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Grinding Feeling From Brake Pedal !

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I know sounds daft doesn't it ?

But thats exactly what it feels like, a grinding feeling and noise from the brake pedal :wacko:

When rolling up to a stop gentle pressure on the brakes causes the pedal to dip and pulse, with that you get a grinding noise, the lights on the dash dim along with headlights at night.

I have taken it into our local (non ford) garage and he has had a good look at the brakes and he can't find any fault with them though it has admitted that on the test drive it did exactly the same thing to him.

The brakes themselves are brilliant, no issues there, very very good and stop you in no time at all, they do exactly what they are supposed to do.

My big fear is if something is failing and I put my foot on the brakes one day and there is nothing there :o

Anyone got any ideas on what I can check / test / replace etc :unsure:

Don't want to get shot of the car as its a real cracker, superb condition with only 75,000 on the clock, very strong engine, one owner from new with a full ford service history so I know its been well looked after.

Its just this one fault thats causing me some concern.

Any help would be greatfully appreciated as I am not sure what to do now :(

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Not being a mechanic I could not say for sure, but I have noticed when braking hard causing ABS to activate on my car and on my work van you get what could be described as a grinding feeling coming through the pedal, along with the expected pulsing of the pedal as the abs system comes on and off the brakes.

So you may be looking at an issue with your abs, but why this should cause dash / lights to dim I could not say, perhaps there is an electrical short there somewhere that is effecting both and causing the abs to activate early.

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sounds like an electric issue as the lights are dimming, or it could be two problems, a bad battery/alternator along with an abs issues, so the issue could be the abs kicking in when it shouldnt (which is the pulse and grind noise) and the headlight issue could be that when the abs kicks in its drawing current from the engine causing the dim lights, it should not do this as its not that big of an additional draw of current but if there is a bad battery/alternator or a worn cable then i gusse this could happen.

First see if there is any electrical issues. ie. test the battery, check the cables and alternator.

Then also try cleaning abs sensors and go from there?



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when the brakes were checked,did they check for runout on the discs as this is the common cause of a pulsating pedal.

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Have you recently fitted or had fitted a new rear bulb? I am going to have a guess that the ligths dimming is unrelated to the grinding and is due to a badly fitted/reversed bulb that is causing a short when the brake pedal is pressed.

Simple way to test, start car, dont drive it anywhere, get a friend to press the brake pedal, do the lights dim? have a look at the back of your car, do all the lights look normal or have some dimmed/flickered?

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Many many thanks for the replies and advice :)


I had thought it might of been a lights issue but it only ever happens when the grinding feeling/noise happens with the brake pedal.

I asked SWMBO to check the brake lights and we can't get the car to recreate the problem while the car is stationary, all the lights work fine and havn't been changed or replaced in the time I have had the car.


I am afraid I don't know, but you have a very good point and its one thing I will get done as its booked in with Ford this next week to have a look at


No issues with any of the electrics at all other than when I get this problem with the brakes.

After reading your post and the comments by s jsutton, I think your both there with the ABS fault though :blink:

Its a real strange one as, like I have said it doesn't happen ALL the time, I can go to work (a 60 mile round trip) one day and nothing, car is brilliant, leave the next m,orning and by the time I get to the end of my road (300 yds) its graunching & grinding with the pedal pulsating away :unsure:

I had a chat with our local Ford garage / Mechanic and he thinks it could very well be a fault with the ABS pump / system

They have a way of testing it so I have booked it into there this next week for them to have a look at.

If it IS the ABS system then I know its going to cost a fair few £££'s to get fixed but I am not bad with the spanners (rebuilt the odd motorcycle or 2 :D ) so I have no issues in replacing or fixing things, its just figuring out what is actually wrong with the car thats got me stumped idunno.gif

Many thanks again for the help and advice, I will let you know what the Ford Mechanic finds on Thursday thumbup-two.gif

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Sorry for the delay in replying, work has been rather manic recently so not had the chance :wacko:

Anyway, took the car to Ford and they had it for a day.

Went to collect at 4pm and the chap said they knew exactly what it was as soon as the mechanic got in and started to pull away for the test drive :o

BOTH front discs warpped the left being the worst of the two and this in turn has buggered up the wheel bearing :(

The car was still on the ramp so he showed me the play and the discs (they still had them off the car as they felt it really wasn't safe putting them back on :unsure: )

So left it there and picked the car up this morning.

No rumble, no grinding feeling, car feels great :D

IF I had a garage or drive I might of done the work myself but as it was there and they sorted it much quicker than I could of done...

I am a fair bit lighter in the wallet but as the car is needed for work it was a must have.

So thanks to everyone for there replies, really appreciated the help and advice freely given ;)

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