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.

A: It sounds like the brake pads or wheel bear...

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

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 cut off while driving

There are several parts that when they fail, will cause the engine to stall and not restart. The crankshaft position sensor, ignition control, module, and the fuel pump. The first two will set trouble codes in the computer to aid...

Q: Charging issues

You should check to see if the 30 amp fuse is good in the battery junction fuse box fuse number 26. Then check the alternator to see if you have power to the connector orange and blue wire and the...

Q: Car starts good then shuts off

An engine stalling diagnostic, which you can schedule through YourMechanic, would pinpoint the cause of the stalling. Among the possibilities are a plugged fuel filter, fuel pump malfunction or blocked pump strainer, significant vacuum leak including stuck open EGR valve,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...