At slow speeds, my 1998 Honda Accord sometimes sounds like it's dragging something under the rear of the car

When I’m driving at slow speeds (e.g., drive-thru, parking lot, traffic light), I will occasionally hear a scraping/dragging sound coming from the back of the car. It seems to happen more when I’m turning than when I’m driving straight ahead. If I press the brakes and bring the car to a stop, the sound tends to stop. I bought the car used about 10 months ago with very low mileage, and I haven’t needed to have it serviced. I know nothing about cars, so I’m just wondering how much money I should be expecting to pay and whether there are places I should avoid (where I live it’s extremely difficult to find a freelance mechanic or a non-franchise mechanic with an appointment available within two months, so I’ve gone to places like Midas and Monro in the past).

Well we know nothing about your scraping problem other than the noise. That could be caused by a $20 problem or a $1000 problem. There is no way to tell without hands and eyes on the car. Sorry.

Yes… these places…

These people are busy for a reason; they are good and honest but they are rarely the cheapest in the short run but nearly always cheapest in the long run.

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The noise may be coming from a rear brake pad rubbing on a rotor.

In order to keep the rear brakes adjusted on your vehicle requires that the parking brake be operated occasionally.

However, if the vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, this is rarely done.

Try operating the parking brake lever a few times to see if the noise goes away.



My worry is that I’ll do damage to the car driving it around in the two months I spend waiting for a non-franchise mechanic (my sentence was poorly written and I intended to say that there appear to be no freelance mechanics where I live).

I generally don’t use the parking brake when parking at supermarkets, etc., but I always use it when parking at home. Would you recommend I use it every time I park?

It’s good to get into using the parking brake all the time.

Not only for the safety reason, but also for the reason I pointed out.


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That is backwards .


Maybe the OP parks on a hill at home?


OP, have you carefully looked underneath the car in that area? Particularly in the tailpipe area? Notice anything unusual? It wouldn’t be surprising for a car of that vintage for the exhaust system to be degraded enough that something is loose…

Where do you live that there are no or very few independent repair shops? Something general like Lincoln, Nebraska is probably enough.

I honestly don’t understand what you mean.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what a normal tailpipe area looks like, which means I can’t tell if there’s anything unusual going on. I don’t see any branches sticking out or anything.

Upstate New York. There are some independent repair shops with very long waiting times. But there aren’t any individual freelance/mobile mechanics advertising on Craigslist the way there have been in other places I’ve lived.

Supermarket parking lots are generally flat and you should fear the car rolling away.
This advice is backwards.

Freelance mobile mechanics advertising on craigslist are not repair shops. Some of these guys are ok and some are horrible. You know nothing about cars, how are you going to tell the difference?

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As I understand it, Upstate New York is all the state except New York City and Long Island. You might narrow it down, like Buffalo or Rochester or Utica.


Now I really don’t understand. If the parking lot is flat, doesn’t that mean I shouldn’t fear the car rolling away?

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Right, but I don’t think I ever suggested that they were.

But that problem applies to every mechanic, not just the freelance ones.

You should just get in a habit of using the parking brake all the time . At least it might keep it from rusting in place .


The only time that I don’t use the parking brake is in my home’s garage.