2004 Hyundai Elantra - Friction Noise at low speeds

Recently I have been hearing a “friction” noise at low speeds which is coming from the rear passenger area, it sounds like the wheel is rubbing against the wheel well. The car is a 2004 hyundai elantra and has been reduced strictly to my less than 5 mile commute to work.

I guess I can’t really rule out that the tire might be rubbing the wheel well… a visual inspection indicated normal clearance for this wheel compared to the other 3. I’m the sole occupant of the car (and not particularly heavy) and the wheel in question is the furthest away from me, so I’m a bit skeptical that it could be sagging that much once I get in.

The noise only occurs less than 15 mph (usually even lower ~10mph to get it to happen), it happens often, but I haven’t been able to find any exact circumstances that will cause it to happen 100% of the time. The noise deffinitely goes away at higher speeds (as opposed to being drowned out by engine noise etc).

The noise is much more likely to happen when braking (as opposed to when accelerating) but can also happen during acceleration as well. There has been no effect on the feel of the steering wheel or any issue of veering to the side.

One final thing that may add clarity or potentially more confusion. On day on my way home, I was trying to test out different brake pressures etc, to get a better gauge on what was the worst scenario. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any major consistencies, but I was doing this in the rain, and over the course of the drive, the noise went away? Then on my way to work the next day, the noise made it’s way back, but was much quieter, and by the next afternoon, it was standard full noise again. I guess the rain lubricated something and minimized the friction?

Any ideas? Sorry, it’s a bit challenging to explain the issue, especially when I can’t recreate EVERY time i drive slow, but it happens more often than not.

If the vehicle has rear disc brakes, the brake pads have wear indicators that come in contact with the rotors when they wear to a certain point. That might be what you’re hearing.

Have the brakes inspected to determine if this is the cause of the noise.