Squeaking Sound

So, I’ve noticed that I’ve got a squeaking sound coming from what sounds like the tires. I hear it mainly when I’m in parking garages and the sound easily reflects.

It’s kind of between a squeak and a whistle and it’s pace quickens as I accelerate. The sound changes kind of like the pace of a baseball card attached to bicycle wheel as you speed up.

Like I said, it sounds like it’s coming from the driver’s side front tire.

How many miles, what car, how long since your last brake job? And do you live in a winter climate where there is much salt used on the roads? Some possibilities are

  1. The wear indicator on the brake pads (a brass implant in the pad that when the pad wears to the point of needing replacement it makes a squeaking noise) is telling you you need new brake pads(that usually turns into having the rotors turned or replaced along with the job)
  2. Rust on the rotors that will cause no real harm.
  3. An hard spot on the pad that will cause no real problem.

Is it only when you apply the brakes or all the time?

As you can see a check by a qualified person may be necessary to determine the cause.

It’s never when I’m braking; I just had my brakes done.

It’s basically when I’m accelerating that I start to hear the pace of the squeaking pick up.

It’s a 2006 Toyota Corolla, 70,000 miles.

Was the squeak there before the brake job?

Yeah, it was there before the brake job.

Have the front wheel bearings checked.

I’ve looked into it online, and it seems an easy enough test is to jack the wheel up and try wiggling it a bit (with hands at 12 and 6).

If it needs to be replaced, is this something I should have done by a professional, or is it something I could look up and do myself?

Most the time if a good guy does the front brakes a wheel bearing maintenance is done. that leads to one step up the ladder, a bad boot and axle inspection. There is no car repair you cannot do yourself, it boils down to tools, knowledge and manuals.

I wonder if a screw or nail is stuck in your tire?

They’re usually pretty thorough, so I’m guessing they probably checked it.

I’m taking it in on Saturday though, so I’ll see what they say.

Whatever it is, it sounds expensive.

Some wheel bearing replacements, esp for fronts require a whole new hub assembly. I don’t know about the Corolla, but that kind of replacement does tend to be a little pricey. If it is bearings only that isn’t too bad.

Option B is to turn up the radio, Let us know how it turns out!

I think it’s normal. I have never driven a car that didn’t do that in a parking garage.

You don’t necessarily need to jack the car up. Just grab the top of the tire and push and pull it. If the wheel moves or makes clicking noises, you probably have a wheel bearing problem. Try all four wheels. Isolating the location of car noises by sound – especially from the driver’s seat is notoriously iffy. Keep in mind also that problems other than wheel bearings can cause loose/clicking wheel symptoms.

Replacing front wheel bearings on Rear Wheel Drive cars (RWD) was something anyone with a jack, some jackstands and a few wrenches could do. Replacing wheel bearings on FWD cars like your Corolla is a lot harder and very likely requires some expensive tools you will only use once to press the old bearing out and the new one in. But you can and probably should research it on the Internet. Maybe the Corolla is easier or maybe someone has devised an easy way to do bearing replacement with unlikely tools or stuff you already have in your garage.

I thought the same thing but then he added the bicycle card thing and I said no.

I can also hear it when I’m driving with the windows down, it just becomes more apparent when I’m in a parking garage because the sound reflects easier. It’s a pretty noticeable squeaking noise and people give me looks for it, so I’m assuming it’s not normal.