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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

New here, been lurking on and off for a few years. Adding some info to this post as I see it has actually showed up.

Own a mostly completely stock 2004 IS300 stick in blue, pretty good shape, love it. ~110k original. Sorry if stock is boring. 0:)

Tried posting this yesterday but it has yet to show up...wondering if I did it wrong so trying again (and more brief). I did search around these forums and around the net in general before posting...haven't seen anything like the pattern in the attached photo or my specific description. Just wanted to say I did try...

Hit a pothole a few weeks back at ~55mph on the freeway. Blew out my front left tire and I drove on a flat for ~1/4 mile to find a safe place to swap it for the spare. Then drove about 10 miles home on that full sized spare. Driven minimally after that due to concerning sound I'll discuss in next paragraph. Other than that, and getting 2 new tires on the front, haven't had recent work (did an oil change myself about a month prior, but that is about it, nothing significant).

Have a metallic sound that I describe as a metal bat being dragged along the concrete. Isolated issue to brake pads on rear right wheel contacting rotor when moving and not applying the brake (removing the pads and spinning the rotor results in the sound going away). Unusual contact marks on rotor that I will attach after I see this post actually showing up on the forum, as the pics may have been too large in size or otherwise made that post never show up.

Any advice appreciated, if I had stacks of cash I'd just replace rotor and pads and see if issue goes away and go from there. I'm not super handy maintaining my car, nor do I have a ton of tools, but can do the very basics like jack up the car and change the oil, battery, etc.

Was gonna try swapping rear brake pads left with right to see if I can further isolate issue to pads or rotor (or neither) without spending money to reduce wasted spend. Should I just get a decent rotor and new set of pads? Could probably acquire both for under $100 right? I did visually inspect both rotor and pad but not being an expert, didn't see anything major. All the clips and shims that are supposed to be there seem to be there. Car has not had any recent work excluding the new tires which are for the time being on the front.

Thanks for any help, sorry if missing info don't want to overinvest effort in case post never shows up.
 

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Mine did that same thing, though they weren't making strange noises. I tried abusing the brakes to try and "seat" the pads, but that didn't change anything. Ended up just replacing pads and rotors, and it's been fine since.

I had additional problem of the anti-rattle clips missing, allowing the pads to jiggle and rattle around in the caliper. I replaced those at same time as pads/rotors.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Hodgdon,

Thanks for sharing your experience, might be just what I need to bite the bullet and order new rotor and pads and just get over it. Only other thing I can think of (being inexperienced with this kinda stuff) is maybe the pistons are not clamping smoothly when hitting the brakes or something...shrug...

Maybe I should stop trying to save a few bucks when dealing with something as important as brakes...

Any opinions on if I should replace in pairs? I.E. Both back rotors/pads?
 

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I'd be looking for a stuck caliper. It's like the piston isn't pressing out on one side. So you get wear in one pad but not the other. It could also be rust embedded in the pad but eventually that would rub off.

You'll find out when it's time to change the pads. If you can't get one piston to push back in, that's your stuck one.

If you're going to do it, do both sides at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input Ek9,

I have already messed with the pistons, both seemed to go back in just fine...but might jack it up again and check it out a little more. Maybe check the guide pins (is that what they call them?) while I'm at it.

Will do my best to remember to report back on this thread when this thing is solved!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just an update. Still no fix but think the issue is the caliper is not moving as freely as it should (seems like you nailed it, EK9!). If I press the brake pedal hard both pistons come all the way out, but do not think it is retracting after the pedal is released.

Should I attempt a rebuild of the caliper? I've watched a few videos on Youtube that say I should pinch the brake line then remove the caliper and pop out the piston. If it looks in good condition I could probably just replace some seals inside and rebuild. Anyone with experience and advice? Still learning, but figure this is a great opportunity.

Unfortunately already ordered and received rotors and pads...guess I'll just hang onto them or put them up for sale...

Thanks in advance! Will continue to post progress for future readers in case it is helpful.
 

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Just an update. Still no fix but think the issue is the caliper is not moving as freely as it should (seems like you nailed it, EK9!). If I press the brake pedal hard both pistons come all the way out, but do not think it is retracting after the pedal is released.

Should I attempt a rebuild of the caliper? I've watched a few videos on Youtube that say I should pinch the brake line then remove the caliper and pop out the piston. If it looks in good condition I could probably just replace some seals inside and rebuild. Anyone with experience and advice? Still learning, but figure this is a great opportunity.

Unfortunately already ordered and received rotors and pads...guess I'll just hang onto them or put them up for sale...

Thanks in advance! Will continue to post progress for future readers in case it is helpful.
if you need to get the car back on the road as soon as possible..
id just look for a replacement caliper.

i've rebuilt a couple of calipers before - some went smoothly and others did not. i wasnt pressed to get the car back on the road so time wasnt an issue.

local auto stores can source the caliper - ebay may have some used OEM ones that are reasonably price - but you will be rolling the dice since its a used part.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input, I also think brake line is possible. Getting it back on the road quickly is a 'nice to have' but not a necessity or else I'd have brought to a trusted mechanic. Using this as an opportunity to learn something (and maybe save a few bucks).

Am thinking it is also possibly brake lines allowing piston to press out but not retracting. I can compress the pistons back in using tools like pads/prying so doesn't seem completely seized. Pressing the brake pedal firmly does get the piston to come out and get a firm grip on the rotor, though not sure if the pedal pressure necessary to accomplish that is normal. Also have been avoiding caliper work because didn't want to deal with brake fluid bleeding, but actually even that looks doable with some preparation and the right tools (and an extra person). Am a noob but studying up on possible fixes and appreciate the inputs! Also been searching the forum and found some good info that way too. This forum is a great resource!
 

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Brake caliper pistons don't visibly retract after they've been forced out.

Our rear calipers are a dual opposing piston design, different than the more common guide-pin design. I think that as long as both pistons are smoothly extending from their bores when you apply pedal pressure, and are able to be smoothly pushed back into their bores with constant force from a clamp - then there's nothing wrong with your calipers.

And regarding bleeding - it's a piece of cake. You can buy a little vacuum pump that allows you to do it solo. If you have compressed air available, Harbor Freight sells a pneumatic bleeder gun thinger dinger that pulls a vacuum on the brake line and sucks fluid through continuously...which does a great job.
 

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To me it looks and sounds like the rear pads just need replacing, when they get worn down there is a squeal strip which scrapes on the disk as a warning that the pads are low. Sure the marks on the rotor dont look the best, but they look like many other worn disks i have seen, either get them skimmed or replace the rotors if it is worrying you. Could possibly just be a stone stuck in the pads or behind the shield, or even the shield bent to touch the brakes, ive had both happen before. If it were me i would start with pulling apart, making sure the shield isn't too close to the rotor or caliper, give the outside a good clean and change the pads.

Bleeding the brakes wont make the noise stop, as mentioned the calipers and pads dont visibly move out from the rotor, most tend to rub ever so lightly you wouldn't know. If they did you would get lots of travel on the brake pedal as the pads wear, just like what happens on old cars with drum brakes. As long as the pistons move when the brakes are applied it should be fine as long as they are clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies and please excuse the delay in response.

I've checked the rear pads since they are very easy to take out...they look fine to my untrained eye, seems like plenty of life left. I don't think the warning squeal is what is happening here. Its useful to know that you have seen odd wear on the rotor like mine though.

I've watched the Youtube videos that suggest stone stuck or bent dust shield, but unfortunately the sound goes away completely when I take out the brake pads, so I'm all but sure the metallic sound is the sound of the rotor touching the brake pads when moving, suggesting maybe the pistons are not retracting as much as they should. However when I compress the pistons back in, and then hit the brake pedal, they indeed do come out. Must do more testing, as I pushed the brake pedal aggressively so not sure if it would have come out from a 'normal' pushing of the brake pedal. For what its worth, the brake pedal felt normal.

I was thinking is possible the brake hose needs replacing just from some research I've done on possible fixes as I've heard a bad hose can cause the pistons to come out, but not go back in. It seems to match one possible thing that may be going on here, thats all. If I replaced the brake lines, I would have to bleed the brake fluid to remove any air introduced into the system from what I understand.

Nonetheless, I actually already have a new set of blank brembo rotors and akebono ProACT pads sitting in my room. Thought I might have misdiagnosed and moped around the past few days considering doing the brake hoses instead as I do believe my pads have plenty of life left visually if they are not the cause of the noise. Wondering if I should even drive it more than just 'around the block' and see if the noise goes away...do you guys think that is risky? Not from a safety standpoint, but from the standpoint of further damage? I mean if the rotor and pad is bad, how much worse can I make it when I have new rotors and pads ready to go?

Think I might go for a mile down the road around my neighborhood and listen carefully maybe! I actually haven't driven it much since I heard the noise...
 

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Hey guys, reporting back after issue (seems) to be fixed and doing my part to possibly help someone else.

Today did a test drive and the issue appears to be fixed. My solution was to replace both the rotors and pads with brand new parts (didn't want to screw around/risk trying to save a few bucks by turning rotors or only replacing one side).

Went with Brembo blanks for the rotors and Akebono ProACT771 for the pads...the goal was decent quality at a decent price, and something similar to OEM. Total cost for parts about $115...eBay for the rotors with some 10% eBay bucks deal, Advance Auto Parts with some coupon for the Akebono pads (best deals I found). Plus "invested" in a set of used but decent quality USA made sockets and ratchets, and a GOOD (used) torque wrench. Also had a 2 ft breaker bar from replacing an oxygen sensor a year ago that came in handy.

Slowly accumulating the tools needed for the jobs. 0:)

Photos...including one of the rear rotor with the info etched into the rotor surface in case someone else wants to buy brembo blanks for "our cars" as you guys like to say! FYI the brembo blanks are still made in China, as many of you already know (sigh) ...I believe Akebono pads are made in USA IIRC.

Maybe this post will help someone in the future?

Big thanks to anyone who tried to help me out with your knowledge! It was very appreciated!
 

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How do you like the akebono pads? I'm thinking about those. When you had the rear noise, did it sound like a high pitch metal squeak over bumps? I'm getting that sound in the right rear. It goes away after a few miles of driving, sometimes...
 
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