Scraping Noise While Driving? [Expert Advice to Diagnose & Fix]

Scraping Noise While Driving?

Have you been hearing a scraping, scratching, or grinding noise while driving or turning your car? Our mechanic shows you how to identify what’s causing that scraping noise coming from your wheel while driving in this video:

How to Diagnose a Car Wheel Scraping Noise: Brakes or Dust Shield?

You can find videos specific to your year, make, and model in our video library.

What issues are the scraping noises I hear while driving a symptom of?

Scraping or grinding noises you hear while driving or turning can be caused by the following issues:

How do I diagnose and fix wheel scraping noises I hear while driving?

Inspect your rotorbrake pads, and dust shield 

Tools used:
  • Flat blade screwdriver

What is a dust shield, and what does it do?

A dust shield is responsible for keeping debris, such as rocks or water, from contacting or getting trapped on your rotor. It’s especially helpful in areas and climates where vehicles are more likely to rust. The dust shield minimizes large splashes of water that could contact your rotor so it won’t rust as quickly.

  1. Safely raise your vehicle off the ground so you can inspect the area where the scraping noise is coming from.

  2. Inspect your brake rotor or pads in this area for any noticeable signs of wear or damage.

  3. Locate your dust shield behind the rotor, which looks like a thin piece of sheet metal.

  4. Inspect your wheel bearings for any play, which may cause your rotor to shift and contact the dust shield. In this case, the scraping noise may be more apparent when you’re turning. You may also notice that your rotor’s edge has rusted unevenly because of that play.

  5. Inspect your brake pads’ thickness. Typically, brake pads are 8 to 10 millimeters thick. If you think the pads are too worn, you may need or want to replace them, along with your rotor.

  6. If you find that your brake pads and rotor look like they don’t need to be replaced yet, you can instead gently pry the dust shield away from the rotor with a flat blade screwdriver. That will prevent it from contacting the rotor until you do replace your brake pads and rotor.

  7. After gently prying the dust shield away from the rotor, go for a test drive to find out if the scraping noise has stopped. If it hasn’t, you’ll probably need to replace your rotor and pads.

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Related diagnostic and how-to videos:

Scraping While Turning? How to Inspect Your Car or Truck Brakes!

Grinding Noise When Braking? What’s That Noise in My Car, Truck, or SUV?

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