Nissan Altima 97 Scraping Noise from the Wheel


It is my first car.

I just got a Nisaan Altima 97 from a family friend as a gift. There is only 60,000 miles on the car. I have been driving it for two months, and everything was fine. Until recently, the rear right side wheel is making scraping noise (imagine the noise you hear when two rough metal plates moving in opposite direction against each other) whenever I move the car, it get louder when the car slows down, or worst when it make left turn. Anyone has an idea what the problem is?

I find your post to be confusing.
You tell us that, “until recently, the rear right side wheel is making a scraping noise”.
Then you describe the symptoms as if they are continuing, so I am having a hard time figuring out if the car made this noise only “until recently”, or if it is continuing to make this noise.

Anyway, if my car was making noise in the way that you describe, the first thing that I would check is the condition of the rear wheel bearings, particularly the one on the right rear wheel. I would suggest that you have this checked out a.s.a.p.–if the noise is still there.

Sorry about the confusion. It starts making the noise recently, but the noise comes and goes.

I am completely with VDC on that - including that it must be checked out right away. It is a common wear & tear item, but a bad wheel bearing can be a very bad thing.

It could be a component of your brakes rubbing. Alternatively a bad wheel bearing. Either case it should be checked out by a qualified mechanic. I would not let it go.

If you are able, take off the right rear tire and inspect the brake assembly. It is possible, for example, that the splash shield is rubbing the rotor. I recently had a small pebble (the size of a pea) get caught between the splash shield and the rotor on a one of my cars. It sounded awful.

Thanks guys!
So on a scale of 1 (I can wait until I got money) to 5 (this has to be check NOW), where would you put it? I am in the process of finishing up my degree and moving, so I need the car for the next weeks or so.

I would put it at a 5, or at least a 4.5 for this simple reason:

When a wheel bearing seizes, it has the same effect as locking the brakes on that one wheel. If this was to happen at anything more than low urban-driving speeds, the sudden uneven brake force would likely throw you into a skid.

Now, imagine that this happened on wet pavement or at highway speeds with 18-wheelers all around you. Do you really want to gamble your life–and possibly the lives of innocent folks around you–on trying to defer this type of repair?

Nobody can tell you when this apparently bad wheel bearing will seize, but if it is now making a scraping noise, its demise is probably only days away–at most.