Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Crunching, grinding, popping under front end

asked by on

There is a very loud crunching and popping sound accompanied by metallic grinding coming from the front, driver's side wheel area. I've heard it for about 3 weeks now, but it's never consistent. Nothing I could find triggered it or prevented it, and most days it never occurred. I can feel the crunching in my feet and every so often it will affect the drive, the side the sound is coming from will lag for a split second as if in mud or water. But today I was pulling into a parking lot when I heard a very loud crunch and what sounded like a piece of the car falling out from the front end. I continued into the lot and then my space under 5 mph. The entire way I heard the horrific crunching, grinding, and popping much worse than ever. It sounded and felt like I was dragging a piece of the car. I parked, turned the wheel, and did a quick inspection but didn't see anything obvious.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like the brake pads or wheel bearing may have failed. If the brake pad surface is worn, it will grind against the rotor surface, especially during braking.

The bearings could also be to blame. Over time the bearing will wear out to the point that there is no more lubrication and metallic noises will be present.

Those are the two most likely causes but there could also be some other front end issues that may need immediate attention.

I suggest having a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the vehicle to determine what is causing the grinding noise that you are describing. They will be able to detect the fault and make any needed repairs to resolve this issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Crunching, grinding, popping under front end

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car not starting after submersion

Hi your car will need extensive disassembly due to the car being submerged six months ago. The parts will need to be set out to dry or be replaced. The electrical components will need to be blown out with compressed...

Q: Diagnostic screen in car says "short circuit".

Hello. From the symptom you've described it would appear that you may be having an electrical issue, possibly with the computer. I would recommend having the vehicle looked at by a professional technician, to pinpoint the electrical issue since it...

Q: Car is running very roughly at idle

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Based on your faults, it seems as though you are dealing with a potential misfire causing the fuel mixture faults or fuel mixture problems causing misfire faults. The car should not be driven like...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...