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Why is my car making a scraping noise?

Stephen Wright, 11 months ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • Maintenance

WhoCanFixMyCar takes a closer look at what could causing your car to be making a scraping noise and what you can do to fix it

A metal scraping noise while driving is not only shrill, it's also terribly annoying. More importantly, it's potentially dangerous to your car and your safety.

To identify what's causing your misfortune, and access relevant repairs, we have created a diagnostics guide for a scraping noise. Consult this guide to put your mind at ease and get you back out on the road.

Content Guide

Scraping noise from wheel while driving

Scraping noise while accelerating

Scraping noise while driving

Scraping noise while braking

Scraping noise from wheel while driving

Steering Wheel

If you can hear a scrape along your wheel, make sure to check for debris in and around your brakes by carrying out a visual inspection. Upon finding anything that shouldn't be there, try your best to remove it. Foreign objects are most likely wedged under a brake pad or by the wheel bearing.

An easy way to do this if you cannot remove the debris by hand is to drive gently in reverse, release the brake, then repeat to hopefully remove anything stuck between the caliper and the disc.

Tip: Debris may also be hiding under the car itself, tackle this carefully so not to damage the car's components when removing it

Scraping noise while accelerating

A scraping noise whilst accelerating may be the result of a number of things; from a deteriorating transmission or timing belt to a damaged wheel bearing or brake pads.

For this reason, it’s worth taking your car for a check-up with a mechanic who can determine the cause. This will cut repair costs by catching any damage early and  preventing you from messing around with components that you shouldn't be.

Tip: If the noise worsens as you accelerate, the cause is most likely the transmission

Scraping noise while driving

Sometimes this can be a result of not driving your car enough. Strange as it may sound not driving your vehicle enough can cause your rotors to rust and corrode while calipers can stick; resulting in a scraping noise.

Avoid this by not letting your vehicle sit too long without driving it. Any rust that has formed (providing there's not too much) will clear off from heat and friction of braking overtime. If the rust is so bad that it has prevented normal driving, make sure to visit a mechanic.

Scraping noise while braking

Brake Pads

The brakes in your car making a scraping noise may be a sign that your brake pads may be wearing low. Once the rubber material has worn, its exposed metal will wear against the metal of the rotor to make a scraping noise. Your pads must be replaced to avoid more extensive damage. This noise initially begins as a grind and develops into scrape as the bare metal comes into contact - making a pad replacement absolutely necessary.

Another possibility is that the brake pads are not worn, but rather are of poor quality. Defects such as metal chunks in the rubber pad through poor manufacturing, can cause scraping from the get go. Fitting good quality brake pads will last a lot longer and cost less in the long run.

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