When my brother turned 50, he started to rattle, too.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a horrible metallic rattling noise coming from my right front wheel area on a 50th anniversary Nissan 300ZX. Whenever I hit the slightest of road irregularities, it will sound off until the road smoothes out. It happens in all weather conditions. My mechanic has taken a look at it, and says everything seems to be normal. The only way I can get the noise to stop is by applying the brakes. Do you have any idea what's making the noise?

RAY: Yeah. I think it's a brake caliper, Barry. But I wouldn't worry about it. When my brother turned 50, he started to rattle, too. But so far, no parts have fallen off.

TOM: Actually, Barry, you should get it fixed. The caliper is held in place by two pins and a set of bushings. When the bushings wear out, the caliper can slop around and bang against the pins. And that's what's making the noise.

RAY: And when you step on the brakes, the noise stops because the calipers squeeze and grab onto the discs. That holds them in place and stops them from rattling.

TOM: It's possible to have just the bushings replaced, but if the bushings are worn out, other parts of the caliper may be ready to go too. So I'd have your mechanic install a set of factory rebuilt calipers. That ought to take care of it.

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