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Old 11-10-2013, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
674 posts, read 1,473,253 times
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My daughter brought (my) her car home today and said there is a squealing noise coming from the area of the front right tire. I checked out the tires and noticed that both front tires are almost bald.

Is it possible the squealing noise is from the tire itself vs. from something else? I would like to take it in for new tires tomorrow but am wondering what else may be an issue so I don't get tricked in to something it really doesn't need.

The brakes seem to be working properly but I will have them check them out as well.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:46 PM
 
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Many brake pads have a wear indicator that, when the pads get down to about 25%, rub against the rotor and squeal. They're designed to warn you to check your brake pads.

That'd be my first guess.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:50 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
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Has she hit something with her tires lately? Maybe the alignment has been knocked so far out that the front tire is screeching on the pavement.

However, it sounds like a worn brake pad. It could also be a axle bearing going bad. If that is the case, fix it quickly as it will wear into your spindle and that is a very costly repair.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:19 PM
 
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Tires can screech if the alignment is really far out of whack. Does the car squeal in a straight line but the noise goes away when you apply the brakes?
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
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I agree with Garage Logic . . . Brake Pad Wear Indicator.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Do they squeal all the time, or just when turning? Could just be unequal inflation. Is the bald pattern uniform, or are they balder in some tread spots than others, or worse on the inside or outside edge?
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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No matter the cause of the noise, replace the bald tires, which are a safety hazard.

In my experience, the brake wear indicator is a distinct sound of metal on metal. Sounds like a scrape or even a screech. Tire squeal is the familiar sound of rubber sliding on pavement.

If the noise happens only on cornering without brakes applied then the tire is likely the cause. It could be underinflated (in addition to being bald).

Last edited by hoffdano; 11-11-2013 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
674 posts, read 1,473,253 times
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Thank you all for your responses so far.

From what my daughter told me, and this is coming from a 21-year old girl who knows nothing about cars, the sound started on Friday as more of a rubbing sound at a certain point of the rotation (rub... rub... rub...) while driving straight at slow speeds but would disappear when she hit 20 mph or higher. The sound got louder/more noticeable when she made right-hand turns at slow speeds. I'm not sure if she didn't make any left-hand turns or if she didn't notice the noise when she did. The sound progressed to more of a squealing noise on Saturday and was quite noticeable to me when I took the car for a short drive late last night.

I drove the car to work this morning so I can get some new tires put on this afternoon (since they need them anyway) and noticed that the sound was much quieter than it was last night. It is still there, though.

Braking does not make any difference in the sound, but speed does (slower speed = more noise). Both of the front tires have noticeable less tread on the outer sides of the tires than the middle and inner sides. My daughter says she hasn't hit anything that would throw the alignment off, but I can't confirm that.

I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chellemi808 View Post
more of a rubbing sound at a certain point of the rotation (rub... rub... rub...) while driving straight at slow speeds but would disappear when she hit 20 mph or higher. The sound got louder/more noticeable when she made right-hand turns at slow speeds..


Aha. Wheel bearing. There might be two unequally spaced rubs per rotation. Rubrub, rubrub, rubrub . . .
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:00 AM
 
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Yeah, like jtur88 said, kind of starting to sound like a wheel bearing to me.

Also sounds like the alignment is off. If the steering wheel isn't pulling one way or the other, it's probably not horrible. Just enough to make for uneven wear on the tires.

Can you provide us with the year, make & model of the car? Thanks!
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