2010 Honda Civic (Auto) Making Metallic Shrieking Noise While Moving

I have a 2010 Honda Civic (automatic transmission) that has about 38K miles on it. For months now, it has been making a very gentle metallic rattling noise after going over bumps and at highway speeds on our “rougher” roads (crappy PA highways). I took it to a Honda dealer about 10K miles ago, and had them inspect the heat shields and take it for a road test, but they found nothing and said the heat shields were fine. I was content to turn up the radio a bit and ignore it (sometimes Hondas just rattle).
Today, however, I turned a corner on a residential street and suddenly heard a metallic shrieking noise coming from the right front of the car that didn’t go away until the car came to a full stop. I turned the car off and took it for a quick spin around the parking lot I was in, and it continued to make the noise when the car was moving… forward and reverse. It got louder the faster the car went. Disturbed, I called a tow truck and had it taken to the Honda dealer, who will examine it tomorrow when they reopen. The last time my brakes were checked, which was only a few months ago, I was told that the front brakes were 8s and the rear brakes were at 4, so I don’t think the pads are worn down yet. I don’t know if the soft metallic rattle and this noise are related, but they’re coming from the same area of the car. It is getting inspected and having an oil change tomorrow as well, since both are due very soon. I know I will find out tomorrow, but I was hoping someone could put my mind at ease and settle my curiousity as to what this might be. There was nothing hanging down from the bottom of the car and making contact with the road, and there are no maintenance lights or other lights lit on the dash. It has been a well-behaved car so far, but it only has 38K miles on it.

Jack the corner in the area the noise is coming from up and see if turning the wheel by itself makes any noise.
It could different things but maybe as simple as the brake backer plate being bent and it rubs against the rotor. It may just be slightly bent.

It’s already at the dealer, so I can’t play with it at home. I’m hoping it’s something simple… I’ve had stones in that general area before and they made similar noises until they were dislodged, but this noise was horrible… very high-pitched.

Well, report back with what he found. It may come in use to someone else.
Hope it is an inexpensive or free fix.

I will report back tomorrow. I hope it is inexpensive as well… it is only 3k miles out of warranty.

I had a similar experience with my 2000 Blazer last night. After a short drive up a dirt road I noticed a loud metallic shrieking from the left front. I stopped and found nothing amiss under the hood and beneath the truck. I drove the truck home and pulled off the left front tire. After looking for 10 minutes I found a small (1/4") pebble stuck between the dust shield and the brake rotor. I’ve been driving since 1977 and this is a first for me.

Ed B.

Sounds like worn brake pads to me. There’s a little metal tab that will rub on the rotor and make all kinds of horrible noises that prompt most reasonable people to take the car to a mechanic before any serious damage is done or braking performance is seriously diminished.

“Sometimes Hondas just rattle”??? You must be more tolerant than I am, or I’m just too picky. My vehicles (both Fords, although I don’t consider myself to be a Ford fan, it just sort of happened that way, and both were purchased for less than a grand apiece) are averaging 15 years of age and 200k miles each and I don’t put up with any kind of squeaks, rattles, shudder, vibration, etc. out of either one of them. If a car rattles, there is something wrong which may be benign or serious and should be investigated to eliminate at least the latter.

+1 to Mark’s comments. I too suspect the brakes.

Re: the rattle, one thing you can do is pick up some ramps, secure the car on them (ENGINE OFF, parking brakes on), and slide underneath. You can then try shaking the various pieces under the car, like the heat shields, the sway cars, the exhaust, etc., looking for the source of the rattle. There are a lot of places a rattle can come from. This is a fairly new car, so unless you’ve banged into one too many potholes, it probably won’t be serious. It’ll probbaly be a splash shield, a plastic rocker panel, or something of that magnitude.

Honda rattles have been generally benign in my experience with them. I can usually tell when it’s something more serious. I tolerate it because they’re generally reliable cars and can last up to and beyond 200k miles with no serious engine or transmission problems. In this case, like edb1961, it was a pebble stuck in my brake system. Honda removed the offending item, performed the other maintenance I had requested, and it’s back home and shriek-free. I haven’t listened yet if the rattle is still there, but I will tomorrow morning. It would be funny if the two noises were actually related.

After 38K miles, my front brakes are 4s, so now I have to prepare to get new front (and possibly rear) pads. I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t last longer, and I’m a pretty decent driver, so I’m looking into getting brake pads that might perform better.

im also having the same problem with my 2010 civic with around 30k, did you happen to find a solution?

Front brake pads, rock in wheel or brakes, wheel bearing, cv joints, something like the engine windscreen has come loose, those are where’d I’d start. I expect the problem will be discovered quickly, as soon as the mechanic puts the car on the lift, removes the tire, and turns the hub by hand.