Periodic sound - Brakes ? ( Elantra 2003)



My car is creating a periodic ( period decreasing with increasing speed ) somewhat high pitch sound from (it seems) front right wheel. It is not very loud but has been increasing over last 3-4 weeks.

Interestingly the sound goes away if the brakes are pressed even slightly, say 1/5 th of full range.

The car has 95k miles on it. I got new brake pads at 65k miles.

any ideas ?



off hand it sounds like a wheel bearing going.

as a suggestion go to a mall nearby (or some place that has a long flat high wall) drive next to the wall with the window down so you can hear any sound bouncing back off the wall. you may get a clearer listen to any noise.

i mention the wheel bearing because that is a symptom when you apply brakes the wheel bearing noise usually goes away, (or lessens). if it was brakes it usually gets worse when applying brakes.

if its a CV joint it is usually bad throughout the speed or braking.


Cappy may be totally correct, but my thoughts lean toward the brake wear indicator telling you it’s time for routine brake service. The fact that the noise stops when you tap the brake is the thread I’m clutching. In either case, an inspection by a mechanic who can fix either problem is what you need.


that helps. i wanted to get some background on possible causes before going to the mechanic.

now just so that the mechanic doesnt rip me off -

cappy >> if it is the wheel bearing, around how much should it cost ?

steve >> ditto for brake wear.



It’s a long shot, but if you have plastic wheel covers, pull them off the car and see if the noise stops. I had a 98 Windstar that had a clicking noise from the front wheels at low speeds. I was thinking CV joints, but it was the wheel covers.

Ed B.


I think wheel bearing, too. I’ve got the same thing going on in one of my cars.


My mechanic diagnosed the sound to be due to worn out front break pads and brake rotor.

he gave me a bill of $350 - parts and labor. he said that ‘rotor is more expensive because he cant machine it’

does it sound reasonable ?


It sounds about $150 too high but the prices have gone up I guess. I think that’s what it costs these days. It cost $75 each for non-ventilated rotors on the 85 Caddy in 1999.