Why is my car making a grinding noise?

By Julia Freeman

This question could have a multitude of answers, with none of them really providing good news. Cars tend to make a grinding noise when something is wrong. How wrong will depend on a number of circumstances, but we'll take a look at some of the major culprits below with some suggestions as to what may need to be fixed in each instance.

mechanic changing wheel

Of course, unless you are confident in car servicing, it’s always advisable to call in to seek professional assistance. Our years of experience tell us that a considerable amount of work carried out by mechanics involves fixing jobs completed by enthusiastic but unskilled amateurs. Your safety is at risk if you attempt a job that you are unsure about completing.

Grinding when you press the brake pedal

If your car makes a grinding noise under braking, it is likely that you have worn brake pads that may be in need of replacement. A squealing or whining sound is usually the first sign that brakes are on the way out, so if before the grinding started you were met with this high-pitched sound then it’s likely that is the cause.
 
The grinding, in this case, is caused by the metal backing plate where your brake pad used to be clamping directly onto the disc. This reduces the braking ability of the car, making driving dangerous. It is imperative that you get the brakes repaired at this point, but by ignoring the squealing sound before it is likely that the entire job is going to be more expensive due to the cost of having the brake discs replaced as well as the pads.

Book A Free Brake Check

Grinding when you steer

If the grinding sound does not happen when you are braking but when taking a fairly tight turn, this could be caused by a failing joint on a front wheel drive car. Specifically, the constant-velocity joint.
 
This sort of grinding should not be taken lightly, as it is going to affect the way in which the car drives. If this sound is ignored for long enough, your front wheel drive car will become a one wheel drive car, which in most cases just won't go. Calling your garage and booking a service at this point is vital.

Book A Free Steering Check

Other causes of grinding

Potentially less serious causes of grinding, which will happen on a far more intermittent basis, include having a pebble lodged between the brake pad and disc. Similarly, a failing alternator or bearings could also cause a car to make grinding noises when it is moving.
 
The main message here is that if your car is making a grinding noise, the smart thing to do is to get it checked out as soon as possible.
 
If you feel as though your car is not performing optimally, why not call into your local Protyre garage, or book a free vehicle safety check using the button below. And if you are in need of a new set of tyres, we stock Pirelli, Falken and many more at competitive prices.

Book A Free Safety Check

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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