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How to tell what the squeaking noise is front tyres

Updated February 21, 2017

Occasionally, when you are driving your car, you may notice a squeaking sound coming from the front end. Squeaking sounds coming from the front tyres or the front end of your car may indicate the need for an inspection or even service on the car. You can perform a number of quick tests to help you determine if the squeaking sounds are coming from the car tyres, the front suspension or a loose body part.

Check your tyre pressure

Check your tyre pressures with a tyre pressure gauge. Look at the sticker on the inside of the driver's door frame for proper tyre pressures for your vehicle and use an air compressor or compressed air supply to add air if needed. Add air whenever outside temperatures drop and remove air when outside temperatures rise. Under-inflated tyres can squeak or squeal when you turn.

Inspect the tyres for wear. Use a flashlight to look at the depth of the tread. If you see bars running from side to side at intervals around the tyre you have worn the tyres to the wear indicators. Replace the tyres. More wear on one side of a tyre or more wear on one front tyre is an indication of a bad wheel alignment or a worn shock strut.

Drive the car slowly and press the brakes. If the squeaking noise stops, you may be hearing the brake wear sensor rubbing on the brake disc. The brake wear sensor is a small metal tab that rubs on the front brake disc when the disc pads have worn. Have your brakes inspected and repaired.

Drive the car over an uneven road. If the squeaking increases you may have a loose shock absorber, spring or strut. Have the front end inspected and repaired.

Visually inspect the body panels, wheel wells and trim for any loose parts that may cause squeaking or other noises. Secure any loose panels or parts.

Tip

You should routinely drive your car with the radio off to be able to hear sounds from the tyres or car. Newer cars have the shock absorber and spring combined in a unit called the strut.

Warning

Turn off your car, put on the parking brake and chock a wheel before working under it.

Things You'll Need

  • Tyre pressure gauge
  • Air compressor or air supply
  • Flashlight
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About the Author

Paul Richard began writing in 2002 after a career in chemical processing, refrigerant alternatives and workplace safety. He has written articles for the "Cecil Whig" and "Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News." Richard holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Akron.