2010 Mazda 3 Clunking (found issue/brakes)
A couple months ago i replaced all 4 sets of brakes on my 3. Shortly after I noticed a clunking when going over bumps and the like at slow speeds, however it didn't seem to happen when going highway speed.
After looking at the forums and different websites I diagnosed it with bad swaybar endlinks, which were probably overdue anyway since the car has 120k miles. Well yesterday I replaced them (pain in the butt! nuts and the allan hole stripped - dang cheap metal). However that didn't solve the issue at all and I was dreading that it may be a Strut mount, or the strut itself though both looked to be somewhat in tact - though worn.
Well I went to a buddys while taking off the endlinks since I ended up having to cut them off due to the cheap metal, and he stood outside the car and listened as I drove it slowly and informed me that the noise sounded like it was coming from the brake area. So we pulled the back tire off and pulled the caliper and were messing with the brakes for house. I noticed that upon tightening the bolts that attach the caliper to the mount, the caliper still had some play even after tightening the piston back up (pressing the brake pedal).
One thing I noticed that wasn't in any of the brake tutorial/walkthroughs were the little holes (where you put the tool to compress the piston), and the knobs on the pads themselves. I didn't try to match these up before, though I did this time but they were actually a little bit off so wouldn't fit (not sure if this is actually necessary).
So here I am, I am stumped! I don't know why my car is making this noise but I did notice that after playing with the caliper yesterday its about 90% better but there is still noise so I want to fix it to 100%.
Also - on passenger side rear I notice that my pad isn't contacting 100% of the rotor. So there is a wide band of rust where there shouldn't be, however this one isn't making noise.
Could it be the brake pads? Or is it the caliper? I sure hope its not the caliper as that is just as costly as new struts!
OH - I bought the duralast gold ceramic pads from autozone. Im assuming they gave me the correct brake pads. Heck IDK but i'm at my wits end and I need the mazda experts here to maybe help me solve my issue.
Thanks in advance! if i missed anything or was too vague please ask and I will help clarify!