Front Left Wheel Metal Grinding When Turning

Hello everybody,
So I’ve been doing a lot of research on this forum, but have not been able to find an answer, so I made a username and hope you can help me with my problem.
I’ll try to break it down for you.

Car: 03 Buick Regal

Recent Repairs: -Installed new brakes, rotors, and bearings a month ago


  1. When going forward grinding noise ONLY when turning wheel to the right, becomes a tad louder when applying brake.
  2. When going reverse cannot turn at all without hearing an AWFUL grinding noise and the tire seizing up.
  3. Front left rotor (where noise is coming from) is beginning to wear heavily on the upper-outside portion in a 2" band.

Possible Solution that I thought of:
The metal brake pad clip is somehow bent/not installed right so it is grinding on the rotor.

Why Can’t I Check Right Now:
Do not have hydraulic jack currently to get my car up. Waiting until Friday.

Today, I took the car to the shop today and they actually found that my sway bar needs to be replaced, but unfortunately they did not open up the brakes to check out the grinding noise. So when I left, I got to thinking about the brake pad clip.

Any ideas/common experience would be greatly appreciated! If you need more info, please let me know!


Since the wheel is totally seizing up, it should be pretty easy for a shop to figure out what’s going wrong by putting it up on the lift and spinning the tires by hand. Most likely the brakes or the bearings. One thing you could do, make sure the wheel lug nuts haven’t come loose.

I have one question…did you remove the master cylinder lid when you started working on the brakes? If you didn’t then the process of opening up the brake calipers will add a lot of brake fluid to the master cylinder. This will cause the calipers to apply pressure to the rotors all the time. It’s a simple mistake but I see it all the time.

Georgesanjose- So I actually just replaced the bearings along with the brakes. I only have the grinding/seizing problem when turning in reverse, wouldn’t a bearing cause problems in both directions? I’m not an expert at all so I’m just asking.
Also, checked all lug nuts and they are all set with my torque wrench.

I did not do this, so tomorrow I will check. Would this affect only the left wheel? The brakes were fine for about month, but this just started a few days ago.

My left rotor is the only rotor thats showing odd wearing/making the scraping noise.

Thanks guys!

It’s possible for a shop to accidentally damage the new bearing when installing it. It would be unusual for an experienced shop tech to do that, but it can certainly happen. I’ve done it myself, not on a car wheel bearing but accidentally on my bicycle wheel bearing, ruining a new sealed bearing. I can’t explain why it would show up only in reverse for you. But when you turn in reverse that puts a more extreme angle on the rear wheel compared to turning while moving forward. That’s why it is easier to parallel park in reverse, you can back in more sharply.

Another idea involving the brakes, on my Corolla if I’m moving backward and apply the parking brake it makes a sort of scraping noise, which doesn’t occur if I apply the parking brake while moving forward. So maybe your parking brake is locking up for some reason. Parking brakes seem to operate a little differently moving forward vs backward. But for me it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m turning or not.

All in all though, I expect this diagnosis to be pretty straightforward.

After borrowing my friends tools, I got the car up on a jack and found the problem.

Two of my three bolts holding the wheel hub assembly are missing! No idea how that happened. Needless to say I bought three new bolts, set them up with loctite, and got them torqued.

She runs well now… As I knock on wood.

Thanks for all of your input!

That would certainly explain the symptom. Glad you got things fixed up and the car back on the road.