I noticed my car making some significant rubbing noises from the front wheel while I was driving the other day. This got me worried and I began to consider whether this was a serious issue or one I could ignore for another time.
A rubbing noise from the front wheel while driving can indicate a serious issue with your vehicle. Rubbing noises, while common, can indicate serious issues with the braking system of your vehicle. Persistent rubbing noises from the front wheel while driving can also indicate an issue with the wheels of your vehicle.
This guide will provide you with all of the details that you need to better understand the different causes of rubbing noises from the front wheel when driving. There will also be some troubleshooting methods provided so you can try and resolve the issues yourself.
Is The Rubbing Noise From Your Front Wheel Serious
It is possible that the rubbing noise under your front wheel indicates a serious issue. Although grinding and rubbing noises while driving is common, any noticeable excessive noise coming from your front wheels should be inspected immediately.
Rubbing noise coming from your front wheels that is noticeable when driving at slow speeds is often indicative of a brake pad or wheel bearing issues. Other common causes of rubbing noise could indicate an issue with the brake caliper, which is the main component that helps decelerate your car.
Of course, every car needs a reliable braking system to ensure the safety of the driver and others on the road. If you notice rubbing noises from your front tires and do not address the issue as soon as possible, it could cause potentially dangerous driving conditions.
There are a few main causes of rubbing sounds when driving a car that you should be aware of. This can help you better address your issue.
What’s The Causes Of A Rubbing Sound When Driving A Car?
Listed below are some of the most common causes of a rubbing sound while driving a car. These common causes include defective tires, component breakdowns, bad brakes, and several others that you should be aware of.
A faulty tire is the number one cause for your car to make a rubbing sound while driving. This could be from your tire being overinflated or underinflated or damaged in some way. It is important that you inspect your tires regularly for any damage or air loss visible.
Faulty tires will make more noise when driving over stony or rough roads and may potentially be damaged to the point they must be replaced or is no longer drivable. Because of this, it is important to address any tire issues you have as soon as possible.
Breakdowns Of Brake Caliper, Pad, or Rotor
Failures in the brake system components can also cause significant noise while driving. Your brake system is composed of several different components, the most important being the brake caliper, brake pad, and brake rotor.
Brake pads that have started to wear down unevenly may no longer be able to efficiently produce the pressure needed to stop your car. Brake pads that have not been worn down evenly will eventually start to make noticeable rubbing noise.
The brake pad and brake rotor can also be damaged by friction over time. The damage from this friction can cause noticeable rubbing noises when driving due to the extra strain put on the system.
Problems Related To Wheel Bearings Or CV Joint
Wheel bearings and the CV Joint are two other components of your vehicle that I regularly see causing noise-related issues. The wheel bearings of your vehicle are responsible for maintaining a connection between the wheels and the axle.
Any issues that the wheel bearings are having, such as not being properly lubricated or having some type of obstruction, can cause significant rubbing noise from under the car. The CV joint, which provides a connection between the wheels and the transmission, can also suffer from corrosion or lack of lubrication.
When this happens, you will most likely notice significant noise coming from your tires until you are able to get the issues resolved. Most noise issues stem from some form of unlubricated contact between components inside your vehicle, which leads us to the next common cause.
Rubbing Between Materials
The wheel and brake systems of your vehicle are made up of several different components. If these components are not set up or maintained properly to interact with each other, this could cause noise issues with your vehicle.
Road conditions, how you drive, and environmental changes can affect how well these components are working with each other, in some cases causing them to become dislodged. When components in your wheel and brake systems become dislodged, they can accidentally rub up against each other in ways that were not intended.
This contact can cause significant rubbing and grinding noises coming from the wheels and brake system of your vehicle. Keeping your vehicle properly lubricated and maintained can help avoid these issues or catch them fast enough they do not cause more serious problems.
If you have yet to find the root of your issues, there are a few less common causes of rubbing noises coming from your car.
Other Possible Causes
Other possible causes of rubbing noises from your car include brake system components that aren’t installed properly, obstructions in the brake system or CV joint, and tires that are not installed properly. You should check all of these components when trying to find the root of your problem so you can address it properly.
You may be wondering how you can resolve the rubbing issue on your own or if you will need to hire a professional. This will be covered in the section below.
How To Fix The Rubbing Issue
You can attempt to fix your rubbing issues yourself by following a few simple steps. This will help you determine whether your issues can be addressed on your own or if you will need the help of a professional.
You will need a jack to lift up your car so that you can safely inspect the wheels and brake system. Once you have obtained a jack, follow the steps detailed below to inspect your wheels and brake system.
1. Using A Jack To Lift The Vehicle
To inspect your wheels and brake system for the cause of any rubbing noises, you should first jack up the car off the ground. A mechanical jack is appropriate and will help allow you to get a clearer view of the underside of your vehicle.
You should ensure that the jack is stable on the ground and can support the weight of your vehicle safely. Once you have done this, move on to the next step.
2. Look At The Brake
Next, you should inspect the brake system of your car including the brake pads, brake rotor, and brake caliper for any damage or obstructions.
The brake pads are the easiest component of your braking system to inspect and diagnose. Issues with the brake pads of your vehicle can be indicated by sparking when braking, excessive rattling when braking, or having to use more pressure on the brake to stop effectively.
You should replace any worn or warped brake pads with new ones to help resolve the issue you are having. Keep in mind that if any of the holding parts or components surrounding the brake pads are damaged, you may need to consult a professional.
If you inspect the brake calipers and rotors and notice damage or significant wear, it is best to have these problems serviced by a professional. Brake calipers and brake rotors are much more complex to remove and replace properly.
3. Check The Tires And Wheel Bearings
Once you have checked the brake system of your vehicle, you can move on to inspecting your tires. Make sure that all of your tires are inflated properly and add air if needed. Worn tires or flat tires should be replaced before operating your vehicle again.
If you have an air leak in one of your tires, you can purchase a tire repair kit to help mend the leak and keep you from having to replace your whole tire.
The wheel bearings should be inspected for any loosening or lack of lubricant. Wheel bearings are much more complex to repair or replace so you will be better off going to a professional to handle these types of issues.
4. Examine The Dust Shield
The dust shield is the next component of your vehicle that you should inspect. The dust shield is responsible for mitigating heat from the braking system and keeping it from reaching other components of your vehicle.
The dust shield is also responsible for preventing water and other forms of debris from being introduced to your brake system. The dust shield will need to be replaced if it shows visible wear or damage. You should also clean the area around the dust shield as much as possible to remove any excess debris.
5. Re-start And Examine the Vehicle
After checking all of the components listed above, you should restart the car and drive around for a while to see if that has successfully resolved your issue. If not, you may need to consider contacting a professional for more help.
Ask A Professional Or Bring Your Car In For Maintenance
In most cases, issues with your brake system or wheel connections are best handled by a licensed professional. Because of the complexity of the brake system, many will simply not have the tools or skills to properly address the issues.
If that is the case, consider contacting a professional and having them service your vehicle for you. They will be able to identify the cause of your issue and offer insight into the best course of action to resolve it.
Other Questions You May Have
Some of the most common questions regarding noise while driving has been detailed below.
Can Under-Inflated Tires Make A Noise?
Underinflated tires can cause treading noises or a slight hum, due to the lack of air in your tires. The same goes for overinflated tires which can cause many of the same issues. It is important that you consult your user manual for your car to ensure they are filled with the proper air levels.
Failing to keep your tires inflated correctly can lead to faster wear and wheel misalignment. Both of these issues can be expensive to resolve and can in some instances lead to more serious issues with your vehicle.
Knowing how to properly maintain your tires is an important part of proper car maintenance. This includes knowing how to properly change a tire.
Symptoms Of Bad Brakes
Common symptoms of bad brakes include slow response times and brakes that appear to brake themselves. You will be able to feel these issues when you are driving your car so you do not have to depend on sound alone to detect problems.
The braking system of your car is composed of many different components that all depend on each other to work properly. If you begin to hear noises or notice issues with your brakes while driving, you will need to examine a few key components for issues.
The brake components that should be inspected when dealing with braking issues include:
- Fluid Levels
If your brakes are not the cause of your issues, there are a few other components that you should consider when searching for the root of your problem.
Why Do New Tires Make A Rubbing Noise?
New tires make a rubbing noise due to improper lubrication and the possibility of flex or stretch. A new tire may not come properly lubricated in the right areas and will need to be properly lubricated and given time to disperse properly throughout the wheel system.
New tires will also expand and flex as they are broken in. The more that you drive with your tires, the more they will expand and stretch to fit the rim of your vehicle.
What Noise Will A Bad Wheel Bearing Make?
A vehicle with a bad wheel bearing will make a chirping, growling, or squealing noises, depending on the severity of the damage. If you notice these sounds fluctuate with the speed of your car, it is very likely that you have wheel bearing issues and need to replace them.
Rubbing noises from your car while driving is typically caused by a faulty brake or wheel system. While some noise while driving is expected from your tires, due to the rough nature of the roads, any excessive noise or rubbing at low speeds may indicate a more serious issue.
It is important that you address any issues you have with noise while driving to ensure that you are not driving in unsafe conditions. Brake and tire issues should be handled as soon as possible. If you are unable to diagnose the issues yourself, you should take your car to a professional to be serviced.