About a year ago I drove across a road that was being repaved. Several rocks and tar were stuck in my tires and lower body of my car. I removed as much as I could immediately from the lower body and tires but since then I have heard on the lower front left tire area a rickety noise. I have spoke to several friends about it and they assured me that the assumed rock would come out. The sound went away, but when I got my oil changed and my tires rotated the sound came back much worse and it sounds somewhat like metal on metal. I am wondering it this is a problem that needs to be addressed soon or if when I get my first tune-up it can be addressed then. My fear is if there is still a rock, or perhaps more than one that it will go into the break pads or some other “vital” part of the vehicle. The car is running fine, except for this horrible and very distracting noise. I turn my music up just to not hear it, but you can most definitely hear me coming.
Metal on metal doesn’t quite sound the same as a rock in your tire. If you really think there’s a rock, remove the wheel, get a small screwdriver (and maybe needle-nose pliers), and go over the tread on the whole tire. I do this when I rotate them anyway, just because I’ve had a flat due to a rock being stuck in the tire, and it only takes 10 minutes while I walk them around the vehicles.
Metal on metal at the wheel is usually an indication your brakes are on the warning plate (piece of metal designed to make that kind of noise before your discs are destroyed), or the pads are gone, and you’re currently just ripping your discs apart.
Rock in caliper ?
This will take a visual inspection with the tire off.
Once , I got a ‘rock in caliper’ and reversing popped it out. I developed an instantaneous ‘‘skreeeee’’ of metal on metal, assumed what just happened due to where I was at the time, backed up a bit and out she came.
But yours sounds like the rocks were covered in tar or asphault so they’re pretty well stuck in there until you physically get in there to get them out.
There’s really no way to guess an answer about this by internet.
Noises like this can be something really minor or something really dangerous. So just get it to a shop to have someone find out what it is. Your best bet is a good, local, independent shop - not a corporate chain “auto care” place, and certainly not a quick-lube kind of place.
I’d take it in now. Whatever’s going on could be dangerous, as cigroller says.