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Been hearing metal-on-metal like squeaking sounds from my front right wheel well for a couple of weeks. It started off almost negligible and now it's nearly continuous; although, I don't hear anything when I'm on the highway doin 70. I'm suspecting a wheel bearing issue. Since I can't get it in the a shop till next week, how terrible is it to drive on it for another 200-300 miles before it gets replaced?

  • No one here would truly be able to answer that question. Understanding the severity of the problem would be almost impossible. Seeing as this is a safety issue and complete failure of your wheel bearing could lead to a possible injury to you or others you may want to find a way to accelerate getting the repair work done. Could a mobile mechanic be used to meet you where your responsibilities lie? Frequently, the charge the same rates and sometimes lower than a standard shop. – DucatiKiller Dec 10 '15 at 5:05
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I agree this sounds more like a brake pad issue than a wheel bearing issue. The main reason is, with a wheel bearing issue, you will feel it more than you'll hear it. When the wheel bearing is bad enough to hear it, it's to the point where it is a true safety issue and you shouldn't be driving it anymore. If it were the wheel bearing at this point, you'd only be causing damage to other parts of the front suspension by driving it more, so you'll be creating more of a repair bill.

The brake pads have a part on them called a squealer. This part is designed to make noise when the brake pads get down to a certain thickness. They only make noise at slower speed (or you just cannot hear them over road noise at higher speeds). It would be easy for you to take a look at your front brake pads to see how thick they are. As long as the brakes are not metal on metal, you could drive the vehicle without too much of a worry WRT to safety. If they are metal on metal, you need to get it taken care of.

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  • Also if the pads were bad enough to really grind metal, you would notice at low speeds because the brakes were just used or released. At higher speeds, the pads will back off and stop actively grinding. Very similar thing happened to a vehicle of mine... – JPhi1618 Dec 10 '15 at 16:06
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Sounds more like brake pads are worn out. But with the possible safety issues I would agree with the other answer or comment that this should be looked at by someone knowledgeable ASAP.

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