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Awful Screeching Aztek

I drive a 2002 Pontiac Aztek, and it started making an awful screeching noise at high speeds last night. This morning, it didn?t start until I was about 20 minutes into my 30 minute drive to work and I got on the interstate. I got going about 70-75mph and it started screeching (loud enough to hear over the radio) and it would get much worse when I touched the breaks. It sounded like the right front wheel. Once I got off of the interstate and got down to about 35-40mph it completely stopped. It?s not howling and it doesn?t pull to the left or the right when I am driving.

how long has it been since the brake pads were replaced?

I suppose that it is possible for the noise to be coming from the brake pad wear “annunciators”, but I tend to think not, because the noise from these little metal devices tends to disappear when the brakes are applied. Also, while that noise can definitely be annoying, I have never heard brake wear sensors that were loud enough to hear over the radio at high speed.

I would be more inclined to look at wheel bearings, or possibly even CV joints as the source of the noise. One way to check for either of these situations is to see if the noise changes in pitch or if it goes away when making a turn. If the noise goes away on a hard left turn, the right wheel bearing and/or CV joint is suspect. If the noise disappears on a right turn, check the left bearing and CV joint.

A bad wheel bearing is a safety issue (visualize either the effect of having the brakes on just one wheel “lock” without warning, or imagine a wheel suddenly detaching from the car at high speed), so I would suggest that you have a qualified mechanic check the car a.s.a.p.

However, there is one additional possibility.
Maybe the car got a look at itself in a mirror, and is shrieking about its styling.

I’m sorry, the Devil made me say that!

probably need a new break pad, it could also be a loose axel