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#4673943 - 02/21/18 10:47 PM Loud hum noise from front brakes
Jimmy9190 Offline

Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 3438
Loc: Clermont, Florida
This is about my 2013 Honda Civic, 4 door LX sedan, 1.8 liter 4 cylinder, automatic transmission, 61,000 miles on the odometer. I have noticed a loud humming or groaning type noise when I use the brakes to come to a stop after driving at highway speeds of 45 or higher. The noise is definitely in the front end of the car and is present only when I use the brakes. If I let off the brake the noise disappears.

I do not hear the noise when slowing down while in traffic, like going maybe 25 or 30 mph and coming to a stop at red lights during stop and go city driving. The noise is only present when I get on the brakes to slow down after driving at higher speeds about 45 to 50 mph and faster and have to stop, like when I get off an exit ramp from the interstate, or when slowing down for a stop sign or red light after I have been going 50-55 on a 4 lane state highway. I will also hear the same noise when slowing down to stop at the bottom of a hill on the main road leading out of my neighborhood.

The noise sounds like a loud groaning or humming type noise, it is not the squealing metal to metal noise of neglected brake pads cutting into a rotor. There is no pulsation or vibration in the pedal or sterring wheel. The car stops fine, just makes this noise I never heard before that starts around 30 mph and I hear it until the car is almost stopped. I hear no odd noises when turning or doing parking lot type slow driving. The car drives fine and tracks straight.

The car came from Carmax, I bought it 2 years ago with 31K, now it is at 61K. I inspected the brakes, tires and rotors a few weeks ago when I changed my oil, everything looked OK to me, the pads have a lot of material left, I saw no obvious scoring or other problems with the rotors and my tires are in great shape, no cupping or feathering at all. Both front wheels are tight to the hub with no play in any direction. I recently had all 4 wheels road force balanced and a 4 wheel alignment done at the Honda dealer. I had a set of Cooper CS5 Ultra's put on the car the first week I bought it and the tires are in excellent shape with very little wear for 30,000 miles.

I changed my oil back when I first bought the car, and out of curiosity I did a Google search on the part number on the front pads, they are Autozone Duralast Gold. It looks to me like the rotors may also have been replaced. Either Carmax must have done the pads and possibly rotors to sell the car or it was done when the PO turned the car in at the end of the lease. The screws holding the rotors in place have marks on them so I know they have been removed and re-installed. The rotors could be Autozone too, but they still look to be in good shape.

I know it is hard to diagnose without seeing and driving the car. However I am wondering if this is a problem with a lightweight econo-box car with aftermarket pads and rotors? Can they cause a humming noise like that? I have never seen this problem or heard this type of brake noise before and I do appreciate any help. Thanks.
2013 Honda Civic LX Sedan
Harvest King Synthetic 0W20
Fram PH7317

#4673960 - 02/21/18 11:06 PM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
gabriel9766 Offline

Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 926
Loc: Missouri
My malibu does this also, o.e pads at almost 40k still have 8/32 left with no pulsation or noise. Only does it when stopping at high speeds. I'll prob turn the rotors and buff the pads out one day after work when i change the oil and rotate the tires. Maybe tht will fix it.
2015 Chevy Malibu 1LT DI 2.5L I4- PPPP 0w20 and a napa gold 7060 39,829K

2007 Ford Escape XLT FWD 3.0 V6 motorcraft 5w20-motorcraft FL500 119.5K

#4674005 - 02/22/18 01:53 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
FordBroncoVWJeta Offline

Registered: 04/16/16
Posts: 657
Loc: KS
17 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T
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#4674006 - 02/22/18 02:13 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
The Critic Offline

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19551
Loc: CA
If the rotors are in good condition, the issue lies with the friction material.
2011 Toyota Prius - 164k - ACDelco 0W-20
2007 Honda Accord 2.4 - 126K - Idemitsu 5W-20

#4674015 - 02/22/18 03:27 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
Char Baby Offline

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 9607
Very good explanation and well written. And though I can't say for sure, I think that it is the friction material as well.

I know that this suggestion would be like doing the brake job twice(to $ave $ome money) however, you may want to clean & lube the sliders, clean the pad slots in the hold down bar and insuring that the pads work freely. Possibly, emery/scuff the rotors a bit especially behind the rotor where we normally can't see(backing plate side) and maybe even put some brake lube(SylGlide, 3M, Permatex) on the backing plates of the pads. If this doesn't help, then change the pads. This is a quick a easy maintenance(IMHO) between brake jobs. While your at it, bleed the fronts! smile

The 2006 Mazda3 in my signature did this when we bought it used w/50K mils in 2009. The selling dealer slapped on some front brake pads and turned the rotors at my request as there was some vibrations/shimmy when stopping and the front pad were getting thin. These pads made different noises(worst we've ever experienced) depending if it was wet, hot, cold, etc. They squealed, moaned or hummed depending on the weather/temperature.

These pads were the culprit and after about a year, I just changed out all of the brakes. This has never happened again!

Edited by Char Baby (02/22/18 03:45 AM)
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

#4674048 - 02/22/18 06:31 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
Dave9 Offline

Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 138
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
I'd check for corrosion on the caliper bracket slide rails. Pull out the stainless linings if present, wire brush or wheel off rust, slap down a coat of silicone grease, slap the rail linings back on, and slap on another thin coat of silicone grease on the linings. While you have it apart anyway, if the caliper pistons are metal, sand the edge smooth where it contacts the pad back and put a "little" silicone grease there too.

Edited by Dave9 (02/22/18 06:32 AM)

#4674373 - 02/22/18 12:24 PM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
Jimmy9190 Offline

Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 3438
Loc: Clermont, Florida
Thanks for all your replies and info. Looks like I have a front brake job to do in the very near future. I do appreciate your help on this.
2013 Honda Civic LX Sedan
Harvest King Synthetic 0W20
Fram PH7317

#4675060 - 02/23/18 05:21 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
RyanY Offline

Registered: 01/25/18
Posts: 28
Loc: South Carolina (SC)
I didn't see this in the original post, but are your rotors slotted? I switched both my vehicles to slotted rotors a few years ago, and they both make more noise when stopping. I attribute it to the slots, but it could also be the material (Wagner pads).
2007 Cadillac CTS 3.6L (PennPlatHM 5W-30+PureOne; Valvoline DexVI+Lubegard; RP MaxGear; Lucas PS)
2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L (PennPlat 0W-20+PureOne; PennPlat LV; Lucas PS)

#4675116 - 02/23/18 07:25 AM Re: Loud hum noise from front brakes [Re: Jimmy9190]
Jimmy9190 Offline

Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 3438
Loc: Clermont, Florida
No slots, just regular solid rotors. I have no idea if they are original though. I suspect they were replaced when the Duralast pads were put on.
2013 Honda Civic LX Sedan
Harvest King Synthetic 0W20
Fram PH7317