By Dennis Shortino, ALLDATA Editor Jeff Webster, ALLDATA Technical writerApril 2013
When a driver enters your shop complaining about a noise coming
from the rear of the vehicle, what do you do first? The answer
may depend on whether or not you have access to manufacturers’
repair information. OEM information can be the key to a fast
diagnosis and a quick fix. This is especially true if you can
access factory-issued technical service bulletins (TSBs). TSBs
describe known issues and provide detailed instructions for
repairing them. If you can look up TSBs, that’s the first thing
you should do!
If a TSB has been published for a specific problem, you can save
a great deal of time – and some money for the vehicle owner. The
best ways to build good will and customer loyalty is to save them
money and fix it right the first time!
The important thing to remember about TSBs is that they are
issued by the manufacturer. There is no higher standard for
repair information than the factory. And with today’s
technologically advanced vehicles becoming more and more complex,
guessing is not an option.
TSBs are not just for new vehicles. As you know, some issues
arise only after the car or truck has put on some miles. Here,
for example, is a TSB issued by Nissan® describing a known
problem with brakes on some older models.
Clunk, Rattle, or Knocking Noise from Rear Brake
A Nissan® Maxima® or Sentra® owner may complain of a clunk,
knock, or rattle noise from the rear of the vehicle while driving
on rough road surfaces or over harsh bumps. The noise may be
caused by the brake pads moving in the brake caliper housing. A
replacement spring retainer kit, consisting of replacement pad
retainers, inner and outer shims, and brake pads is available to
address this problem. Follow the Repair Procedure in this Tech
Tip to diagnose and repair this condition.
2001 Maxima built after 11/27/2000
2002 Maxima built before 9/20/2001
2001 Sentra SE® w/rear disc brakes – All VIN’s after 3/1/2001
2002 Sentra SE/R® & SPEC V® w/rear disc brakes – All VIN’s before
Spring Retainer (SPR-RET) Kit, P/N 44080-4U027, QTY 1
Repair Procedure Review safety procedures in ALLDATA® Repair(SM) before
Test drive the vehicle on rough road surfaces or over harsh
bumps to confirm that the symptoms exist.
NOTE: Lightly apply the parking brake while the incident is
occurring to verify if the noise is reduced or eliminated.
• If application of the parking brake does not reduce or
eliminate the noise, this Tech Tip does NOT apply. Use other
appropriate diagnostic procedures and service information to
further investigate and diagnosis the source of the noise.
• If application of the parking brake reduces or eliminates the
noise, proceed to Step 2.
Remove the rear wheels starting with the left rear:
Remove the brake caliper assembly pin bolts (Figure
Loosen the parking brake cable by removing the parking brake
cable bolt (Figure 2).
Remove the brake caliper assembly to gain access to the brake
pad, shim, and pad retainer.
WARNING: DO NOT allow the brake caliper assembly to hang from
the brake hose. Use a piece of wire to hang the caliper from
the rear coil spring.
Remove the left brake pad, shim and pad retainer.
Use brake cleaner to remove the old PBC (Poly Butyl Cuprysil)
grease and/or brake dust from the “torque member” (Figure
Install a replacement pad retainer.
• First, remove the red plastic tabs from one of the
replacement pad retainers in the SPR-RET kit (Figure
4). See the Parts Information section
Repeat Step 8 for the other replacement pad retainer.
Install inner and outer brake pads, outer shim, and new inner
shim from the SPR-RET Kit.
• Use suitable grease between the brake pad and shim, and
between the shim and piston to reduce potential noise. Use it
sparingly. DO NOT GET ANY GREASE ON THE BRAKE PAD “FRICTION”
• Be sure to put the inner and outer shims in the correct
location (Figure 5).
Carefully push the piston back into the brake caliper body
while gently turning the piston clockwise.
WARNING: DO NOT try to force the piston back
into the brake caliper. Caliper damage may result.
Reinstall the brake caliper assembly to its original
Reattach the left upper and lower caliper assembly pin bolts.
Torque the bolts to proper torque specifications – 16-23 ft-lb
(22-31 N-m, 2.2-3.2 Kg-m).
Reinstall the parking brake cable bolt.
Repeat Steps 3 through 14 for the right rear brake.
Reinstall the rear wheels.
NOTE: When re-installing the wheels, evenly
torque the wheel lug nuts to the proper torque
Do not tighten the wheel lug nuts with an air impact driver.
Repeat Step 1 to test drive the vehicle and verify the noise
is no longer present.
For more information on OE repair information, please visit
NOTE: This Repair/Service Procedure is excerpted
from a Technical Service Bulletin published by the vehicle
manufacturer, and is intended for use by trained, professional
technicians with the knowledge, tools and equipment to do the job
properly and safely. It is recommended that this procedure not be
performed by “do-it-yourselfers.”
Dennis Shortino has over 32 years of experience as an auto
technician / shop manager and 9 years as an auto instructor and
contract trainer. Dennis has written for Check Chart’s college
level auto repair text books and ASE study guides. He’s an ASE
Master & Advanced Engine Performance Technician and is certified
by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair as a Master
Trainer. He has been with ALLDATA for 9 years as an Editor.