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What Causes Grinding Noise When Driving? 6 Potential Causes!

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If you're experiencing ringing noise when driving, your problem is most likely related to one of the following is:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

  • Brakes
  • Wheel hub bearings
  • Water pump
  • CV joint
  • Alternator
  • Air conditioning

It is normal for your vehicle to make noises that you are familiar with. However, over time of use and as your vehicle gets older, you might start hearing weird noises. Whenever you are experiencing any weird noises coming from your vehicle, you must take the issue seriously and never ignore it.

Many drivers might panic and feel nervous whenever they hear any of these noises.  However, this should not be the case. Instead, you should familiarize yourself with the potential causes behind these noises and try to learn how to minimize the issue and resolve the problem before you deal with major breakdowns.

Dealing with grinding noises when driving can be related to a variety of reasons. While some of these reasons are not very severe, there are some instances where the causes can be related to your safety. This article helps you understand all potential causes behind the grinding noise is spirit

What are the top causes for grinding noise when driving? 

While your vehicle consists of hundreds of multiple components interacting with each other, the good news is that automotive experts put together a list of potential causes that could result in grinding noises when driving.

Let's think of also look at some of the top causes for these noises:

1-    Bad brakes

One of the first and most common reasons for hearing grinding noise is when driving is a problem with the braking system. Whenever the braking system internal components interact with each other and when there are issues with the metal thickness and lubrication, these components might start grinding against each other, causing problems.

When the problem is related to bad breaks, the grinding noise is typically very loud, and you will notice exactly whether it's coming from the front or the rear portion of your vehicle. This way, you can narrow down the list of potential faulty brakes and resolve the issue.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to bad brakes?

If you confirm that your grinding noise is coming from the braking system, you'll have to get it replaced. Typically, the total costs for fixing the grinding noises should cost you about $400 per axle. Thus, if you're planning to replace both axles’ brakes, repair costs can be close to $800.

Note that brakes replacement costs differ depending on your vehicle type and where you get the job done.

2-     Malfunctioning wheel hub or bearings

The other potential cause for the grinding noises when driving is a problem with the wheel bearing. The bearing serves as a barrier between the different portions of your wheel hub, which prevents them from interacting, causing friction.

When the bearing is learning good condition, it leads to the different components of your wheels grinding against each other and causing the loud grinding noise that you're hearing. Ignoring the problem for too long leads to significant damages and might cost you more money than fixing the bad bearing.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to wheel bearing?

On the other hand, if the issue has to do with the rain, the national average repair cost is about $350.00 per wheel only. Thus, if the problem is the four wheels, you need to multiply this number by four. If the four-wheel bearings have problems, the repair cost can be extremely high, especially if you're driving a luxury car.

3-    Bad water pump

When the water pump fails, it will start making loud grinding noises. However, you'll most likely notice more clearer symptoms like engine overheating when the water pump fails. Thus, if you get to a point where the water pump is making grinding noises, you should look at the temperature gauge and monitor your engine's behavior because there is a very high chance that your engine might fail immediately.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to a bad water pump?

Once you confirm that the water pump is in bad condition, you'll have to replace it. Typically, water pump replacement cost ranges from $461 to $638. Of course, repair costs differ significantly depending on your vehicle's type and the location where you get the job because labor costs can be a significant component.

4-    Faulty CV joint

In some instances, and if grinding noises happen when you turn, the problem might be related to a bad CV joint. The CV joint problems result in grunting noises when driving at lower speeds, not at high speeds.

When the CV joint fails, your vehicle will be stuck in the park position, and it will be hard to drive your car. That's why automotive experts never recommend wasting a single minute on a CV joint because it could lead to safety situations as he won't be able to control your vehicle.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to a bad CV joint?

Replacing the CV joints, which cost you between $95 and $210. Repair costs also depend on replacing single or double axel CV joints. In some instances, CV joint replacement might cost you up to $800.

5-    Malfunctioning alternator

The alternator also makes grinding noises if it goes bad. Over time of use, the alternator will fail, and once it makes these grinding noises, the issue is more likely related to problems with the pulleys.

Unfortunately, grinding noises coming from a bad alternator are hard to find, making it a bit challenging for inexperienced drivers to determine whether the problem is related to a battle for later or something else. Thus, whenever you hear the grinding noise from the alternator location, consider visiting your mechanic and schedule an appointment for a detailed look-up as to what's going on.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to a bad alternator?

Replacing the alternator can be a little pricey, especially if you're driving a luxury car. Repair costs range from $500 to $1000. However, many drivers have certain mechanical skill sets, and they prefer to replace their alternators, which can save them a ton on labor costs.

6-    Bad air conditioning

Finally, when the air conditioning compressor has a problem, it can make some weird grinding noise. The groaning noises won't happen unless you turn on the AC system. Also, when the AC system has a problem causing the grinding noise, you'll notice other symptoms like the AC system blowing only warm air instead of cold.

How much does it cost to fix grinding noise when driving due to bad air conditioning?

It can be a little challenging to determine how much exactly your air conditioning should cost you if it's making grinding noises. However, consider paying up to closer to $1000 in some instances.

As you might know, among the different mentioned causes for grinding noise when driving, a bad break and a faulty wheel hub or bearing are the primary causes for these grinding noises. However, once you confirm that these two components are in good condition, you can then move forward to the other components and check them out.

Can bad rotors cause grinding noise while driving?

Not necessarily, if the bad rotors are to generate some grinding noises, the noises will not be extremely loud, and there will be more like rubbing noises rather than grinding. What's happening here is that your mechanic could have over resurfaced your rotor and caused the grinding noises to happen.

Can dirty brakes cause grinding?

Dirt does not necessarily cause direct grinding noise, but when you're braking system has all material gone due to overuse, that's when you'll deal with the grinning noises. The grinding noise has to do with losing the rubber component on the brake pad, and once this component is lost, the metal part of the brick will grind against other metal parts, causing the grinding noise.

Does a bad transmission make a grinding noise?

There are some difficult situations where a bad transmission might cause grinding noises. If that's the case, you most likely end up installing a new transition because it might get to a point where it is extremely bad.

How to diagnose car grinning noises when driving?

When dealing with grinding noises, there should be a step-by-step procedure on what to check first. Let's take a closer look below:

  • Get your vehicle started and listen for any grinding noises
  • If you hear the grinding noises right after you start the vehicle, open the hood and listen to where the grinding noise is coming from. Check the power steering, the water palm, the alternator, etc.
  • One expert trick is to use a hose and place one side on the alternator and the other side to listen from to check for any grinding noises. This is because the alternator can be tricky to determine where the grinding is coming from.
  • After confirming that the alternator is not making the grinding noise, move to the water pump and the power steering pump.
  • Take your vehicle for a test drive and try testing some components like the brakes and notice whether the grinning is getting louder or not.
  • Stop your vehicle and perform a visual inspection tool check for any debris or larger particles that got stuck in your braking system
  • Apply some lubricant to your braking system to eliminate grinding if that's the issue
  • Take your vehicle for a second ride and try performing turns. If you hear the grinding noise getting worse, the problem could be related to a CV joint.
  • Change gears and see if the grinding noise is getting louder. If that's the case, the problem could be related to a bad transmission.
  • If you determine that any of the mentioned components causes the grinding noise, your next step is to contact your mechanic and have him perform a thorough inspection to resolve the problem.


Your vehicle makes weird loud noises whenever it's trying to bring your attention to internal problems. Therefore, whenever you deal with any noise, you should take it seriously unless it's a common normal car noise that you are used to.

Within the different weird noises that could come from your vehicle, grinning is a very common one. Some customers reported dealing with grinding noises when driving, and when this happens, the problem is most likely related to a bad braking system or probably a faulty wheel bearing. You can also check the water pump, CV joint, alternator, and air conditioning for potential causes.

Grinding noises need to be resolved, and this requires repairing the faulty components. Experts recommend evaluating your situation and never paying a penny unless you're 100% sure that it's worth it. Therefore, if you realize that repair costs are piling up and their closest 7% or more from the value of your view will, it is committed that you consider selling your car and using its money to buy a better car.

Cash Cars Buyer is willing to remove your vehicle within one to three days only! Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States.

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money.

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car’s type and condition
  • Receive our instant free quote
  • Accept the quote
  • Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!

To learn more about our process and our teen, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.


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