2003 Chevy Cavalier brake problem

Asked by Feb 14, 2013 at 05:11 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Let me state up front I'm not a mechanic. I had been hearing the typical grinding noise when applying the
brakes. Sounded like metal on metal and was coming from the front. So I put new brake pads on the front
(both sides). Rotors didn't look great but I didn't see any obvious problems (but I admit they may be too
thin or other problems with them) so I didn't have them turned or replaced. I drove the car about 8 miles
back to my place. During the trip there was a little stutter like the brakes were not grabbing right but
figured the new pads had to adjust. This morning I got about 4 miles from the house when I noticed when
applying the brakes the stuttering was much worse as in the car would jerk a little back and forth but this
time accompanied by what sounds like a grinding noise again. I decided to head to a garage to have them
checked when all of a sudden the brakes started acting fine again. I turn around head back home. For
roughly 6 miles they worked fine but 2 miles from home they started doing the same thing. Does it sound
like I somehow installed the pads wrong, or could it be an issue with the rotors or caliper ? I've included a
short video clip so you can hear the sound it makes as I apply the brakes to turn into my driveway. Below
is a link to a short video that you can hear the sound being made as I brake to turn into my driveway

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/32799977/My%20First%20Project.mov

5 Answers

665

Obviously there's something still not right with your brakes. Normally the rotors should have been turned when you replaced the pads. Without actually seeing them, it's hard to say if they are bad. Take the car to a brake professional and have them look at it. The last thing you need is to be driving along at 50mph, hit your brakes, and the car doesn't stop. It's just not safe.

Thanks for the reply. I put new rotors on and problem solved. Lesson learned.

10

I put new rotors and brakes pads on my front also and i cant go over 25 if that bc it just slowly stops and jerks at a stop and then its hard for me to pick back up again.. idk if its my rotors or what but i just left the chevy dealer ship to get my shifter cable replaced and he said my rotors turn purple like it burning to hot.. i think maybe my pads are to close together but im not sure??

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Curious what the Chevy dealer mechanic said about caliper(s) hanging on brakes??? I have recently posted a question with I think the same problem you are having now.... I have a 2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the right caliper sticking more than the left???? Prior to changing the master cylinder which didn't solve the problem, the front brakes were so hot that they were literally smoking when I stopped. I'm not a mechanic, after changing pads, calibers, master cylinder, lines, etc. My mechanic, who I have been using for years and is very honest and knowledgeable said he didn't want to change the booster. He charged me no labor and $120 for changing the master. He had the truck back for the third time and it finally happened with him driving, the caliper didn't release. He looked into it more and said I really don't have the time to figure out what the problem is and don't want to charge you to change the booster because he didn't feel it was the reason. He advised me to take it to a Chevy dealer and it will run me about $135 for them to run a diagnostics... I'm an going to take it there but my father and brother are going to check the lines and clean them prior to taking it. The mechanic tested the booster (not the owner) but the employee of my mechanic (if you follow, bad english)... He said that the booster was fine, it's pulling a vacuum. He then disconnected the anti- lock brakes. He also said that you would know if it was your booster by the engine sound.. So, it's been an ongoing issue and I have not read one main reason or steps to take to determine what the problem is..... I wish I didn't have rear drums because I would of just got rid of the right caliber. I know the majority of braking is done by the fronts not the rear. I have rear drums and how the lines leave the master, I can't eliminate the right caliber... The truck is old with a lot of miles. I'm thinking what makes sense is the person who answered corrosion, rust and some sensor because I have a heat gun (work HVAC) I shot the caliper it was over 400 degrees F, the rotor was too high for my gun to read. It reads to 500F plus the right sticks and the left hasn't except once, prior to changing the caliper, pads. One thing that keeps me questioning about being the right side front is for a few months I was driving and had a nail in the tire, kept putting air in it, finally plugged it, and now have new tires prior to installing the new brakes. A few times the tire was at 20 psi or little lower and I stopped for air. I don't know if this could cause the issue or have something to do with it. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the right tire had a leak and I rode on it for a bit and kept putting air in, now 6 months later the right front caliper is hanging?? Any help/advice/answers are greatly appreciated...

10

Nah i think its the calipers pushin to hard on the brakes makin them not spin bc it just needs pushed back or new calipers im not to sure either but i cant even drive it to the dealer ship and my step dad owns a midas mechanics shop and he said he doesnt kno hes never had that problem. He told me maybe there where to big or idfk ngl im soo tired of gettin the worse luck lol its always something. And i think the pressure just needs undone or something

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