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Q: creaking noise when braking at low speeds on 2002 Kia Spectra

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Our 2002 Kia Spectra recently started making a creaking noise when braking at low - medium speeds (such as slowing down to a stop sign). The creaking noise sounds like a creaky spring on an old mattress or like croaking. The noise only happens when the brakes are depressed with a medium pressure. Very light pressure or hard pressure do not cause sounds. Also, the noise is significantly louder when the weather is warmer. It seems like the noise gets louder when the car has been driven longer as well. It only happens when the car is moving forward, not in reverse.

We've had the brakes replaced by one mechanic. Another mechanic took apart the brakes and found no problems and put it back together.

We're hoping to sell the car very soon, but think the sound needs to be fixed before we can put it up for sale. We read a Yahoo post by someone with a similar problem. An answer submitted was to grease the front axle shaft splines. We're not sure if the solution is the same for our car. Any help/advice would be appreciated very much.


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jack the car up and place hands west and east on the tire and shake if it shakes with a knocking sound its prolly your wheel bearings that can cause the sound or if you recently hit a pothole you can actually cause a minor bend on the front hub that wobbles the rotor,and sends it rubbing on the brake caliper that produces a loud rattling sound,remove the wheel and rotor shake the hub for play or take to a mechanic shop use a dial indicator to check roundout a true indicator of this also is to look at the rotor and if it has a scrub mark on one section,bent hub is the culprit,good luck.
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I can't see greasing the axle shaft splines accomplishing anything. Can you determine if the noise is coming from one side or both sides( I presume the noise is coming from the front)?
Its hard to speculate with out hearing the noise first hand but your description is very good.
Could the noise be coming from the front suspension? The spring may be rubbing or moving on its spring perch. Try just spraying some lubricant on the lower spring perch and see if the noise changes. Next if the car has wheel trims remove them and drive the car, I've see people chasing a noise only to be fooled by a wheel trim making the noise.
My suspicion all though it has been checked is that it has something to do with the brake caliper, or caliper mount pins.
I'd be interested to know what you find.
I looked to see if Kia had any Technical Service Bulletin for this problem but they don't.
I have twice chased a problem like this once on a Camry ,once on a Nissan 300ZX and it ended up being the caliper mounts/guide pins.
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Just today working on a Honda with a similar complaint, the noise was intermittent but heard under braking. The wheel bearing was bad.
Hi I have the exact same problem as described above but on a Kia Picanto 2005 (32k mileage) I had to have the front calliper changed recently and the garage said that the wheel bearings where rusty which was causing the noise, they also said that they didn't need changing straight away, my problem is that I don't know when they should be, any advice>?
I was wondering if you had a final solution to your problem? My 2003 Mazda Protege makes the same noise you described under the same conditions and the same as the Yahoo post you referenced which is here:

My 2007 Kia Spectra was making creaking and popping noises when turning and slowing down. It was the strut bearing on top of the strut tower. There is a cap that you can pull off and you can look down and see if it has come apart. Mine came apart and I had to replace it.
I have a questions: But for Julie I had the same problem and it was my rear brake pads so i changed them.... now my car is making a nocking sound when Im driving... any of you guys can help me I would love to hear what you have to say.... Thanks
you can email me at
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