My brakes are making a grinding noise when I brake. I live in
winter conditions and it started today when we were having a
snowstorm. I find that if I back up and continue to move forward
(essentially, let the car warm up), then it does not happen. Like
I said, it was nothing progressive, just started today. Could they just
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A grinding or rumbling noise can also be symptoms of a wheel bearing or constant velocity joint in a driveshaft. A worn wheel bearing can also cause a 'whistling' sound (as can a worn CV joint).
A grinding noise with brakes is either worn pads causing metal to metal contact on the brake disk/rotor, or the brake backing plate catching on a spinning rotor ... or a loose/missing anti squeal brake shim (they stop the pads from rattling and vibrating).
However, as you say a mechanic has looked at the brakes and can't find anything wrong .. I think I would begin to suspect a wheel bearing or constant velocity joint on the driveshaft (front wheel drive cars).
Your problem is a bad CV axle and outer carrier bearing failure. The grinding is coming from brake rotor on that side due to the bearing failure. the brake rotor and bearing is causing the lock down. Do not attempt to drive or further damage will occur. Transmission is probably OK. Replace both sides (CV axels and Carrier bearings, 150,000 is time) Check brake components for damage and replace pads while you are there.
Those are your anti-lock brakes. Either there is a malfunction, or you are applying to much brake for the road conditions, which is causing the anti-lock brakes to activate. If the road conditions are slick and hazardous, slow down and start stopping sooner.
The problem described here indicates that you may have the AWD (full time 4WD) drivetrain of the 2003 Element.
It is normal to have 1 side of the vehicle to have increased wear due to the transmission differential, that allows your vehicle's wheels to move at different speeds from the others (turning, inclines, etc.)
Your brake pads really need constant inspection and possible replacement (approx 5,000 miles) with everyday driving, and is really a consumable item like your fuel.
You will find that it is much cheaper to replace the brake pad/lining of your disc brakes than grinding down the supposedly shiny discs that slow down your vehicle.
RE: salt/snow, you can improve your discs' longevity by rinsing them out with warm water after being driven in extreme conditions.
Your noisy experience with your ABS and ECS is exactly what all of these systems do in icy, snowy, and any environment that causes your tires to lose traction. The ECS light when blinking or illuminated is just informing you that the ECS is being activated to let you know your traction is limited.
I have an Elantra and have driven my GF's '06 Sonata many times. I live in MN and it does the same thing with snow etc. and so has past cars i've owned such as Subaru Legacy, Pontiac Grand Prix, and Toyota Camry.
With ABS it does seem to take quite some distance to stop in icy or snowy conditions. When it's dry it's impossible to beat.
first check condition of discs and pads if all is good drive and pull up handbrake slowly to see if its the handbrake shoes making the noise if still a problem will most probably be rear wheel bearings