4 Causes of Noise and Vibration From the Wheel Area

Car problems originating from the wheel or tire area are commonplace. But when strange noises and vibration are coming from that same area, you’ll want to pay extra attention. Sometimes the vibrations will make themselves known through the steering wheel.

Keep reading to learn the most common causes of noise and vibration from the wheel area and how they can impact your driving and accident risk.

tire noise and vibration

Top 4 Reasons of Wheel Area Noise and Vibration

There are many possible reasons as to why you are having these problems from within the wheel area while you’re driving.

Sometimes the cause may be found in your tires directly while at other times the problem could be associated with another component of your vehicle that is linked to your tires.

Below are the 4 main causes of tire noise and vibration while driving at low and high speeds.

#1 – Wheels

wheel bearing sounds like

Your wheels are what get controlled by your steering system. The tires are forced to move and rotate in the same way as the wheels because they are attached together. Therefore, you must check and see if there is a problem with any of the components directly related to your wheels.

This means inspecting the wheel bearings to ensure they are not worn out or damaged. Also, if you have bad ball joints or tie rod ends, then you will hear squeaky noises coming from the area around your tires. Finally, wheel damage such as a bent rim will definitely cause vibration and shaking.

In fact, driving straight will prove to be the biggest challenge because the wheels and tires will shake just from that.

Read also: Symptoms of a Bad Alignment

#2 – Tires

tires out of balance

If there are no problems with the wheels then the problem may be with the tires themselves. Something as mediocre as worn tire tread or low air pressure due to a screw or nail in just one tire could cause the entire vehicle to shake because all four tires will be unevenly positioned on the road.

It is important to make sure you don’t have unbalanced tires and don’t show signs of uneven tread wear. It’s also crucial to have the recommended amount of air pressure in them. If you don’t then you will notice a lot of shaking when you drive at higher speeds.

Air pressure is the easiest tire problem to fix because you just top off the air with your air compressor or go to the gas station and pump more air into the tires using their compressor.

But when you have tire tread wear, it usually occurs more on one side of the car versus the other side. In this case, you would rotate the tires around to even them out more on both sides.

See Also: What is Death Wobble?

#3 – Brakes

brake problems

When driving at low or high speeds and you start to apply pressure to the brake pedal, you may experience strange noises or shaking from the tires at that point. This could mean a problem with the brake rotor (such as warping) or worn brake pads of the braking system.

There could also be another component of the braking system that may be causing this too such as low brake fluid or a sticky caliper. The best advice is to have a mechanic inspect your brakes to see why they aren’t performing like they should be.

#4 – Axle

bent axle

A damaged or bent axle can cause noticeable or even violent vibration to come from the tires while driving. An axle will normally get in this condition after surviving a car accident or if you vehicle runs over a large rock or other solid object.

The faster you drive, the worse the shaking will get. But the shaking won’t go away completely if you are driving at low speeds either. This is a problem which will require you to replace your axle before it gets in any worse shape.

Related: Semi-Floating vs Full-Floating Axle

Mark Stevens


  1. 2012 honda civic LE front right tire making noise on acceleration from the parking or from the slow speed . One mechanic told me that, bad bearing cause it. I changed front both hub and bearing . But stiil the noise is there . I changed both tires too. But no change. I did the allignment too. But no change. Recently TPMS light came , and it is blinking . All TPMS working good. 2-3 mechanic tried to clear it , It will go and the light come back soon. I have a doubt that the right side axle may have a bent. If any body know about this , give me a reply. Thank you

    1. This might be a long shot, but inspect the wheel to see if it’s cracked. One other thing you could try is to rotate the tires and see if the sound follows a particular wheel.

  2. I have a 2011 mercedes-Benz C 300 going slow or any speed going over little bumps in the road I hear a clunking noise from the front end by my tires and when I get on the highway my car start shaking violently and at first it was only when I accelerated but it now does it no matter what! It’s so scary to drive that it’s now parked can someone please give me some answers thank you so much

    1. Could be a bad tie rod, a steering rack issue, or maybe a loose wheel. Sounds dangerous and I wouldn’t drive it until you can figure out what the problem is. You’re not going to know for sure until you have someone look at the vehicle in person.

  3. So my car is making a rumbling/grinding noise when I drive at low and high speeds, but as soon as I apply pressure to the gas or brakes it’ll decrease or stop altogether. The noise is coming from the front right tire.

    1. I don’t know. I would take the right front tire off and inspect the brakes, suspension, wheel, and tire. That should give you a better idea of what’s going on.

      Once the vehicle is lifted off the ground, you could roll the right front wheel back and forth before removing the wheel to see if you notice any strange noise or excessive play.

  4. There is a noise when coasting, “click, click, click,” from the front wheel area. No sound when accelerating. No vibration. What would cause that?

    1. Usually a rhythmic clicking like that is due to something on the wheel or tire, or something contacting the wheel or tire.

      Check the front wheels for the presence of a nail, screw, rock, or other object embedded in the tire. Sometimes these objects get stuck in the tread. They may even pierce the tire in a way that does not lead to an obvious air leak. If you end up finding a nail or screw in the tread, you can probably get it patched.

      I would also check the brakes and the front suspension to make sure nothing is rubbing against the wheels, brake pads, etc as the wheels turn.

  5. It was my passenger front tire but they got rotated so now it’s the passenger back tire. It’s shaking acting like it’s going flat then it will quit after like a mile or so it will quit shaking.

  6. 2017 Subaru Forrester front right wheel vibrates under certain road conditions at 30-35mph and again around 60-65mph. Vibrations stop upon braking, but often return when letting off brakes. Any ideas?

    1. Check the front right wheel bearing, check the axle, and inspect the brakes. Make sure all brake caliper bolts are torqued correctly.

  7. I had a rear main seal leak. To fix it, the mechanic had to remove the transmission, now the front right wheel seems to shake and almost feel flat at times. Took it for new brakes and roaters and they said go back to the mechanic that did the seal leak. Is it possible the mechanic damaged it?

    1. Not sure. What is the year, make, and model of your vehicle?

      I’m assuming you have a front or all wheel drive car that has front axles that come out of the transmission. It’s possible the axles weren’t put back in the transmission correctly after the car was put back together.

  8. My car vibrates and shakes heavily anytime I’m on a bad road, get into holes or certain speed, unless I park it won’t stop

  9. Car shakes slightly only sometimes, and front left wheel area has a pulsating low squeak sound while driving that is consistent whether driving straight or turning. 2013 Hyundai Elantra

  10. 2009 Fiesta. Vibrations 70mph+ from Front near side alloy wheel which has distortion on inner edge.
    Changed the alloy front to back and vibration still present.
    I haven’t noticed any knocking/clicking when turning.
    Any ideas? Wheel bearing, CV joint?

    1. Those are good guesses, and a good place to start if you’re not sure. You could try having a mechanic take it for a test drive to see what they think. Perhaps it will be obvious to them when driving or when they throw it up on a lift.

    2. When I turn to the left it makes a loud rubbing noise and when I’m driving down the road and feels like the tire is going to fall off what can that be

      1. Look under the car with the wheel turned as far to the left as it will go. Can you see what the tire is rubbing against? Maybe a fender liner or strut? Something stuck in the wheel area? Any inner wheel or tire damage?

  11. It’s like when I drive slow I hear like a noise of a wobble but once I get to speed I don’t hear it no more what do all think it is like what I mean is when stoping then going I feel like a wobble but that’s only going slow once I get to speed I don’t hear it no more what do u all think it is

      1. Vibration on passenger front tire 265 on front compares to a 260 back no tire balance on front

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