Squeaking Noise While Driving But Not Brakes Applied? Here’s Why (And How To Fix)!

Are you concerned about hearing a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied?

This can definitely make you worry since the last thing you want while driving is to encounter some serious issues.

But unless you are aware of the actual reason behind the noise, and you do something about it, then you need to pay close attention to the cause. This way, you can perform the right troubleshooting techniques and appropriate fixes to get this problem solved. Then, you can eliminate further concerns with your vehicle when you know how to deal with it properly.

Today, we will discuss the reasons behind such noise while you drive even without stepping on the brakes. Find out more below!

squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied

Causes Of A Squeaking Noise While Driving But Not Brakes Applied

One of the most common reasons why you may hear a squeaking noise while driving but no brakes applied is you have old brake pads that need to be replaced. Your brakes tend to squeal when you drive even without applying brakes when you have faulty brake pads.

1.Worn brake pads

As time goes by, the brake pads tend to wear and tear. There is also a brake wear monitor attached to your brake pads, which becomes exposed once your pads have eroded. Hence, the rotors are getting unnecessary friction, causing a squeaky sound as you drive.

While this may not be hazardous, the sound can be quite concerning. It also runs the risk of causing further damage to your brake pads. This is why you need to prevent this by simply replacing the brake pads and using a material that offers good traction. 

Speaking of brake pad materials, there are now recent designs that come with ceramic. Although this is durable and can last long, they do create noises when they come into contact with the metal rotor.

So, we recommend scratching across the ceramic platter using a small knife. This should quickly eliminate the squeaky noise. A better material of choice would be semi-metallic pads. This causes very minimal noise, so you may have to get your current ones replaced by a technician.

2. Too much moisture

Another reason behind the squeaking sound while driving without applying brakes is the excess moisture present. Rust eventually builds up on the rotors because of too much moisture, so the pads squeak before you start. The worst case scenario is that your vehicle may come to a complete stop before you can continue driving.

When your brake rotors are rusty, your cars tend to squeak even without hitting the brakes. Too much moisture and humidity cause the rust buildup on the rotors. This is why it is important to replace or clean your rotors to eliminate this problem.

3. Blockage

Another possible reason why you may hear squeaking sounds when you drive is that you may have some stones or sticks stuck on the tires. So, as you drive with these things, you may hear your squeaking sounds even if you have not stepped on the brakes.

Do keep in mind that there are certain things that your tires may pick up along the way such as tiny pebbles, acorns, and tree branches, to name a few. This is common in areas where the roads tend to have some stones and sand.

When this happens, the bottom of your brake pads may have these items caught. So, you should inspect the tires and get rid of these things. By doing so, you should be able to eliminate these squeaking noises.

4. Grooved or glazed rotors

We would also like to add that when you have rotors with grooves or glaze, this can cause the vehicle to emit a squeaking sound while it runs. The rotors tend to have glazes when you have worn out brake pads. This is why you should replace the pads and remove the braking rotors to check if there is groove or glaze on it.

Sometimes, a simple cleanup of your discs and rotors should do the trick but other times a complete replacement may be necessary.

5. Negligence 

In the case of mechanical negligence, this can also cause the vehicle to squeak while it runs – even if you are not braking at all. Your mechanic may have skipped the lubrication of brake pins after a rotor replacement, so the squeaky sound is still present. This is why you need to have the anti-rattle brackets replaced or have these lubed to eliminate the sound produced by your brake pads.

Should You Be Worried?

squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied

If you hear the wheels squeaking when you drive, there may be corrosion or deformity to the tires, tire center bearings, or your suspension components. This is due to a collision or when you have smacked a curb. Hence, the wheel tends to induce some wear and feathering. This is also one of the reasons why your tire tends to squeak when you drive.

But if the front end is the one that is squeaking, it means that your car suspension needs to get checked. There may be corrosion to the suspension couplings, steering coupling, and your tie-rods. So, these need to be lubed to eliminate the squeaking sound.

In the event that your car squeaks as you drive, you may have some issues with your belts. They may be old or defective, so you will have to replace them. The same holds true with a malfunctioning or old alternator. But if you hear the squeak whenever you turn the wheel, the steering mechanism may need to be fixed.

Sometimes, ball joints can also produce this squeaking noise, which means there is a need to lubricate them. By applying some oil, the joints can function silently and smoothly. You can also put an end to the squeaking by just lubing the joints properly. 


When you hear squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied, there are several reasons why this happens. You may have some issues with the tires, steering mechanism, ball joints, alternator, and a few others. This is why it is best to identify the culprit by inspecting your vehicle to provide the right solution to this problem.

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