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Grinding/Squealing Noise

Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:43 pm

My i3 is about 1 month old and yesterday while driving and especially while using the regen I heard this horrible squealing noise. Imagine the sound your brakes make when they are worn but the sound level of a tractor trailer braking. Since I am close to the dealer I started driving there to drop and it off and while taking a turn at a good speed a heard a light thud/popping sound and the noise is gone. It has not come back since (50 miles). Any idea what it could have been? At first I thought it was rust or buildup on the brakes so I did use the real brakes a few times and that did not help.

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Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Grinding/Squealing Noise

Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:11 pm

Probably road detritus that fell out.
2015 Tera BEV | Coding spreadsheet

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Re: Grinding/Squealing Noise

Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:31 pm

This can happen on any car, but also has been reported on the i3...a small stone or something similar gets caught between the splash shield and the brake disk. Usually, it falls out on its own. Note, though, that because, once you get good with the i3 and its regen capabilities, you don't use the brakes much if at all, and the rotors can develop a coating of rust, and when you do apply them, until that rust is scrubbed off, they can be a bit noisy.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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Re: Grinding/Squealing Noise

Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:01 am

I think the car settles the brakes up to remove corrosion. I find the pedal is higher and firmer during this initial phase of driving. I think it is using the wet weather pad settling feature to ready the brakes as the regen will not clear corrosion and could lead to an inefficient first use of the brakes if it were in an emergency.
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Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Grinding/Squealing Noise

Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:44 am

Had a similar experience. Small stone fell out of brake pad/rotor after a few km. Also had this happen on our Honda. More likely to occur on gravel roads in my experience. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Re: Grinding/Squealing Noise

Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:23 pm

As said, usually a small stone caught between the guard and the disc. They can clatter around if loose but usually jump out eventually. If they get jammed they squeal as you described. If it keeps squealing try alternately reversing and driving forward for a while which can jolt it free. If not it's wheel off and hopefully you can get at it to lever it out without any dismantling.

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