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MG MGF Technical - Grinding noise/feeling??? on braking

Hello everyone, I have an intermittent but somewhat alarming problem with my ickle car and it is preventing me driving - not good!!!!
Every so often (maybe after driving a bit more enthusiastically and using the brakes harder) I hear or feel maybe a grinding through the pedal. Sorry to be so vague but this is the only way to describe it.
The other day after it did this for a little while as I drove off after braking I heard a noise (a sort of scraping???) that came as if every time the wheels turned but thinking about it the noise would have been more frequent?? The "sort of scraping noise" came about twice a second and I was doing about 20-30mph at the time. It DID get a little faster when I went faster but not much. Then it stopped entirely, still got the "grinding" when I next braked so I thought - ok get it to my mates place (a mile away) and call the RAC and get a tow home but on the way there the grinding on braking stopped. So I drove it home slowly and apart from driving to work today (less than a mile) cos I was late and the VAT man was coming I have avoided driving. MOT due in December, guess I could wait until then and see what the MOT man finds??
Until then anyone got any ideas?
Sorry for the long post btw. Explaining symptoms is hard!!!
KS Gould

Have you checked the obvious, like how much the brake pads are worn? Note: even if the outside pads look ok the inner pads may be more worn.

Er, no I haven't. How do I check brake pads? Get the wheels off? I do have a OH who knows all this stuff and I am over-reliant on him I am afraid.
He has said he will "take a drive in it and have a look at it", guess it is time for some nagging!
KS Gould

Er no I have not checked the pads thoroughly, just looked through the spokes at them and they seem ok, not great however.
Do I have to get the wheels off?
I DO have a boyfriend who knows all this stuff, am over-reliant on him unfortunately.
Me, never done any car mechanics, him, been doing mechanics for over 30 years. I have a lot of catching up to do! Am trying to learn, our conversations have been about mechanics recently as I like to learn this stuff!
Guess it is time to nag him as he has said he will give it a drive and have a look to see what the problem is, I will be around when he does and report back. I use the forums as there are some great people who have specific experience about my car that could save a lot of time, money and trouble.
KS Gould

It does sound like worn pads, they have a simple wear warning device attached (bit like a tuning fork) to make a noise by resonating when the pads wear down.

Following link shows you what I mean.
Steve P

Yeah, to get a good look at all the brake pads it is necessary to remove the wheels. The pads should really have a minimum of 3mm of actual pad left, if the outter ones look anywhere near this then there is a good chance the inner ones may be even more worn. HTH.

OK thanks, the greenstuff pads in the link looked like they were better quality than the standard ones and worth paying the extra money. Would like to replace them with better than standard pads anyway and hopefully this will cure the problem too.
I think MOT time with the MGF will be earlier than at the last possible moment that I have to get it done legally, which is when I used to do the MOT on my old banger I had before.
KS Gould

Certainly sounds likely that your brake pads are shot, and you're wise to avoid using them in case they're actually worn down to the backplate - likely to start chewing up the disc surface, which adds to the repair cost somewhat.

If there's a Kwik-Fit or similar place near you, I believe they usually offer a free brake check. Chances are that will involve the car being raised on a lift, thus giving you the opportunity to be given a guided tour of your brakes without having to get into undignified positions ;o)
Mike Hankin

Thanks Mike.
That does sound like a good idea, the boyfriend is very busy at the moment and does not relish dealing with cars anyway - he prefers boats nowadays!!!
If I go to a branch of a Kwik-Fit place and get them to put it on a lift and have a look that would be great.
Don't want my learning about car mechanics to be "having a go" at doing the brakes on my own!
KS Gould

If you find the source of the noise is the pads all used up, you may well also find that the discs are decidedly 2nd-hand. They don't last forever, and I could save you a bit of expense if you bought my set of very low mileage discs (about 5000 miles) - you can see pics on - only 40 + post for 4 ;-)
M Cunningham 1

As the sound pulses - twice a second - it could be a wheel bearing going. Check brakes first though.
Russell Parslow


As everyone has said, it sounds like worn out pads. Just try not to drive around unnecessarily until you get it sorted or you'll ruin the discs (metal on metal - not a good combination!)

Regarding the pads themselves, Greenstuff are around the same price as the OE pads, and to be honest they've got about the same braking power (err not very good). I have a standard brake setup on mine, but replaced the OE pads with Mintex 1144s. Now these cost quite a bit more than OE or Greenstuff (mine were about 75 for the front) but the difference in braking is incredible. Well worth the extra money.

Emma Jackman (& Green with Envy ~ S369 FAR)
Emma Jackman

Again I thank everyone for the advice.
It WAS the pads, I bought some from Halfords (so there would certainly be some new ones to go on) and took it to my mates garage so they could have a look.
My boyfriend laughed at me when I came home from work after going off to Halfords in my lunch hour and buying heavy brake pads and carrying them around on foot as I was not driving, he said I did not know what was causing the noise and our mate at the garage would get pads sent round by courier from the parts supplier, or whatever other parts might be needed!
They replaced the front pads with the Halfords ones (I know,I know, not the best but better than the worn ones!).
Apparently there was one pad very worn and it had just started to score the disc but I have got away with it!
Lucky I did not drive the car much, thanks again for the advice.
KS Gould

This thread was discussed between 28/11/2006 and 04/12/2006

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