2002 Buick Century random squealing noise from right front wheel area

Asked by Nov 15, 2015 at 12:33 AM about the 2002 Buick Century

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an annoying, random squeal from the front right hand side of the
car. It is not coming from the engine. I proved this to myself by putting the
car in neutral while it was squealing and shut off the engine and coasted
with the squeal still there.

Have new brake pads & calipers. Added a new rotor on the squeal side,
made sure nothing was rubbing against the rotors on either side of  the car.
I even disconnected the cooling fans and tied the blades so they could not
turn; squeal still random and loud.

I have had wheel bearings fail in other cars but they have an entirely
different sound plus the noise was always there. The noise stops when
driving below about 20mph. Some days it squeals for just a short time,
others through and entire 25 mile drive....and loud!

Ideas??? Suggestions???

7 Answers


I read were you checked to see if anything was rubbing against the rotor but sounds to me the backing plate is bent and rubbing against the rotor that is if it is a constant squeal. Remove tire and check between the rotor and backing plate do not remove rotor check with rotor still on vehicle.

I just wish it were so! Last night I even went so far as to purchase and install a new rotor thinking that the pads might be hitting the small ridge on the rotor I removed to replace with a new one. Absolutely nothing is touching the rotors except pads. I even use pad grease on the pads all to no avail. I have spent hours of labor trying to find the noise. My experience with wheel bearings is such that the current noise is high frequency whereas a wheel bearing is almost a growl. The only other rotating things that I can think of are the CV joint or the transmission itself. But the noise just seems to be coming from the wheel area. OH and the brake pad on this wheel replaced a pad that was almost new with the wear tabs; this new pad does not have those pads and floats freely within its holding slots.


If the squeal stops going below 20 mph do not think it is the brakes. Does the noise get louder or changes sounds when brakes are applied ? Try spraying some WD40 on and around the bearing and see what happens. C.V boot not torn or missing correct.

Yes, the noise stops below 20mph, I agree with you, not brakes. The noise is unaffected with brake application. Not sure if I can get to the bearing proper to try lubricating it. CV boot is intact. The car is a 2002 but it has only 63,000 mile on it. I am baffled....need to learn more about CV failure symptoms. I have been pretty good diagnosing car problems over the years but not this one.Gees, there aren't that many things there that can cause noise. This week if I get a chance I intend to take it to the garage that normally does our repairs and see what they have to say. The real rub is the $%^&* noise is intermittent and with my current luck, the car will run just fine when I giving me nothing to show the guy pertaining to the noise.


Just for the fun of it try rotating the tires from front to back and see if that has a affect on the noise.

Sure--- worthwhile suggestion. I will try that tomorrow if I can find a little free time. I don't know why a tire would be the culprit but at the same time I have a squeal that is baffling. I will get back to the forum with results either tomorrow night or Tuesday. Thanks--

STATUS!!!!! SUCCESS???????????????? OK, did not change/swap any wheels. I should have mentioned that I just recently purchased the car. Also when Wifey was/is driving with me, she claimed "the noise is coming from that vent" meaning the passenger side dash vent. NO I said, " that is coming from a wheel." Now Wifey's has hearing in only one ear but at times I believe she can hear a flea fart, just cannot tell the direction where the flea is. Now the update. I had a friend with me who also happens to hear very well. So well in fact, that once he explained to one of his friends that he needed to get rid of the fire wood stored in his friends basement because he could hear termites chewing away in the pile. So while we were driving, I ask him to try to locate where the noise originated. Didn't take him long to state "the noise is coming from the vent!" I parked the car, lifted the hood and he located where fresh air enters .... right next to the windshield wipers. Now if one looks at that area, he will see a small air access... about 4 X 5 inches or so on the passenger's side. There is also a much longer air ven input that continues across the firewall to the driver's side. He was sure that somehow the smaller vent caused the problem. Solution--- I covered the small vent with gorilla tape and then off we went for a drive. He claimed he could still hear the noise but faintly. I did hear the noise for about 5 seconds but very lightly. That was the last time I heard the annoying screaming, screeching howl. But time will tell. I have no real assurance its gone until I put many more miles on the car. BUT WHO WOULD THINK THE NOISE WAS COMING FROM AN AIR VENT? WHAT IS IN THE VENT CIRCUIT THAT CAN CAUSE THE NOISE??? I guess I really don't care as long as gorilla tape works. THANKS EVERYBODY--- and more later if the noise returns-- Foggysail

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