4 Types of Common Car Brake and Wheel Noises

Brakes and wheels are the most essential systems on your car and any unusual noise from  them can alert you of an upcoming danger because of the malfunctioning of one of the most crucial parts on your vehicle. Even though these noises are the most common complaints, they are more often than not ignored by drivers to a point where the repair will  cost you way more than before. More than the expense, it is important to attend to your brake and wheel problems immediately since they determine whether your car stops or not in an emergency situation like in case of an accident. 

There are various types of abnormal brake and wheel noises, while some are okay, others need immediate attention as they could mean that your car is unsafe. 

Let’s discuss the various car noises and their repair in detail : 

  1. Grinding noise :  A grinding noise under your car can be either because of a fault in your brakes or your wheels. There are two most common causes of an unusual grinding noise where one is worn brake linings and the other is hub bearing or a failing wheel. 

  • Grinding noise from the brake : If you start hearing a grinding noise when you apply your brakes, it is a wake up call for you to stop driving immediately. The grinding noise on braking is caused due to worn out brake pads. This happens when your brake pads are used for a long time to the point where the rotor disc comes in contact with a part of the caliper because of lack of brake pad material. This causes a metal to metal contact producing this grinding noise.
  • Grinding noise from the wheels : A very common cause of grinding noise is also when the wheel bearings are worn out, which causes friction which otherwise, it shouldn’t be. The wheel bearings are designed to serve as a buffer between the axle and the wheel preventing any friction between these two. To stop the noise, the wheel bearings need replacement. 

2.   Squeaking Noise : There is not one, but a number of reasons why your car is making a squeaking noise while turning or accelerating. This squeaking noise could be really high-pitched sometimes, indicating that there is a problem in some parts of your car that need your immediate attention.

  • Squeaking noise while accelerating : This is the most common of all squeaking noises and usually is indicative of a loose or worn out fan belt. A worn out fan belt means that it needs replacement along with the timing belt as it’s safer and more cost-effective to replace them both at once. If the  belt isn’t the root cause of the problem, then you might be dealing with a bad condition of the pulleys.   
  •  Squeaking noise while driving and braking : This indicates the wearing off of brake pad material gradually and if this is not attended to, soon this squeaking noise is going to turn into a loud grinding noise when the brake pads are completely worn off and are now metal to metal. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you get your brake pads checked and replaced while they’re making a squeaking noise and not let it reach the grinding stage. 

3.  Thumping noise :  If you can hear a thumping noise from your car while driving, you are more often than not dealing with problematic tires. This happens either because the tread in the tire is separating internally or because of flat spots on the tires, especially if the car hasn’t moved in weeks. In both these cases, it is advised to replace your tires with new ones, especially if your tires are 10 years old or more. 

4. Scraping noise : When you hear a scraping noise while driving, it is safer to know the possible reasons for this particular noise. It could be due to a number of various reasons like worn out brake materials, saggy wheel bearings or twits brake shields. The first thing you should do is stop and check your car for any debris stuck in the brakes. After that cause is eliminated, it could be one of the above mentioned reasons. 

What to do, when you hear your car making such noises?

When any of these above noises are heard from your car while driving, it is recommended that the first thing you do is take your car to a qualified mechanic and get it thoroughly checked. The more one tends to ignore these noises, the more they are risking more expenditure and even worse, their life along with their passengers. It is important to get your car checked for any brake or wheel problems to know what exactly needs repair. An entire brake service would include brake pads repair and replacement, caliper repair and replacement , rotor repair, brake caliper and rotor realignment and other problems with your brakes. 

Since brakes are the most essential parts of your car that keep you and your family safe, it is not advisable to skimp on this. Find yourself a qualified and cost effective mechanic and get rid of these above mentioned noises as fast as possible. 

Additional Reads

OEM Car Parts vs Aftermarket Car Parts, Does it worth the Extra Penny?

A Guide to Identifying Common Car Fluid Leakage Problems.

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