2010 Civic occasional metal-cutting noise


My wife reported that her 2010 Civic LX sedan sometimes made a noise in the front, like cutting sheet metal with an electric saw. I have not heard it myself during several times I drove it. What could be the possible causes?

I plan to drive it some more until I hear the noise. What specific info should I note that will help mechanic diagnose the problem correctly?

Thanks very much in advance!


The key question relating to any type of reasonably accurate diagnosis is…WHEN…does it make this noise?

Is it heard…
…when idling after a cold start?
…when driving at a steady speed?
…only when turning?
…only when accelerating?
…only when braking?
…only when not braking?
…all of the above?

Also, does the ambient temperature make a difference?

Thanks, VDCdriver!

Per my wife, the noise came for a few minutes and then went while she was driving at a pretty steady speed, probably around 35 MPH. She was not braking or accelerating or turning. The ambient temperature was between 40F and 60F, and does not seem to make any difference.

Does this noise continue, or was it just the one time that it made the noise.

If it was only once and you cannot replicate it…it could have been just a stone caught in the brake dust shield. This is a common problem and sometimes that stone/ debris can taker a few stops and a few miles for the stone/debris to dislodge.

The only thing to add to @VDCdriver’s post is…next time it happens also note if the tone changes as your speed increases or decreases.


I would check for loose stuff under the hood and underneath the car, possibly the exhaust shield has come loose and is vibrating sometimes

Could be the fan hitting something.