If you have ever had to deal with scraping noise while driving, you know how annoying it can be. Besides, driving your car with any noise is not safe.
And unfortunately, knowing how to fix the scraping noise can be daunting. Not to mention, the noise does not occur when braking but only when driving.
However, nothing to worry about. In this guide, we will look at the common causes of scraping noise while driving stops when braking. So, keep reading.
A List of the Common Causes of Scraping Noise While Driving But Stops When Braking
Below, we will look at why you may experience scraping noise while driving and stops when braking, including their solutions.
- Stuck foreign objects like pebbles
- Rusty or corroded brake rotors and disc
- Worn out brake linings
- Bent backing plates
- Loose or faulty brake anti-rattle clips
What Causes Scraping Noise While Driving Stops When Braking?
There are many reasons you may hear a scraping noise while driving that stops when braking, including a stuck foreign object. Sometimes, it could be bent backing plates, worn out brake linings, loose brake anti-rattle clips, or corroded brake rotors. Below is a more detailed explanation of all these causes.
Lodged Foreign Objects
Sometimes, rocks or debris may get stuck between the rotor and backing plate, disk and brake pad, or in the wheel. In this case, you may hear a scraping or grinding noise, especially from the rear passenger wheel area.
Often, the noise will be rhythmic instead of constant and loud when speeding up but stops when braking.
- You need to remove the lodged rocks or debris. One easy way to do this is to drive backward and apply the brakes
- If this does not work, jack up your car and remove the wheel. Then, check for debris around the dust shield or backing plate. Using a screwdriver, bend the backing plate away from the rotor, and the rock will fall off
- Here is a short video explaining how to do it step-by-step: (“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmkbii9Dl_g”)
Rusty Rotors of Brake Discs
If you don’t drive your car daily, the rotors or brake discs may rust and corrode. In this case, you may hear a scraping sound from the driver’s side. The sound is like a metal scraping noise and occurs on wheel rotation.
However, you will not hear the noise when braking but only while driving. Sometimes, the scraping noise may be more pronounced after it rains or when the dew has been terrible over a weekend.
- The scraping sound will disappear after a hard brake due to heat and friction if the rust is not too much
- But for excessive rust, you should clean the rotors, and the brake cleaner (our pick) can help in this case. Simply spray the rotors with the cleaner and use a wire brush or steel wool to remove all the rust
- Another solution would be resurfacing the rotors using a brake lathe and lightly roughing the brake pads using sandpaper. This helps remove any rust ridges and smooth out the surface
- Alternatively, replace the rotors and brake pads. On average, you can pay about $250 to $400 per axle for the replacement
Worn Down Brake Linings
If the scraping sound is metallic, it could be that the brake linings are wearing down to the metal. The scraping noise could also be coming from the brake pad wear indicators.
Generally, brake wear indicators are a safety feature that warns you when the brake pads are worn down and need to be replaced. Usually, the scraping noise from the indicators may sound more like a high-pitched metal squeal.
The best solution would be to replace the worn-out pads. In this case, the (Our Pick) high-performance brake pads will come in handy. It would cost you between $115 and $300 per axle to replace the pads, including parts and labor.
Bent Backing Plates
Another possible cause of scraping noise is a bent backing plate. The back plate may bend if it is struck by debris as it is made from thin sheet metal.
Typically, you may hear this noise on the front wheel of the driver’s side due to the plate rubbing on the rotor. Also, the noise may get louder after changing the wheel bearings. This may occur when the mechanic accidentally bends the backing plate.
All you’ve got to do is bend the backing plate back in place with your hands. But first, you have to take off the wheel. Then, grab the backing plate by the edge and bend it back.
However, if the bending is severe, you may need to replace the backing plate. In this case, (Our Pick) aftermarket backing plates are an excellent choice. And on average, it would cost you between $34 and $197 to replace the plates per piece or a set.
Loose Caliper Anti-Rattle Clips
The brake or caliper anti-rattle clips may become loose if not correctly installed. As a result, you may hear scraping sounds from the front rotors of your car because of the pins touching the rotor.
However, you will not hear the scraping noise when accelerating or braking. The noise may also go away after removing the wheel, putting it back, and driving for about 20 minutes before coming back.
- If the clips were installed incorrectly, remove and reinstall them. The wide ends of the pins should go on the outside rather than the inside of the caliper housing
- However, if the clips are installed correctly but still loose, get a rubber mallet and give them a good bang. This will provide the pins with a tight grip
- Below, you can find a picture of what the anti-rattle clips look like:
In this section, we will respond to the frequently asked queries about scraping noise while driving stops when braking.
What should you do when you hear scraping noises while driving?
You should take the car to a mechanic’s garage. And if you have time, you can conduct a visual inspection under the vehicle and around the wheels. Check for any foreign matter, loose parts, or rust on the rotors and brake discs.
Can bad wheel bearings cause a scraping noise while driving that stops when braking?
No. Often, bad wheel bearings cause grinding, growling, or squealing noises, especially when driving at slow speeds. The noises may stop when braking and become more pronounced at different driving speeds.
Do you need a professional mechanic to fix the scraping noise?
Yes, but only in some cases. For instance, you don’t need a mechanic to help remove a lodged rock, clean rusty rotors or fix bent backing plates. However, you may need a mechanic to help you replace brake pads when you lack basic mechanicYes, but only in some cases. For instance, you don’t need a mechanic to help remove a lodged rock, clean rusty rotors or fix bent backing plates. However, you may need a mechanic to help you replace brake pads when you lack basic mechanic skills.
Scraping noise while driving stops when braking is shared among all car types and models. Sometimes, the cause for this problem may be as simple as a pebble being stuck between the rotor and dust shield. Rusty brake discs or rotors, loose brake anti-rattle clips, and bent backing plates may also result in this problem.
The good news? Sometimes the noise may go away on its own. But if this does not happen, it is easy to eliminate the scraping noise with minimal mechanical skills. Even better, repairs are inexpensive. For instance, removing a stuck foreign object will not cost you anything.