2002 PT Cruiser brake issue


Old 10-12-17, 06:20 AM
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2002 PT Cruiser brake issue

Hi all,

Have a 2002 pt cruiser with some brake issues. Started back in March this year, all of a sudden one day the passenger side front started grinding real bad. Pulled the brakes off and found that the outer pad material on the shoe was completely gone so it was metal on metal. The outer pad was in good shape about 1/4" thick. SO i put new rotors and pads on. At that time I failed to inspect the caliper pins for movement. I then did the driver side and noticed the both pads were good ( about 1/4" thick but were wearing fairly even except one of them was wearing at an angle from top to bottom ( bottom may have been thinner. I recall checking the pins on this one and the bottom one wasn't moving very easy so I pulled them and greased them up with brake grease. since then the brakes have been decent up until a couple weeks ago they started making rubbing sounds. I pulled them a few days ago and found this. Passenger side, pulled the caliper and found the pads wearing evenly and still very thick. The bottom caliper pin was completely siezed and after much twisting, pounding and wd-40 was able to knock it out. Replaceed both pins with new and lubed them up good with brake grease. Next pulled the driver side and all looked good and wear is even. Both caliper pins moved freely but I greased them agian. put it back together and test drove, all felt fine and no noises. Now fast forward to 4 days later and they sound terrible. Worse then before. Quiet when going straight but when turning a corner something is rubbing and making noise. Not every time you turn but often and when you brake it changes pitches. CAn't tell which side though. Also, and more annoying is when going about 40 mph down the street if I turn the wheel slightly you can feel thumping. At this point I am wondering if it could be a sticking caliper. I have changed the brakes at least 4 times on this vehicle with no issues but this last time has been a royal pain. CAn anyone advise how to check if calipers are sticking and also if a sticking caliper would cause thumping. Thanks
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Old 10-12-17, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Sounds more like a failing Constant Velocity (C/V) Joint than a brake issue.
Old 10-12-17, 07:14 AM
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I agree, it sounds more like a bad CV joint. The clue is that you only hear the noise when turning. Brakes don't usually care whether you're turning or going straight. However, bad CV joints will make noise when turning. I always check the CV joint boots for evidence of tears when doing an oil change. If a boot is torn, it lets water and debris into the joint, quickly killing it.
Old 10-12-17, 03:46 PM
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How much mileage on the car? If a cv boot is torn (look carefully, it can split in the bellows and look ok at a glance) then its definitely a CV joint which fails when grit and water gets into it. CV joints should last a very long time if they are sealed and the boot is intact, hence why I ask about mileage.

Sounds like your brakes were not likely functioning properly, a rusted pin that hard to remove is not great, the bore which the pin is in might be damaged/corroded and even a new pin might hang up in there. Would check this more regularly going forward, you might need a complete rebuilt caliper.

But the symptoms you describe are CV joint like, or maybe a ball joint or wheel bearing or degraded control arm bushings as less likely culprits. With age and mileage things can fail, you might well have addressed the brakes, with the other items wearing out and presenting their symptoms as a pure coincidence with you having done the brake work.
Old 10-12-17, 08:24 PM
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i will say it sounds just like a bad wheel bearing. check for play.

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