Cassels Garage

Wheel Making Noise? Here Are The 2 Main Culprits

Published on February 6, 2023
Winter Tires

One of the most common car repairs we get here in Melbourne is a wheel that is making noise as you drive it down the road. Most people are not aware of what this noise could be, which is why we went ahead and put together this list of the 3 main culprits to what is making your wheel make noise.

Simply put, when your wheel is making noise as you drive it down the road that typically means that one of three things is the culprit. First, check the brake pads to see if there is any padding-left or if something is stuck. Second, more than likely your wheel bearing is starting to go if it is constant and growing sound.

Here at Cassels Garage in Brevard County, Florida, we specialize in providing the area’s top service for your car or truck. From small compact cars to large fleets of semi-trucks we have seen it all and worked on it all. Because of this when you bring your car to us you know you are getting the best service in the industry. We also love ‘talking shop’ so if you have any questions about a potential fix simply reach out to us for a no-obligation talk by clicking here!

1st Possible Source of the Sound in Your Wheel: Your Brake Pads

The first possible source of the sound in your wheel bearing is more than likely going to be your brake pads. If the sound only happens when you start or stop moving your car then chances are your sound can be found in the pads.

The sound of your brake pads is going to be a sharp squealing when you start to move your car. The reason that this sound is a squealing sound is because most brake pads are built with a tiny metal piece that makes an extremely loud sharp sound when the metal begins to scrape against your wheel.

Believe it or not, this squealing is designed to be that way. This way you can notice that it is time to replace the brake pads in your car. If you let your brake pads wear down all the way this squealing sound will quickly turn into a scraping sound. If you do not get your brake pads fixed at this time then the last sound you could possibly hear would be a nasty grinding sound as the brake calipers begin to damage your wheel itself.

That’s why as soon as you hear the squealing you should check to see how much padding you have left on your brake pads. This can be done by taking a flat screwdriver and seeing how much play you have between your pads and the wheel itself. If you can fit the head of the screwdriver into the gap between the brake pad and your wheel then you are still fine. If you can’t then it’s time to get new pads.

As such the first possible source of the sound coming out of your wheel might be the brake pads themselves. Simply see how much padding you have left and get them changed if you need to. The sound should go away.

2nd Possible Source of the Sound in Your Wheel: Your Wheel Bearing

This is by far the most common source of that sound coming out of your wheel well. If the sound you are hearing is a constant and low deep sound that slowly progresses to a grinding vibration then your wheel bearing is starting to go.

To diagnose this issue you simply need to drive the vehicle up to around 2,000 RPM’s. Here if you start to notice the car making a sound that you can hear in the car but not outside if you roll down the window then it’s your wheel bearing.

These wheel bearings will last about 40,000-60,000 miles if you take care of your car. This is a part that you should have a mechanic such as us here at Cassels replace. This is because you will have to yank off the old wheel bearing using a specialty tool. Unless you have the proper equipment you can really hurt yourself or your vehicle. As such it is worth it to let us handle it.

A simple way to figure out if the sound is being caused by a bad wheel bearing is to jack up your car and spin the wheel that is making the sound. If the wheel makes a grinding sound when you spin it then you know the problem is the wheel bearing. This is the exact diagnostic step we take here in the shop and we often tell people to do this if they can to make the whole repair process faster.

As such the 2nd possible source of that sound coming out of your wheel well could be a bad wheel bearing that is starting to go. Once you know what you are looking for then it is pretty easy to diagnose if a wheel bearing is a culprit. However, I do not recommend replacing it on your own unless you know what you are doing.

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