It is a jarring experience when you hear the groaning noise when reversing your car. It may make you wonder what the reason is. There could be several reasons, but the good news is that most of them can be easily fixed if identified. Let’s find out how to troubleshoot the groaning noise when reversing.
You will need to check for low-power steering fluid, worn-out brake pads, damaged wheel bearings, a malfunctioning torque converter, and damaged suspension components. Once the problem is found, you can fix it by following simple instructions.
I’ll go over some potential causes and their fixes for groaning noises made when reversing. After reading my blog, you can quickly find the reason and fix the problem. Let’s get started.
There are numerous reasons why you might hear a groaning sound when reversing. But here I have listed the most reported causes by the experts for groaning noise when reversing. If you face that problem, you must check for the below causes to quickly remove the problem.
- Low power steering fluid
- Worn out brake pads
- Damaged wheel bearings
- Malfunctioned torque converter
- Damaged suspension components
Steering fluid provides proper hydraulic pressure and lubrication. If the fluid level is lower than the recommended level, it can cause air to enter the system and lead to noise and difficulty turning. Low power steering fluid causes a groaning noise when reversing that needs immediate troubleshooting.
- Check the power steering fluid level. Locate the power steering fluid reservoir and check the fluid level. If it is low, add more fluid. I recommend Prestone AS260 Power Steering Fluid for low power steering fluid levels. While refilling, ensure you refill up to the recommended level.
- Also, inspect for leaks; if there is a leak, repair it.
- It is also good to check for air in the power steering system. If you feel the air, bleed and ensure no air is present.
- Once done, take a test drive to ensure the removal of noise issues.
Worn-out brake pads can cause a groaning noise when reversing. If brake pads become thin, it can cause the brake caliper piston to move further out of its housing. It allows the brake pad to vibrate against the rotor, resulting in the groaning noise.
- Firstly, park your car on a flat surface and engage the parking brake.
- Jack up the car and remove the wheels to inspect the brake pads.
- Check for the thickness of the brake pads. If they are less than 3 mm, they need to be replaced.
- Look for any signs of wear on the brake pads, such as cracks or uneven wear.
- Then check the brake rotors for any damage or uneven wear.
- Replace the worn-out or damaged brake pads.
- Then use CRC Brakleen brake cleaner to clean the brake components.
- Reassemble the wheels and lower the car.
- Then test the brakes by reversing the car slowly and listening for any groaning noise.
Wheel bearings are responsible for ensuring smooth movements in the suspension system. If the wheel bearings are damaged, they will increase the vehicle’s load on one side. So you may experience grinding noise due to broken wheel bearings because of increased friction.
- To begin, jack up your car and manually spin the wheels. You will hear a grinding or rumbling noise if the bearings are damaged.
- If you hear the noise, remove the wheel and check the bearings for signs of wear, such as rust or pitting.
- If the bearings are damaged, replace them with new ones. I recommend the WJB WB510061 Wheel Bearing for replacement. While replacing the wheel bearings, ensure the seal and grease are replaced.
- Once done, reassemble the wheel and test drive the car to ensure the noise is gone.
The torque converter ensures correct and friction-free movements in the transmission system. If it malfunctions, it will fail to engage the transmission correctly. It will increase the friction and strain on the transmission system. So, you may hear unpleasant groaning noises when you move in reverse.
- Start the car, put it in reverse, and then keep an ear out for any noise.
- Once you have identified the noise location, switch off the vehicle and jack it up properly.
- Start with checking the transmission fluid level; add if the fluid level is low.
- Next, check for any leaks or damaged parts in the transmission system. If needed, repair or replace the damaged parts.
- Now check the torque converter for wear or damage. If the torque converter has an issue, replace it.
- Also, check the flexplate and bolts for damage or wear before completing the task after replacing the torque converter.
- Once done, take a test drive and ensure the problem has been fixed.
When reversing, damaged suspension components like bushings and mounts can cause the suspension to shift and bind. It may produce a groaning noise. It is due to the increased stress and pressure on the damaged components. If you ignore the noise, you may experience damage to the entire suspension system.
- First, identify which suspension components are damaged. These could include worn-out shocks, struts, or bushings.
- Thoroughly check for damages, leaks, or cracks, on the suspension components.
- Replace any damaged components, such as shocks or bushings, with new ones. While replacing the components, ensure you have installed them properly to avoid future issues.
- Finally, take a test drive to ensure the groaning noise has been eliminated.
Here are some precautions to ensure a safe and stress-free fix for groaning noises when reversing.
Nothing is more important than your safety. So every time you do mechanical work, ensure your safety first. Make sure the car is parked on a level surface and that the emergency brake is properly applied.
You must wear protective gear to prevent dust or debris. When you are dealing with a brake system, you are at risk of inhaling harmful dust particles. So wear a mask, glasses, and gloves.
You may need to replace the damaged parts or refill the fluids. Whenever you do a repair or refill, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maximize your efforts.
Never compromise on quality. When replacing the damaged parts, do not use low-quality parts. You may save some dollars, but later, you will pay much for it. So, pay some more dollars, but get a quality part that ensures satisfaction and peace of mind.
Never be in a hurry; when installing the parts, ensure you have installed them correctly. Do not forget to check for tightness; if you leave them loose, you may fail to get a good performance. So, always ensure the correct installation to prevent damage in the future.
Never take your vehicle on the road without taking a test drive. Once you have removed the problem, first test it and ensure the groaning noise when reversing is properly fixed.
Sure, here are some FAQs about groaning noises when reversing:
Is it safe to continue driving my car if it’s making a groaning noise when reversing?
No, it can be dangerous to continue driving with groaning noises when reversing. A groaning noise may signify a problem with the brake or transmission system. You may experience severe, costly issues if you do not pay attention.
Will the repair for groaning noise be expensive?
Yes, the cost of repairing groaning noises can be expensive. But it depends on different factors, such as the vehicle’s make and model and the issue’s severity. It can be between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.
How long will it take to fix the groaning noise issue?
There is no exact time because time varies depending on the problem. You can fix the problem within 30 minutes if the issue is minor. But if it has a major issue like the suspension system, it may take 5 to 6 hours or even more than a day.
Why is groaning metal noise when reversing and turning? The groaning metal noise when reversing and turning can be due to the strain on the suspension and steering components. It may cause them to creak and groan. Other possible causes can be worn-out or damaged parts, a lack of lubrication, or improper installation.