Get the Squeal Deal: Screeching Tire Causes

  • December 15, 2023
Woman Hears Her Tires Squeal Woman Hears Her Tires Squeal

Many associate tire squealing with hard acceleration and aggressive braking, but what if your tires are making strange noises seemingly unprompted? This can be a worrisome sound, and for good reason. At Tires Plus, we understand your concern and are here to help you diagnose the cause of these unexpected tire squeals. Here are the possible culprits and what you can do about them.

Note: While these are just some of the potential causes for tire squealing, car noises can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint. Since various components make up a vehicle, screeching sounds may seem like they're coming from your tires when they aren't. The whine you hear may be related to the engine, suspension system, or another car part. To know for certain, consider getting a Complete Vehicle Inspection at Tires Plus.

Why Do My Tires Squeal When I Turn Slowly? 

Imagine navigating a tight parking lot while maneuvering around parked cars. As you slowly turn the wheel, a high-pitched squeal pierces the air. While tires naturally make some noise when turning, loud or persistent squealing could be caused by:

  • Underinflated Tires: If your tires squeal when turning slowly, your PSI may be the first thing you want to check. Underinflated tires flex more, increasing tire surface scrubbing against the road's surface. This can create a high-pitched squeal when turning.
  • Worn Tread: If your tires screech when turning, you may also want to check the condition of your tires. As tires wear down and tread depth becomes uneven or non-existent, it can contribute to squealing.
  • Misaligned Wheels: Proper wheel alignment ensures that your wheels point and move as the vehicle was designed. If they're not aligned, the tires may scrub the pavement, potentially leading to uneven wear and tire squeal when turning at low speeds. So, if this is the issue, a quick trip to Tires Plus for a professional alignment can set things straight.

Why Do My Tires Screech When I Accelerate? 

You're driving down a busy road, and an opening on your path frees up. You scurry ahead to reach your destination faster, only to hear a high-pitched squeal coming from your tires. If your tires screech when accelerating, these reasons may be the cause:

  • Excessive Wheel Spin/Acceleration: Sudden acceleration can cause your tires to spin and slip across the road instead of gripping the pavement. This may result in a screeching sound. To mitigate this issue, try being more gentle with the gas pedal and avoid rapid acceleration, especially on slippery surfaces.
  • Worn Tires: Similar to turning, worn tires can squeal during acceleration due to reduced grip. Ensure proper tire maintenance and replacement if needed.
  • Incorrect Tire Pressure: Driving on underinflated or overinflated tires can also lead to squealing when accelerating. Remember to check your tire air pressure regularly.

Why Do My Tires Screech When Braking

When you pull into a drive-thru, order your favorite meal, and brake at the service window, your tires let out an embarrassing screech. You're not driving very fast, so should your tires squeal when braking? Here are a few potential causes for this mortifying tire sound:

  • Hard Braking: Sudden and forceful braking can cause your tires to lose traction, resulting in squealing sounds. Apply the brakes progressively and smoothly to avoid this issue
  • .Worn Brakes: As your brake pads wear down, they might start to produce a high-pitched squeal to alert that it's time for a replacement. Don't ignore this warning sign. Have your brakes inspected regularly, and replace worn-out pads promptly to keep your ride smooth and noise-free.

What to Do When You Hear Unexpected Tire Squealing

Sometimes, tires may make unpleasant screeching sounds without an obvious reason. You might hear tire squealing when driving down a straight road or simply pulling into your driveway. If you hear seemingly unprompted tire screeching when driving, it's crucial to take action. Here's what you can do:

  • Inspect your tires: Look for signs of wear, uneven tread, and proper inflation
  • .Check your tire pressure: Check your tire pressure and ensure that it meets your manufacturer's recommended PSI level.
  • Get a professional inspection: Have a qualified technician check your tires, wheels, and brakes for any underlying issues.
  • Address the problem promptly: Ignoring tire squealing can lead to more serious issues, including tire damage and compromised handling. Being proactive could prevent more expensive repairs down the line.

Don't Ignore Unexpected Tire Squeals: Stop by Tires Plus Today! 

Don't ignore unexpected tire squeals! Whether you hear them while turning, accelerating, or braking, strange tire noises can indicate various issues. Get peace of mind by scheduling an appointment at your local Tires Plus. Our technicians will diagnose and offer the right services for your problem, whether that's tire replacement, brake service, or a wheel alignment. Stop by today!

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