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Hey all. I recently went to visit some family who lives in backwoods america. The way there took me down a few gravel covered roads. My poor versa had a hard time going up one of the steeper sections of road, and I feared actually getting through it. I almost feel that the tire was able to spin in place a few times while not actually moving the car. Once back on the main road heading home, everything seemed fine until the next day. Now the area around my left front tire makes a noise kinda like it is brushing against something, but nothing obvious is there. I worry that I put too much strain on the car getting up that one section of road… I need a new front left tire as it happens, and plan to address all of this when I bring it in. I just wanna see if anyone has an idea of what could be happening. Thanks!

Check to see if the tire is rubbing against the black plastic splash guard that covers the inside of the fender. If that isn’t it, there’s usually a metal dust shield next to the brake disc (on the inside of the axle) that may have gotten bent and is rubbing against the brake disc.

I doubt you did any serious damage, but if you’re worried, take it to a trusted local mechanic and pay him a few bucks to put the car on the lift and spin the wheel and see if he can locate the source of the noise. If it’s a bent dust shield it’s very easy to bend back.

I’d take the wheel off and check if a small piece of gravel got wedged anywhere.

By the way, please tell us more about the new front left tire. Are you buying the exact same tire as the other three? How much tread is left on the other three? For safety, you want to end up with matching tires on each axle and the better tread on the back, which might mean buying two tires instead of one.