Scraping Noise When Driving Slow (Causes & Solutions)

A vehicle that is functioning properly is not meant to make funny sounds. Hearing sounds as you slow down your car results from the brakes. Car brakes are very important in any vehicle because it ensures the driver’s safety on the road. They help you in slowing down your vehicle or moving your vehicle.

Read on, and you will know the reasons for the weird sounds you hear as you drive your car slowly or when you slow down your car and what it means.

When your car gives hints that are better audible, it is very important for you to know what they mean. In this article, we will be discussing these hints and how to go about them.

Causes Of Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

There are several reasons why your car brakes make toast grinding or scraping sounds you hear as you slow down your car or when you are driving slowly, but we’ll look at the few that are more common in this article.

1. Bad Wheel Bearings

The wheels of a car are kept in place by the car’s wheel bearing, which can be found at the front of your wheel hub assembly.

Your vehicle’s wheels are kept rolling by the wheel bearing. It ensures that the friction as your wheels are moving is less.

Wear and tears are caused by friction. Improper performance of the wheel bearing causes friction when the wheels are moving. The grinding or scraping sound as you drive slowly or slow down your car is caused by this problem.  This leads to the wearing and tearing of the wheels or bearings.

The wheel bearings are made up of steel balls installed inside the housing, & lubricated using grease to reduce the friction in them and, thus, reduce wear and tears. If you lubricate your wheel bearing properly, it can last for a long time.

2. Worn Brake Rotors

If the brake rotors are worn out, it can lead to those weird noises when your vehicle brakes are slammed or if you slow down your car.

With time wearing out is bound to happen in your brake rotors, and this wearing out can cause a reduction in your vehicle braking. A brake rotor in good condition will have a very smooth surface, and once wear starts to take place, you will see fine lines that run horizontally around it to indicate that it is worn out.

It is very common for car owners to immediately replace the brake pads to solve the problem, but the car rotors need to be replaced.

The sound you will hear from a worn-out brake pad is different from that of a worn-out rotor. The noise a bad rotor will create is more powerful and unbearable.

Once your brake rotor is worn out, you should have it replaced, as it cannot be fixed. It will cost you around $300 to about $600 to have it replaced.

3. Worn Brake Pads

When your brake pads are worn out, it can cause scraping sounds that you hear when driving slowly or slowing down your vehicle. Your car’s braking can be seriously reduced if your brake pads are worn out.

The materials put together to make a brake pad are multiple and different materials are used to make different brake pads.

A brake pad not made of quality materials will also make those grinding or scraping sounds as you slow down.

For this not to happen when you are by your brake pads, make sure that it is from a manufacturer that is certified.

Friction keeps the brake pads working, and even when properly or regularly relocated, wearing out is bound to happen due to friction.

If you keep hearing the noise even after replacing a worn-out brake pad, you will have to replace it again with one of great quality so that you do not keep hearing the sound as you slow down your car or when you are driving slowly.

4. Lack Of Lubrication

You might wonder why you should lubricate your brakes since it uses friction to stop your car. But other than the parts, notice that your car’s braking system is made up of all the components you have to lubricate.

You will have to lubricate your brake pads’ backside using a brake caliper tube lubricant connecting to the caliper piston.

If the brake pads aren’t properly lubricated, they will come in contact with the caliper piston, and this will cause a scraping or grinding sound.

You will also need to lubricate the caliper pins, which connect the two sides of the brake calipers.

5. Failing Transmission

A bad transmission doesn’t only cause the vibration, shaking, or rough gear changes you face. When your car’s transmission fails, this can also cause loose cutting and grinding noise. Having a failing transmission is among the worst things you can face while using your car.

A failing transmission can be a result of your car leaking transmission fluid or your car gears having a problem. For example, the scraping or grinding noise you hear when you drive slowly might be because one of the lower gears has a problem.

Ensure that a professional check your transmission thoroughly for any problems because the transmission of your car is a very important component, and your car cannot run without it.

Ensure not to leave any problem with your transmission unattended because it is very costly to fix or repair a damaged or failing transmission.

6. Bad CV Joints

If the scraping noise only occurs when you are making turns at a low speed, it could be that the CV joint is bad. As your vehicle gets older, this problem becomes very common.

The CV Axle operates with bearings, enabling the CV joints to move freely vertically and keep your car comfortable and stable.

Most front-wheel drives and some rear-wheel drives have CV joints. This is a massive bonus compared to older solid axles because of the comfortability and better handling CV axle gives to cars.

Driving through potholes or terrain can lead two the CV axle breaking. When a CV axle breaks, it can lead to a different kind of problem that can cause scraping or grinding sounds when driving slowly.

The CV joint bearings are lubricated with grease, but the lubrication properties begin to decrease with age. Or leakage may occur.

When engaged, the CV joint, without lubrication, will give out a scraping or grinding sound when you make turns slowly or when you slow down through a turn, and It can also cause lots of damage. So it is important to check your CV joints as they might have to be replaced.

Also Read: Subaru Outback Brake Light Flashing (Causes & Solutions)

Diagnosis For Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

It is important to check why your car is making a scraping noise early. Below are the two reasons why you should do this.

  1. Check if it is the brakes that are giving out the sound. If the noise is coming from the brakes and shuttle, fix the issue immediately for safety. Because if left unattended, your car will eventually fail the brake. You won’t be able to slow down your car when you start driving if your brake fails, and this can lead to serious accidents on the road.
  2. It is important to note that just like every other car-related problem if you do not fix or attend to this issue immediately, it will lead to more damage to your car. And you will spend more money than you would have if you had fixed it earlier.

It is very important to know the reason behind the scraping or grinding noise your car makes while you drive slowly or as you slow down your car and how to solve them.

You will have a better understanding when you carry your car to the mechanic if you know exactly what is wrong with your car.

Below are the steps to diagnose why your car is making noise.

Step 1: Start Your Vehicle

Check for any scraping or grinding sound once you start your car or if it starts after some time after you start your car engine.

Proceed to step 2 if you hear the grinding or scratching noise. But if you don’t hear any noise, proceed to step 5.

Step 2: Lift the Hood and Locate the Alternator, Water Pump, & Power Steering Pump

Try to see where the scraping sound is coming from in your car’s engine. If you do not know the different parts of your car engine, consult your car’s manual. Or you can check the different parts of your engine on the internet so that you can know where things like the power steering pump alternative and water pump are located.

Step 3: Listen to the Alternator With a Piece of Hose

Once you have familiarized yourself with the different parts of your engine, it is now time for you to check for any scraping or grinding sound coming out from any of them. If the sound is coming from the alternator, you will have to get it fixed or buy a new one.

Step 4: Listen to the Water Pump & Power Steering Pump

If the alternator is not the cause of the sounds you are hearing, you will have to go back to step 3 above and listen to the power steering pump and water pump this time.

Step 5: Drive the Vehicle & Test the Brakes

Touch your car’s brakes as you drive and check for any scraping or grinding sound as you drive and as you brake. Brake harder a little. If the noise becomes more severe, your brake pad might be worn out.

Step 6: Drive the Vehicle & Make a Right and Left Turn

Get your car started and do a right and left-hand turn. If the noise becomes more severe, you turn in one direction & reduce it when you make another turn in the other direction; this means that your car’s wheel bearing has a problem.

Step 7: Drive the Vehicle & Listen Carefully as You Change Gears

When you are changing your car’s gears, and it starts making those weird sounds or noises, this means that your car’s clutch needs to be adjusted or might be worn out.

Transmission problems can also cause this. Make sure to find out which is the cause of the problem.

Step 8: Check for a Grinding Noise When Driving at Low Speeds

As you drive your car slowly, you might hear a grinding sound.

This mostly causes this if your car’s alternator, wheel bearing, brake pads, or continual velocity (CV) joint has a problem.

You can know where the issue is from if you examine each of the above-mentioned parts.

Let us talk about the possibility of your CV joint having issues when you hear those grinding noises and mostly when it comes from the front of your vehicle as you drive slowly.

Your car’s front wheel gets power and turns well because of the continual velocity joint. However, whenever your car starts to make noise as you drive slowly and mostly when you make turns, this might be because your continual velocity joint is worn out.

Immediately take your car to a professional after you have followed these steps, and you can still tell where the problem is coming from.

Also Read: Can You Use Power Steering Fluid for Brake Fluid?

Solutions for Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

Get a mechanic to examine your car when your brakes start scraping against other parts. As mentioned earlier, it is very important to know exactly what the problem is before trying to fix it.

It is preferable to get a mechanic to come over to check why your car brakes are making noise instead of driving it to his shop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my transmission sound like it’s scraping?

Your car’s planetary gear system may have serious issues if your car’s transmission is making a grinding or scraping sound. The planetary gear system makes your car’s automatic transmission work well.

Allowing this system to fail can cause the transmission to develop more problems.

Is It Okay To Drive With Scraping Brakes?

When your brakes are Scraping, it shows that they are not working properly. It is not advisable for you to drive a car whose brakes are failing. The scraping noise you hear might be a result of your brake pad or car rotors going bad.  They can cause you to have difficulties as you brake.

It is very easy for accidents to occur if your brakes are failing, as the distance it will take for your car to stop would greatly increase.

Why does my car sound like metal scraping when I drive?

A bad brake pad, a failing transmission, a timing belt that is failing, or a damaged wheel bearing can cause your car to make a grinding noise as you accelerate.  Ensure to take your car to a professional to check it so as to determine the exact problem.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair CV Joints?

Grinding noise coming from the continual velocity joint would need immediate replacement. However, repairing it might not be possible. This is because it might have worn out prematurely because of the grinding. Replacing it is quite expensive; it would cause around $100-200 or even more to get the parts.

The labor cost varies according to the car you’re driving. It would cost around $300 to about $800 to replace the continual velocity joint.

When Should You Replace Your Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors are supposed to last very long as you are very careful. There is no given time to replace your brake. Always replace your brake rotors when it needs to be replaced.

Your brake rotors should be examined very well if it starts making a grinding noise as you brake. Ensure to replace it if you see cracks, warps, or other damages.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Wheel Bearings?

Your car model, the garage labor rate, & spare parts prices determine the cost of replacing the wheel bearing.

The average national cost is about $350 and will go up depending on whether it is a sports car or how luxurious the car is.

What does failing transmission sound like?

Your transmission might fail when the kind of noise you are hearing sounds like a clunking, humming, or buzzing sound.

The clunking noise a manual transmission will make will be extremely harsh, while that of an automatic transmission will give out a whining, humming, or buzzing sound.

How much does it cost to fix a transmission?

It will cost around $300 to about $1400 to fix average transmission problems.  You will pay about $800-$1500, e.g., when a manual transmission requires the clutches to be replaced.

Repairs that have to do with you replacing your transmission are the most costly. It can cause around $1,800-3,400.

Final Thoughts

When you drive slow, when you slow down your car, and you hear a scraping or grinding noise, ensure that you find out the cause, as this sound might be connected to your car’s brakes.

Although you can still drive your car with the noise, it is still not advisable to do that. It is better you know why your vehicle is making noise before you drive it.

It is not advisable to drive your car if it has brake problems. If you can’t put your car to a stop and so controlling your car won’t work. Also, wearing worn-out rotors or warped rotors will cause this.

If you insist on driving your car even with its failing brakes, you will put your life and the lives of innocent road users in danger.

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