New sound as wheels turn

For the last couple of days, I hear a noise that increases and slows with the speed of the wheels turning. The sound is not a grind nor the worn-brake cricket sound. It sounds almost as though a stick or something is stuck in the tire or wheel and it’s flapping as the wheels turn.

What can this problem be? Is it a brake issue? I know I need new tires, so is it a tire issue. I have looked a the tires and do not see anything stuck. I have not had it up on a rack to look under the car.

I’m just hoping it’s not something terribly costly to fix (please say it isn’t so). Thanks.

Make, model, year, miles?

I had a similar noise with a 98 Windstar, it was the plastic wheel covers. If you have them, remove them and see if the clicking stops.


A stone or object caught in the tire’s tread can make that sound. You might have to roll the car forward or backward to have a look all the way around.

That’s the "not something terribly costly, " I’ve got.

I highly doubt that it’s a brake problem, because the symptoms don’t fit.
I also doubt that it’s a CV joint 'cause they’re generally affected by articulation of the joint (turning) and sometimes tortional loading (accelerating).

So, having ruled out two expensive possibilities, I’m going with the stone in the tire tread theory. The only real way to find out is hands-on.