Updated at: 10-08-2023 - By: Lucas

There should be no strange noises coming from a vehicle that is in good functioning order. The brakes are usually at blame if you hear noises when slowing down. Your car’s brakes are critical to the safety of the driver. It’s equally crucial to slow down as it is to speed up.

The sounds your brakes are producing means what?

We’ll examine nine possible causes of a grinding noise when driving slowly or reducing speed.

Causes Of Grinding Noise When Driving Slow

Scraping Noise When Driving Slow

As a car owner, it’s critical to learn how to interpret the sounds your vehicle makes. How to interpret the cues and the possible answers will be discussed below.

This could happen for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent causes of a grinding noise when driving slowly or slowing down are discussed in detail below.

1. Bad Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings, as the name implies, hold the wheel in place. The hub assembly for the front wheel is where you’ll find it. In order to keep your wheels turning, you need this bearing. It ensures that the wheels move with as minimal friction as possible.

Wear is caused by friction. There will be friction if the bearings are not working properly. When you slow down or drive slowly, you’ll hear a grinding noise. Even worse, it will cause excessive wear on those components.

Wheel bearings aren’t anything special in terms of the technologies used to make them. Steel balls, in case you were unaware. They are greased with grease before being fitted in the housing. The friction and wear on these steel balls are considerably reduced by the application of grease.

In most cases, these bearings can endure for hundreds of thousands of kilometers with adequate lubrication and maintenance.

However, if you’re unlucky, these bearings may begin to wear out prematurely. When slowing down, grinding noises are a sure sign of a worn-out bearing. When a vehicle speeds up or slows down, it is common to hear noises.

This means that squealing noises may be heard when you accelerate. When rotating, this produces a grinding sound.

Early detection of a problem could save you money in the long run by reducing wear on the bearings. You can fix this problem by lubricating the bearings with grease, since the problem is generally caused by a shortage of lubricant.

You may have worn out wheel bearings if you’ve been hearing grinding noises for a long time. These bearings may need to be replaced if this occurs.

2. Worn Brake Rotors

Grinding noises can also be heard when slowing down or slamming on the brakes if the brake rotors are worn. Rotors on brakes degrade with use. If you want to halt it, you’re out of options. However, a car’s braking performance will suffer if its brake rotors are worn or distorted.

The surface of a good brake rotor should be smooth. You’ll see horizontal lines when it’s worn out. The lines on your brake rotors are a clear indication of their wear. In the minds of some, a simple change to your brake pads will cure the problem. The only way to fix this problem is to replace the rotors.

The grinding noise you hear is entirely unrelated to the rotor wear that is causing it. The grinding or screaming noise caused by a defective rotor is extremely unpleasant.

When we talked about rotor warping, you may have noted it was mentioned. Brake rotors can distort, but few people are aware of this. If you drive through water, the rotors of your brakes may bend. Due to severe braking, another reason why it warps

The warping of rotors when braking forcefully or driving through water is a common phenomenon.

Changes in temperature are what determine the outcome of all of these events. When you apply force to the brakes, the rotors’ temperature rises rapidly. This causes the brake to distort.

The warping of brake rotors while driving in water can be explained in the same way. Because the temperature is fast falling, this time the problem is more serious than usual. When you’re driving, the rotors heat up quite a bit. Warped brake rotors are a common consequence of driving through water.

Rebuilding damaged brake rotors is pointless. Your only option is to replace the brake rotor. The cost of replacing the rotors ranges from $300 to $600.

3. Worn Brake Pads

The most typical cause of grinding noises when slowing down or driving slowly is this. Your car’s braking performance can suffer greatly if its brake pads are worn out.

Brakes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Your brake pad may be made of a variety of materials. Braking pads can also generate noises as the vehicle is slowing down for the first time. You may have a defective brake pad based on this fact.

You must thus only acquire brakes from approved manufacturers if you want to avoid such a situation.

After a recent pad repair, you may need to change the pads again if you hear these noises. When slowing down, a high-quality brake pad should not generate any grinding noises.

Friction is the primary driving force behind how brake pads work. As a result, wear is a fact of life. There is no lubrication to stop the wear of brake pads, unlike many other parts of your car. There is no more substance on the brake pads as they wear out.

As a result, the plate and rotor begin to make contact. The rotor will also be destroyed if this continues because of the metal-on-metal contact. As a result, brake pads should be replaced as needed.

You should inspect the condition of your brake pads on a regular basis. Also, if they appear to be worn, you should have new ones installed. Rotor replacement is required if the brake pads entirely wear out and rub against the rotor. This could end up being expensive.

4. Bad Brake Calipers

Scraping Noise When Driving Slow-3

The master cylinder aids in the operation of the braking calipers. When driving slowly or slowing down, grinding noises are another sign of bad brake calipers.

Master cylinder vacuums are created when the brake pedal is pressed. The brake calipers’ pistons movement is aided by the vacuum created by the calipers themselves. These are not the same as the pistons in an engine. Calipers have a little piston that moves in and out as you apply the brake pressure.

These brake calipers might become trapped on occasion. This might be used to reach either the open or the closed state. A grinding noise will be heard while driving slowly if the doors are left open. When the piston gets jammed open, it might damage other parts of the engine. There will be an early demise of the brake pads and rotors due to misuse.

In the event that you find yourself in this predicament, there are two solutions open to you. Rebuilding the calipers is the first option. The process of reassembling your caliper is quite simple. Either you or a mechanic can take care of this for you.

Replacement of the brake caliper is the second option. The best alternative is to get a new caliper rather than a repair kit, as it will be more robust and reliable.

5. Lack Of Lubrication

Friction causes the brake to come to a complete halt, which is how it does its job. Why does it need to be lubricated, you may wonder? It’s not just your rotors and pads that make up the braking system. The lubrication of certain of these parts is required.

Your brake pads need to be greased on the backside. Brake caliper lubricant is used for this purpose. The piston of the caliper comes into touch with this part. When these parts aren’t lubricated, they’ll create a grinding noise.

The caliper pins also need to be greased, in addition to this. The caliper pins are the component of the braking caliper that joins the two sides together.

6. Loose Engine Belt

If you hear a grinding noise when driving slowly, it’s possible that you have a loose engine belt. Because of a loose engine belt, the sound might only be audible at speeds below 20 mph.

The grinding noise you’re hearing is most likely coming from a loose or worn-out tensioner pulley. Over time, crankshaft pulleys get worn and wobbly. As a result, the engine belt becomes unfastened. The engine belt and pulley must be replaced if this problem is to be resolved.

A worn-out tensioner pulley is another possible cause of a sagging belt. The engine belt is pressed by a small pulley called the tensioner pully. The belt could come loose if you don’t apply pressure on it.

Ratchets make it simple to tighten the tensioner pulley. Even if it’s broken, the cost of fixing it isn’t prohibitive. A belt can be loosened by turning one of these pulleys. When driving slowly, the engine belt will make a grinding noise, which is an indication of a loose belt.

7. Failing Transmission

This is one of life’s most dreadful experiences. The grinding noises caused by a defective transmission are often overlooked by automobile owners, although they are a common symptom of a malfunctioning transmission.

In other cases, there could be a lack of transmission fluid or faulty gears. The grinding noises you hear while driving slowly could be caused by a broken gear.

Whatever the case may be, you should get your transmission checked out by a qualified technician. The transmission is an essential part of your vehicle’s operation. If the transmission needs to be repaired, it could be expensive. As a result, you should not ignore the issue.

8. Loose Timing Chain

Timing chain tension is maintained by the engine’s tensioner. As a result, at low speeds, a grinding noise will be heard if the tensioner fails and the transmission chain breaks loose.

As a result of a loose timing chain, your engine’s cam and crankshaft will no longer operate in sync. There is a risk of engine damage. To determine if your engine is making noises such as grinding, speaking, or rattling, you need to inspect its timing chain.

The cost of replacing the timing chain might be as high as $1000. It’s possible that your timing chain could get caught in the moving parts of the engine if it gets out of place. This is a major threat to your engine’s performance. This would necessitate a complete engine replacement.

What you’re hearing is more of a rattling than a grinding, as it were. But that’s a good thing to know, because it could be misinterpreted for a grinding sound.

9. Bad CV Joints

The CV joint is a possible suspect if you hear the grinding sounds solely when turning slowly. As a vehicle ages, this is a very regular problem.

The stability and comfort of your vehicle depend heavily on the CV joints. The CV axle uses bearings, unlike a conventional axle. The CV joint can now be moved vertically without restriction.

A CV joint can be found in nearly any vehicle with front-wheel drive. CV joints are also seen in some rear-wheel-drive vehicles. An enormous leap forward from the traditional solid axles. In general, vehicles with CV axles are better to drive and more comfortable to ride in than those without the CV axle.

CV axles have a propensity to lock up. The CV axle might be broken if you drive over rough terrain or into a large pothole. Different issues arise when a CV joint is fractured. Let’s take a closer look at why CV joints grind while you drive slowly.

Grease is used to lubricate the CV joint bearings. As it ages, this loses its ability to lubricate. Another option is for it to escape. When the CV joint is engaged, it will make a grinding noise if it is not lubricated. If you’re slowing down through a turn or making slow turns, you’ll hear this.

The CV joint will be severely damaged if it does not receive regular lubrication. Your CV joint should be checked and, if necessary, replaced.


If you hear a grinding noise when you slow down or stop, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Is It Okay To Drive With Grinding Brakes?

You should never attempt to drive with brakes that aren’t working properly. Brakes that grind are a sure sign that they need to be replaced. Grinding noises from your brakes are frequently an indication of either worn brake pads or rotors that need to be replaced. This is a big problem, because it will affect your brakes.

A significant amount of your brakes will be eliminated. A significant increase in stopping distance would be experienced. The risk of an accident goes up dramatically if you don’t use effective braking.

How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

Brake pads have varying lifespans depending on the materials used to make them.

Ceramic is one of the most difficult materials to work with in the production of brake pads. Approximately 70, 000 miles should be the typical lifespan of these vehicles. Around 50, 000 miles can be expected with a set of metallic pads. Organic pads have varying lifespans depending on their composition.


You may hear grinding noises while traveling at a low speed or slowing down. There are various possibilities. This may be happening to you for one of the nine most prevalent causes we’ve examined.

If you hear grinding noises, should you continue driving?

You can drive, but it’s not a good idea. It’s best not to drive till you know exactly why your car is making this noise.

When your car is making a strange noise, you need to find out what it is. Even when traveling slowly or at a standstill, grinding noises can be heard. Due to the fact that your brakes are generally the source of this sound.

Driving is out of the question if your brakes are malfunctioning. It’s impossible to drive an automobile that you can’t stop on command. If your rotors are worn or bent, you’d see anything like this happen to your car’s performance.

If you choose to drive with faulty brakes, you are endangering yourself and everyone else on the road.

Driving slowly or slowing down can cause a grinding noise, which can be diagnosed using the techniques discussed above. You can either fix the problem yourself or pay a professional to do it for you. Drive as little as possible till you figure out what’s going on.