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 article and video.
How to Diagnose a Car Wheel Scraping Noise: Brakes or Dust Shield?
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:
- Worn or failing brake parts: Unevenly worn or rusted rotors or worn or thin brake pads
- Worn dust shield that’s moved closer and contacting the brake rotor
- Loose, worn, damaged, or failing wheel bearings
- Worn or failing suspension parts
How Do I Diagnose and Fix Wheel Scraping Noises I Hear While Driving?
Inspect Your Rotor, Brake Pads, and Dust Shield
- 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 prone to rust. For example, the dust shield minimizes large splashes of water that could contact your rotor so it won’t rust as quickly.
Follow these steps to inspect your brakes
- Raise the Vehicle Off the Ground
Safely raise your vehicle off the ground with a jack and jack stands so you can inspect the area where the scraping noise is coming from.
- Inspect the Brakes for Wear
Inspect your brake rotor or pads in this area for any noticeable signs of wear or damage.
- Locate the Dust Shield
Find your dust shield behind the rotor, which looks like a thin piece of sheet metal.
- Inspect the Wheel Bearings
Check 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.
- Inspect the Brake Pads’ thickness
- See If Your Brakes Need to Be Replaced and Pry the Dust Shield Away
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.
- Test Drive and See If the Scraping Noise Has Stopped
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.
How Much Will This Repair Cost?
Dust shields and backing plates can range in price from around $30 for a single part to over $150 for a kit.
Depending on the vehicle, wheel bearing and hub assemblies can cost from as low as $20-$30 to over $500 for a pair.
As with hubs and bearings, depending on the vehicle brake parts could cost from as low as $20 to over $100.
Add on the average price of a mechanic and the repair can easily cost over $100.
Need to Replace any of the Parts Mentioned in this Post? Shop Now:
- Why are my brakes grinding? [Expert advice to diagnose & fix]
- Brakes Squealing? It’s Probably Time for New Brake Pads
- How To Tell Which Wheel Bearing Is Bad While Driving
- What Does A Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?
- When Should Brake Pads Be Replaced?
- How Long Do Brakes Usually Last?