A modified electrochemical noise (EN) technique has been applied to monitor corrosion-wear of TiN coated AISI 316 stainless steel sliding against corundum in 0.5 M H2SO4. Experimental results show that the EN technique can sensitively detect potential and current variations during a corrosion-wear process. Corrosion-wear mechanisms of TiN coatings depend on their substrate properties. When the substrate is passive, such as AISI 316 stainless steel, the potential and current variations reflect the properties of coatings. Depassivation and repassivation alternately take place on the tribo-activated wear area during the steady-state phase. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.