I thought I had a possible slow leak near the end of February. I took it to the LTS (Local Tire Store) and they couldn’t find any leak. They had the tire off and submerged but found nothing. They took the tire back off when I told them I thought I found something and marked the tire.
I went to rotate the tires in the middle of April and when the LTS put the tire back on earlier they must have stripped a lugnut because I could get it off. When I returned to the LTS with my tale of woe they replaced the lug.
When we were chasing the Tour de Georgia we both noticed a faint chirping noise that is coming from that wheel area. It sounds like a brake squealer, but it doesn’t seem to be brake related. It happens when braking or when not. It is not constant, but random and frequent. Seems to occur going over bumps and or rough road, but it is also present when turning corners. This past Thursday I returned to the LTS and mentioned the noise. They pulled the wheel and looked around, but couldn’t find anything wrong. One of the counter guys took it for a ride and couldn’t hear anything, so they gave me back the keys. I got halfway home and the noise returned. 🙁
Friday while washing the car I noticed that the brake pads on the offending side were facing a different direction than the other side. AH HA! So Saturday morning I went back to the LTS and got a counter guy to come out so I could show him that somebody had put the brake pads back on wrong. We looked at one side, then the other. We went back to the “bad” side and he said, “They are on right.” I felt about as tall as a valve stem.
The brake pads are shaped like fat C’s, they have wide middles and tabs on the ends. Well on the passenger side the tabs face to the right. On the driver’s side they face to the left. But that is correct, the calipers are on the back sides of both wheels, so the pads may be facing in opposite directions, but they are both facing the front of the car. Duh! The LTS guy was polite and told me to bring it back another day and they would re look at it.
This afternoon I decided to take a look myself. Put the car up on jack stands and removed both rear tires. The first thing I noticed on my noisy wheel was that the W springs that move the pads off the rotor when the brakes are released were not there. Eureka! But when I checked the other side they were not there either. So maybe that isn’t it. The caliper slider pins were both pretty dry so I greased them good, but a short test drive revealed that wasn’t the problem. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 137