Car Makes A Grinding Noise When Accelerating? Fixed!

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A car makes a grinding noise when accelerating? The immediate thought is to get nervous but don’t panic and try to diagnose it in seconds instead. 

Car Makes A Grinding Noise When Accelerating 1 Car Makes A Grinding Noise When Accelerating? Fixed!

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Why does my car make a grinding noise when I’m accelerating? 

When a car makes a grinding noise when accelerating, diagnose the problem by listening for noises at different speeds, while braking, and when turning to see where and when it occurs. This happens because of a failed transmission, faulty wheel bearings, old CV joints, or a broken differential.

There are so many things that can cause a car to make a grinding noise when accelerating. It can be something as simple as a loose belt or something more serious like a transmission problem. 

We have worked with these issues and understand how to diagnose and fix the problem.

Car Makes Grinding Noise When Accelerating: Diagnose In Seconds!

When your car makes a grinding noise when accelerating, it could be due to a few different things. The key is knowing how to identify the sound and adequately diagnose it for a fast and easy repair. 

Luckily, this sound tends to be obnoxious and distinct, so it’s hard to miss because it typically means something serious is wrong. Follow these steps to diagnose the problem first. 

1. Listen For Noises At Different Speeds

When diagnosing why the car is making a grinding noise, drive faster and slow down to see the noise at different speeds. For example, noises while going slow indicate various issues compared to highway speeds. 

When accelerating at 40-50 MPH and above, the sound is likely a transmission or differential problem. This puts more stress on the car and causes these two components to struggle. 

At slower speeds, it’s more indicative something is wrong with the CV joints, wheel bearings, or even the brake pads. 

2. Listen For Noises While Braking

We also recommend listening while braking to see if any noises occur. This is important because the brake pads could be causing some grinding or squeaking noises while driving. 

Whether they come loose or wear out, this is the best way to narrow down the issue to the brakes if nothing noticeable happens while braking, we can eliminate this as a possibility and focus on other problems instead. 

3. Listen For Noises When Turning

Another way to diagnose the grinding noise is by listening closely while turning. Typically, grinding noises while turning mean the CV joints are worn out. 

This could also indicate something is wrong with the wheel bearings, but this sound is more distinct when accelerating straight ahead rather than turning. 

The differential could also be the culprit of the noise when making a turn. It can also cause noises when it’s low on fluid, but this is less of a grinding sound. However, for some people, it’s more difficult to tell the difference unless it’s loud and distinct. 

4. Locate Where And When The Sound Occurs

Now that we have used our car differently to expose the grinding sound, we need to understand where and when it occurs. Once this is done, we can narrow down the possibilities to get it fixed. 

Car Makes A Grinding Noise When Accelerating 1 1 Car Makes A Grinding Noise When Accelerating? Fixed!

What Causes Car To Make A Grinding Noise When Accelerating?

The causes of a grinding noise when accelerating in a car can be attributed to many factors. For starters, it could be caused by worn-out parts or components. This is one of the most common causes of this particular noise.

However, it’s often a much more severe issue. This could be due to a transmission failure, faulty wheel bearing, old or worn CV joint, or broken differential. 

Transmission Failure

Another possible cause is that the car’s transmission may slip, and the gears may not be meshing correctly. 

In more severe cases, it can happen when the transmission fails. This is a much more costly repair, so getting it looked at immediately is recommended. 

Faulty Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings are responsible for connecting the wheel with the axle and keeping it locked and secure. However, they go bad after extended use and can cause a grinding noise. 

They can fail or go bad from rugged driving conditions like deep water or mud. When this happens, the unbalanced tires can cause shaking and steering difficulties too. 

Old Or Worn CV Joints

If there is no other engine noise, it could mean something is wrong with the CV joints. The constant velocity joint directly connects the wheels with the transmission on front-wheel drive vehicles. 

When these get worn out, it becomes more difficult to transfer power to the front wheels for acceleration and to turn. This is why the grinding noise happens. 

It’s important not to let this issue sit for long because the car can get stuck. Typically, any vibrations while driving paired with the grinding noise mean the CV joints are the cause. 

Broken Differential

Whether using a limited slip or locking differential, the risk of them breaking still exists. This component helps the wheels rotate whole changing speeds because it connects to the engine to distribute power. 

If this breaks, loud grinding noises are common because the gears are too worn out to spin smoothly. This can be a costly fix and should be looked at right away. 

How To Fix A Car Making A Grinding Noise When Accelerating

As discussed, there are many reasons why your car might make a grinding noise when accelerating. But knowing how to approach the problem to fix it is necessary too. 

Unfortunately, this is usually an expensive fix and, more times than not requires a replacement. This means a visit to a local mechanic is likely the best solution to replace the transmission, differential, bearings, or CV joints. 

Replace The Transmission

When the grinding noise in the car is due to a bad transmission, it needs to be replaced or rebuilt and repaired.

A complete transmission replacement can cost anywhere between $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the vehicle type. Rebuilding the old one is a bit cheaper, around $2,500. 

Replace The Differential

When the differential is low or leaks fluid, it should only cost around $100 to fix the problem. But this usually isn’t the problem. 

To replace a differential, expect to pay $1,500 to $3,000 on average, depending on the vehicle type. 

Replace The Bearings

When the wheel bearings are bad, the car is likely struggling to handle them accurately while making the grinding noise. This is a much easier fix than the other issues too. 

Brand-new wheel bearings cost under $100, but sometimes the entire wheel needs to be replaced instead. This costs $300-$400, depending on the wheel size. 

Replace The CV Joints

The CV joint is typically the problem when the grinding is loud and distinct at slower speeds while accelerating. This is a relatively simple repair too, but we recommend replacing them.

On average, a new CV joint costs $250, but for a full repair with labor included, expect to pay at least $500 depending on the location and severity of the damage. 

Key Takeaways

  • To diagnose the grinding noise when accelerating in the car, listen for noises at different speeds, while braking, and when turning. This allows the driver to see where the sound is coming from. 
  • The common causes for a car making grinding noise when accelerating include a bad transmission, faulty wheel bearings, worn-out CV joints, or a broken differential. 
  • When these parts go bad, they likely need to be replaced, and repairs are less common. Costs start as low as $100 to get new bearings and up to $8,000 for a new transmission.