Wheel Bearing Noise When Braking – How To Handle?

Noise is the most obvious and noticeable symptom of failed car components, especially brakes. Several drivers have noticed a wheel bearing noise when braking.

A lag brake results from different causes, depending on which the bad wheel bearing noise also exhibits different types of sounds and frequencies.

How to distinguish and accurately identify faulty brake signals? Let us lend you a hand.

Does A Bad Wheel Bearing Make Noise?

Wheel Bearing Noise When Braking

Yes. It is claimed that a bad wheel bearing easily causes noise during the trip.

Bearings play an important role in reducing friction, increasing load capacity, and positioning rotating equipment.

From there, the vehicle not only reduces vibration and wear, prevents shock and misalignment but also evenly distributes the load.

High friction is a genius cause of noise during your drive. A failed wheel bearing cannot minimize the friction between the wheel and the road surface.

The more friction contacts, the more humming noise occurs. In addition, the reduced vibration resistance due to a bad wheel bearing also results in uncomfortable rattles.

Why Is There Wheel Bearing Noise When Braking?

Brake noises derive from simple to complex causes, including bad installation, impact damage, wheel bearing quality, driving conditions, and car modifications.

Besides, the corrosion of metal pieces in automotive components (brake pads and rotor drive) is a common issue.

Perhaps you have not known that the brake pads‘ backside is covered with metal and can be worn over time.

During driving, metal contact between the rotor and the brake calipers can scrape the caliper metal surface. This collision creates a shrill noise.

If the brake pads inherently have poor quality, wear will come sooner, and the noise will be more annoying than ever.

You can consider another rarer case: the braking clamp may not receive enough source of lubrication. 

Type Of Bad Wheel Bearing Sound When Braking

You can recognize the difference in brake noises if you pay close attention. We will clarify 4 typical sounds and the culprit behind them.


Grinding sounds originate from the metal interaction between two or more parts in the engine.

Here, we can the contact between the weary brake pads and the rotor surface when the driver brakes (as mentioned above).

Also, you may check whether the brake caliper is stuck or not. If that is the case, it can force the brake pads to rub against the rotor and create a harsh and loud grinding noise.

The last cause responsible for this kind of sound is the effect of external objects accidentally trapped in the brake system (stones, foreign debris, screws, etc.)


Squealing – a high-pitch sound – is a classic symptom relating to wheel bearing issues. This noise occurs randomly and tends to vary based on vehicle speed.

The higher the speed, the more aggressive the squeaking noise when braking. You can manually confirm the squealing extent with gradual braking.


Unlike squealing noise, humming noise is a low-pitched sound that tends to linger through your drive.

Fault in the constant velocity joint-outer CV joint (friction increase), tires (uneven tire wear), or wheel bearings can be to blame.


Clattering noise often occurs quite loudly due to the crash of hard objects. The rotor may be prone to be warped and unevenly interact with the brake pads.

You can’t drive for a long time with a bad rotor but replace it as soon as possible. Or else some hardware is damaged or missed.

How To Test The Wheel Bearing Issue?

Braking noise mainly focuses on parts such as tires, brake assembly, and wheel bearings. And, of course, inspecting all three components above is the most effective way to find the real cause.

However, this method can take you hours and require highly technical expertise.

How to make it easier? You can follow our 3 suggested steps as the pre-treatment for your vehicle.

1. Listen And Distinguish The Noise

Fortunately, a bad bearing noise differentiates itself quite obviously based on the specific failure.

Instead of having to disassemble and check the relevant parts, you can somewhat confirm the particular part that needs checking by listening and determining the noise nuances.

For example, you can simply inspect the brake pads and rotor when you hear a grinding noise. Otherwise, consider the outer CV joint if the noise is humming.

2. Determine The Time Noise Occurs

The timing of the noise is also a hint through which you can tell whether the problem is with the brake or wheel bearing.

If you always hear the noise every time you apply the brake, you can start inspecting the brake assembly.

On the other hand, a faulty wheel bearing is an answer when the noise usually occurs after braking at about 25-35mph.

3. Check For Other Symptoms

Faulty engine components never manifest as noise only. They will often show multiple symptoms at once, making it easier for you to identify the error.

When you press the pedal, you can feel the uncertainty or clear vibration in the car’s floor. In addition, the brakes can also lag, i.e., not stopping as drivers desire.

In some dangerous situations, the car is also deflected in a certain direction when braking takes effect, causing the driver to lose control and cause an accident on the way suddenly.

What Is The Solution For Wheel Bearing Noise?

Repair or replacement are the two most common and effective solutions to this error. Since the brake is a core part that largely determines the driver’s safety, replacement is more highly recommended.

Repairs can be time-consuming, and the cost (with major failures) can be on par with a new brake installation. The error can repeat, and the lifespan is also significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, the new brake assembly can be more assured in terms of quality and durability. The current replacement cost ranges from $15-$20/axle.

Besides finding a reputable repair center, it’s advised to go for automotive accessories from reputable brands for qualified long-term performance.


What Is The Solution For Wheel Bearing Noise?

To sum up, a wheel bearing noise when braking signals fail in the braking system. Not only does it sacrifice the driver’s comfort, but it also leads the vehicle into dangerous situations in traffic later.

Brakes are one of the components that need the most care and maintenance. You shouldn’t hesitate to replace it with a new and qualified brake if necessary.

This way, you can avoid unexpected risks to your vehicle and overall safety.

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