Truck Sounds Like It’s Dragging Something-Why And What To Do?

If your truck starts making a sound that seems like it is dragging something, you may be wondering about the cause of the problem and how to fix it. Luckily, we have done some research for you, and here is what we found.

A stuck brake caliper and other problems linked to the wheel bearing and exhaust can cause a truck to sound like it's dragging something. The following are things you can do to tackle the problem:

  • Conduct a visual Inspection
  • Examine the braking system
  • Inspect the exhaust
  • Check the wheel bearings

Your truck may be making noise due to different reasons. Keep reading to get detailed information about the issues associated with truck dragging sounds and how to deal with them.

New Ford-150 Pickup Truck, Truck Sounds Like It's Dragging Something-Why And What To Do?

Why Does My Truck Sound Like It's Dragging Something?

Problems from the following component can cause a truck to sound like it is dragging something:

GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation pickup truck display

1. Brake

Issues with the brakes are some of the most frequently encountered causes of a dragging noise in a vehicle. Here is what could be the problem:

brake being checked by a mechanic

Stuck Brake Caliper

A brake caliper that isn't releasing may cause the dragging sound you hear.

The brake pads and pistons are within the caliper, which is a component of the brake assembly. If your caliper is stuck, the brake pad won't disengage from the surface of the braking rotor when you apply pressure to the brakes.

a large new brake caliper, part of the automotive braking system

Driving with a stuck brake caliper causes additional stress on the transmission, which might lead to it failing at an early age.

Click here to see this brake caliper on Amazon.

Worn Brake Pad

On most pads, there is a wear indicator. When the brake pads wear down to a particular level, a small piece of metal comes into contact with the rotor and makes contact with it. 

Mechanic's Hands Displaying Worn and New Brake Pads

It's designed to signal that it is time to change the brakes on your vehicle. However, it will make a squealing noise because it is metal on metal.

Have a look at these brake pads on Amazon.

Failure Of Brake Dust Shield

The brake dust shield is a component of the braking system that is less well-known yet essential. 

The component protects the suspension and powertrain components from the intense heat created during braking. Additionally, it protects the brake rotors, calipers, and pads from environmental contaminants that can reduce the braking system's effectiveness. 

However, even with this, particles like pebbles and dirt may get lodged in the area.

See this brake dust shield on Amazon.

2. Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings are essential components of a vehicle's braking, steering, and suspension systems. They also play a vital role in acceleration.

They are composed of small metal balls housed inside a greased housing known as a race. Their job is to eliminate any friction preventing the wheel from rotating smoothly.

Wheel bearing

If the lubricant becomes depleted, the bearings may come into contact with one another or with the interior of the race, resulting in a dragging-like sound.

Click here to see this wheel bearing on Amazon.

3. Exhaust

Gases released during the internal combustion process are channeled through the vehicle's exhaust system, consisting of pipes and other mechanical parts.

Leaking chemicals can be hazardous for you and your passengers entering the cabin. The following issues with your truck's exhaust can cause a dragging sound:

exhaust damage and misattached

Detached Exhaust

It's common for the exhaust system to become loose after some time on the road owing to rust, normal wear and tear, or even a few hard impacts from potholes. As you drive, a loose exhaust touches the ground, causing a dragging noise.

If you have recently had your automobile lowered or replaced with any suspension elements, such as struts or shocks, you risk experiencing this problem.

Damaged Baffle

The second likely reason for the exhaust is that a baffle within the exhaust may be broken. Baffles are typically found inside mufflers and serve the purpose of reducing the amount of noise produced by the exhaust system.

These baffles have the potential to become broken or loose, both of which will result in rattling inside the muffler. It may result in the damaged baffle vibrating and banging against the side of the muffler.

What To Do If My Truck Sounds Like It's Dragging Something?

Private Isuzu TFR Pickup Truck

A dragging noise while driving could result from several issues, so you must troubleshoot to figure out what's wrong.

Here are some things you might check to determine the cause of the problem. If you can't pinpoint the noise source, you may need to check all the parts of your truck.

Conduct Visual Inspection

After the truck has been raised and supported securely, the next step is to remove the wheel and tire assembly and then conduct a visual inspection. 

It would be best to search for evidence that the backing plate is making contact with the rotor, rusted rotors, and any other abnormalities readily apparent.

Car elevated ready for full visual check up

Examine The Braking System

Take the caliper or the drum off so you can examine the brake pads. Watch out for brakes worn down to the backing plate or the wear indicator, and replace them as soon as possible. You should also check for friction material that is disintegrating or flaking off.

Man checking the wheel and bearing of the car

Inspect The Exhaust

During an exhaust check, each component of the exhaust system is visually examined to look for any cracks or other types of damage. In addition, you must thoroughly inspect every clamp, mount, and gasket to ensure none is damaged, broken, or faulty.

Examine The Wheel Bearings

Examining the wheel bearings is the very last step in the process. Conduct a thorough inspection of the bearings on the outside and inside. 

First, remove all seals or shields. Next, inspect the grease and remove any contamination in the bearing. Use a degreaser or a solvent to clean the components of the bearing. Once you determine what is causing the noise, address the issue by making the appropriate fixes and replacements.

How Much To Repair A Stuck Brake Caliper?

If you take your vehicle into a repair shop, the cost of repairing brake calipers can range from $100 to $950, depending on how severe the problem is. The cost of the brake caliper can be from $250 to $600.

What Causes A Brake Caliper To Get Stuck?

The most common reason for a brake caliper to become stuck in place is rust on the piston of the caliper, which is caused by a damaged piston boot. Stuck brake pads can also contribute to this problem by applying pressure to the brake discs. 

Rusting or aging are the most common causes of this problem. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, you will typically notice that your vehicle pulls sideways if the brake caliper is stuck.

How Often Do Brake Calipers Need To Be Replaced?

Generally, brake calipers last as long as the vehicle. Realistically, your brake calipers can last up to 10 years or 75,000 to 100,000 miles.

But this isn't a perfect approximation for all vehicles. The lifespan of your brake caliper depends on many factors. The brake caliper durability is affected by factors such as:

  • How you drive.
  • The traffic and road condition.
  • Environmental conditions, e.g., weather, etc.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Dragging Noise?

No, it isn't safe at all. When driving, noise isn't a good thing. The thought alone is enough to make anyone anxious. Before continuing on your journey, you should always have it checked out and fixed. Additionally, accident-causing issues like worn brakes or faulty wheel bearings might also be indicated by dragging sounds.

Is It Normal For Truck To Make Noise?

Yes, there are normal noises a truck can make. Normal sounds in trucks are tires rumbling, windshield wipers swishing, and mirrors whistling in the wind.

On the other hand, you should never disregard weird sounds coming from a vehicle. In addition to being annoying, persistent abnormal truck vibrations and noises may indicate more significant suspension, driveline, or engine issues.

To Wrap Up

New Ford-150 Pickup Truck

If your truck is making a dragging sound, it could indicate a problem with your brakes or wheel bearings. All you have to do is, conduct a visual inspection and fix the issues. You can contact a professional if you can't deal with the problem alone.

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