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

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

Created on: 2018-03-16

If you hear scraping noises while rolling, it could be your brakes, or just a bent heat shield. Watch this video to learn how to spot the difference!

  1. step 1 :Inspecting the Rotor and Brakes
    • See if the dust shield is contacting the rotor or if there is metal scraped from the point of contact
    • If so, gently pry out the dust shield with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Measure the brake pad length

Tools needed for replacement

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

On our vehicle, while we're turning, we're getting a scraping noise from what sounds like the brake area or suspension area. So we'll put it up in the air and inspect it. As you can see, we're going to inspect the brake rotor and pads. There is a lot of rust on the edge of this brake rotor, and that is very common because these are just raw steel and your brake pad rides here so that is constantly being cleaned off of rust. The edges don't get any sort of clean or anything, it builds up and as the rotors wear you actually end up with. You can just see it, an edge, like a lip here.

Behind your brake rotor is a very thin piece of sheet metal. It is called a dust shield. It just keeps rocks and debris from getting trapped on the brake rotor or contacting them. It also keeps like water and stuff from getting on there as you're driving, mostly like from getting big splashes. Where we are in the country, we are in a rust belt area. So we do get a lot of rust buildup on these parts. And as we're going around the corner, taking a left, there is a small amount of play in the wheel bearings. The brake rotor does kind of shift in, so I'm just going to simulate that, so as you're cornering, this is actually getting, I can't push the break rear in. I'm going to simulate it by pushing in the dust shields so it's just touching. And I can just kind of see. I can also see right here, there's fresh metal scrapped away. See rusty and shiny, so it's scraping there.

As we are going around the corner, it's a lot louder as we're driving, but it's scraping. Around the corner it's just hitting little. The rotor here has rusted unevenly on it's edge, so it might hit, not the entire time, but some of the time. We're also inspecting the brake pads. These brake pads have 4mm left. Typically, new brake pads are 8 to 10mm, so these aren't terribly worn, there's still plenty of life left in them. You could replace the rotor and the pads and that would eliminate your noise.

But if you don't want to replace them just yet. You can take a flat bladed screwdriver and just gently pry the dust shield away a bit, it is just sheet metal. It will bend, and we'll just give it a little bit of clearance. That should alleviate the noise for now until it's time to change these pads and rotors. If it turns out after inspection you do need to replace your brakes and it's not just simply a dust shield contacting them making a noise, you can purchase new pads and rotors from 1AAuto.com. We also have installation videos for this vehicle and many others on our YouTube channel.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver


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