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Insanely Annoying Clicking/Ticking Coming From Front End?

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Old 04-06-2017, 09:11 AM
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Insanely Annoying Clicking/Ticking Coming From Front End?

For several months now I have had this clicking/ticking noise like a metal on metal almost from (what I think is) my front end, specifically the driver's side. It occurs all the time now, I'm talking low speeds (even idling into the garage), high speeds on the freeway, any speed at all. I don't believe it has anything to do with the engine but instead the revolutions of my tire(s) as it is non-stop as long as the car is in motion (and changes not at all when I accelerate for example), the faster I drive the faster the ticking occurs.

I'm almost 100% certain it isn't loose lug nuts anything like that. It's an actual like metal scraping (nothing heavy duty like a grinding but a scrape) If I were to idle into my driveway for example you can hear this elongated light scraping. Now if I were to drive 75mph on the freeway its this constant tick tick tick because you're going so fast and the tire is rotating.

I'm going to start with replacing my front brake pads and rotors, but I highly doubt it will be that simple.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:28 AM
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Brske disc dust sheilds that are bent
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BradMD_96 View Post
Brske disc dust sheilds that are bent
So dumb question, I'm replacing the brake pads and rotors, will this fix the issue or are "dust shields" something that I need to replace/bend back?
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:54 AM
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You can bend them, and they shouldn't be in the way again. Just look at the dust shield when the wheel is off and you will see contact, or no contact.

If you prop up both front wheels you should be able to turn the front wheel to help diagnose any noise issues (provided you are driving AWD, otherwise just raise one wheel and spin).
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanengineer View Post
You can bend them, and they shouldn't be in the way again. Just look at the dust shield when the wheel is off and you will see contact, or no contact.

If you prop up both front wheels you should be able to turn the front wheel to help diagnose any noise issues (provided you are driving AWD, otherwise just raise one wheel and spin).
So I'm not familiar at all with the "dust shields" where exactly am I looking here? Also is it something I need to dismantle further than the brake job itself? Can I just bend it back with something like a screwdriver or what?
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:23 PM
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It's a large flimsy thin metal disc which sits behind the rotors. Sometimes if people take the wheels off and allow them to fall/knock on the shield they can be pressed towards the rotor. Initially there is very small clearance between the rotor and this dust shield so it's very easy to accidentally bend one and have it touching the rotor.

Simply spin each wheel to check if that's the one making the sound. Remove the wheel and press the shield back and check with a light that there's no point of contact. If you want, you can remove the caliper and rotor to see exactly where it's rubbing/scraping.
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Old 04-06-2017, 01:32 PM
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Would it hurt to just to remove the dust shields? Or are you asking for trouble?
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:55 PM
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It wouldn't really hurt anything for the short term but remember the car was designed with them for a reason. Brake dust is corrosive so the more parts that are shielded from it the better.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:21 PM
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They're designed to protect the dust from getting on things. I would say the shield as well, brake hardware, wheel bearing, and if you have an AWD maybe a CV axle.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:56 PM
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If it's AWD...check your front universal joint on the propeller shaft going to the front differential.


Mine made a clicking noise that I thought was a CV axle. I found out I was wrong when it failed on the highway
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:24 PM
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^^^^^ +1 The description sounds more like the front driveshaft u-joint to me than a rubbing dust shield. When I've had dust shield problems it was more of a constant scraping sound. The tick tick description sounds like my driveshaft problem. But at high speeds, it sounded much more high frequency almost like a faint bird chirp pitch. If I drove right next to a highway barrier with my windows down I could hear the sound reflected back into the cabin very clearly. It was also more pronounced when you were on the gas producing positive torque and would diminish or go away when you'd get off the gas. If your noise does anything like this you should take Mustang's advice and check the driveshaft. If you're not familiar with your dust shields, I suspect you may not know where to look for your front driveshaft u-joints. You may want a shop to look at it for you. Dust shields are easy to check yourself. Good luck.
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