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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all.

My mom's got an '06 Mazda 3 GT. Bought it with 40,000km on the clock, about 140k now, and has done next to zero maintenance. Barely a couple oil changes in this time, and I'll bet they haven't been synthetic. Car has been massively neglected and is in shit condition.

There is a grinding noise coming from the front-end, seemingly passenger side. It sounds like metal on metal and is mostly audible when braking and turning. Audible when moving both forwards and backwards.

Brake pads are fine - at least 5mm left. Tires aren't rubbing on anything that I can tell.

What else could this be? Bushings somewhere? Something messed up in the front axle? No grease somewhere there should be grease?

To make matters worse, she's been driving with this horrible grinding noise for the last thousand kilometres.

She's taking it to some shady mechanic tomorrow morning, so I'd love to get some feedback before the car gets there.
 

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How about if she steers when the car's not moving? That'll tell us whether the problem is in the steering bits or the rotating assembly.
 

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Even though you say there is some brake pad left, it sounds to me like the noise you're hearing is the brake pads have no pad left. When this happens the backing plate of the brake pad, (which is solid metal) will grind against the rotor and make the sound that you are describing.
 

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Wondering if the pad he's seeing is the plate, and not actual pad material...
Even if it is, 5mm is not much material at all technically speaking.

Sounds like pad alerters to me as well.

If you hear a sound when on the brakes, it's usually... the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses, everyone.

This morning I felt around for a dust shield/backing plate and was very surprised to not find one. Wtf!

The mechanic turned out to be a few shades less shady than I expected. Got a decent vibe when chatting with him this morning. The brake pads / no pad sounds like the issue. (I didn't speak to him directly post diagnosis and fix.) He replaced the two front rotors and pads, problem is gone.
 

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Thanks for the responses, everyone.

This morning I felt around for a dust shield/backing plate and was very surprised to not find one. Wtf!

The mechanic turned out to be a few shades less shady than I expected. Got a decent vibe when chatting with him this morning. The brake pads / no pad sounds like the issue. (I didn't speak to him directly post diagnosis and fix.) He replaced the two front rotors and pads, problem is gone.
Glad to hear buddy! :thumbup1:
 
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