What Is The Metal Piece Dragging Under Car?

Automobiles contain many moving components so it is often hard to know exactly what is wrong without a thorough inspection. If a piece of metal is dragging under your car, your first guess is likely the muffler.

It may also be the skid plate. When you only hear a dragging sound, you’re probably dealing with a seized brake caliper. Again, a thorough inspection is required before the source of the problem can be identified.

What is the metal piece dragging under car? The possible answers will be explored in more depth below.

Potential Causes

Certain vehicle components can come loose due to excess vibration. Then, they may begin sagging to the point that they hit the road. You’ll hear a grinding noise, and you may even see sparks in your rearview mirror.

The potential causes will be provided below.

metal plate under car

Are You Dragging Something?

Unfortunately, it is common for people to throw trash on the side of the road with no regard for safety. Pieces can also come off other vehicles due to impact and wear. As a result, there is a risk that you’re going to encounter debris when driving.

Unless you’ve been watching the road carefully, you may end up hitting trash or other debris. Once you hear something dragging under your car, stop in a safe location and see what is going on.

If you’re stopping on the highway, be sure to turn on your hazard lights to avoid a collision. Remove any debris and deal with it properly to avoid creating a problem for someone else.

Also, be sure to check your vehicle to see if there is any damage.

It Might Be The Splash Shield

Secondly, the problem could be a loose splash shield. The splash shield is very important because it protects the engine from moisture and debris. If moisture enters the engine, it could damage the electronics and require costly repairs.

Furthermore, the splash shield may have been designed to make the vehicle more aerodynamic. Regardless, the shield should be fixed or replaced.

If necessary, you can drive with a dragging splash shield over a limited distance. However, it is best to resolve this problem right away to avoid more damage.

Check the shield to ensure it is still in good condition. Then, it can be secured using wire ties. Otherwise, a damaged splash shield should be replaced.

Could Be A Stuck Brake Caliper

Some people will hear a dragging noise without seeing anything under the vehicle. After inspecting the vehicle and finding nothing, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The noise probably isn’t being caused by anything hanging from the bottom of the automobile. Instead, it could be the brake caliper. New calipers working properly should make very little noise.

If the caliper gets stuck, you’re going to hear it immediately. A seized brake caliper will produce a dragging noise that you won’t be able to ignore.

To rectify this problem, the hydraulic pressure must be removed from the bake system. Remove the caliper and pump the brake until the piston is past the corrosion.

Make sure that the components are fully lubricated to prevent this from happening again.

A Loose Radiator Guard

metal plate hanging under front of car

The vehicle’s radiator guard protects the radiator from rocks, sand, moisture, and other debris. The only issue is that constant vibration can loosen the guard and cause it to sag.

At some point, the radiator guard may begin rubbing on the road. Try to catch this problem early to avoid needing to replace the guard.

Secure it to the vehicle. If the guard has been irreparably damaged, it should be replaced by a mechanic. Is there a metal piece dragging under car?

It might be the radiator guard.

Broken Tailpipe

The tailpipe is part of the exhaust system that is comprised of the following components:

  • Perforated pipes
  • Resonance chamber
  • O2 sensor
  • Air injection tube
  • Muffler
  • Catalytic converter
  • Exhaust pipe
  • Extension pipe
  • Connecting pipe

The exhaust system helps decrease harmful emissions generated by vehicles. According to the latest statistics, the average passenger car emits around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. When working at the maximum capacity, the exhaust system decreases emissions that enter the environment.

Contrary to belief, the tailpipe plays a significant role in controlling automotive carbon dioxide. It is unfortunate that the location puts the tailpipe at significant risk of impact. Tail pipes are installed with metal clamps that break down after years of exposure to the elements. The minor impact could easily result in a hanging tailpipe.

Faulty Wheel Bearing

Unusual noises generated by a poorly maintained vehicle are difficult to ignore. One specific noise is generated by a faulty wheel bearing. On a good note, the noise is generally not consistent, only when driving on dirt roads and uneven road pavement. In some cases, the noise only appears during increased acceleration and when veering to the left or right. 

A bad faulty wheel bearing is fairly easy to detect because the annoying grinding, humming, clunking, or whining noise is difficult to ignore. It compromises the wheels to rotate smoothly and freely.

Damaged Mud Flap

Mud Flap

Cars, jeeps, cargo vans, semis, sports models, and pickup trucks are installed with mud flaps. Unfortunately, smaller designs are often ignored during visual inspections. A damaged mud flap becomes more obvious when the vehicle is in operation. 

A broken, torn, or partially detached mud flap flops in the wind. The noise may vary between rubbing, flapping, rattling, and fluttering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove A Dragging Muffler?

Although you could remove a broken muffler, it must be replaced. Most areas have laws that require automobiles to have mufflers. If the muffler breaks free, take it to a mechanic and let them fix it.

What Is Causing The Grinding Sound Under My Car?

A grinding sound under your vehicle can be caused by a faulty muffler, hanging debris, or failing bearings. While you may be able to ignore the noise, it is important to have the problem fixed. After all, this is a sign that more problems are right around the corner.

Why Do I Hear A Scraping Noise When My Car Slows?

A scraping noise when slowing down is likely caused by your brake pads. As the pads wear, they’ll begin making squealing sounds called brake scrubbing. The scraping noise will transform into a grinding noise as the pads get thinner.

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