allows the linning to rotate within the drum, this can then leave a possibke metal to metal contact within the drum between the shoes metal body and the drum itself, causing a grinding noise.

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