Ford F-150/F-250: Why are My Tires Squealing?

Tire make noise sometimes, but they should not be constantly squealing like a stuck pig. Diagnose the root of your F-150 or F-250's wheel issues with this guide.

By Carrie Franklin - October 20, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014) and the F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Tires are the most rugged part of your truck and excessive squealing is one of their few distress signals. Typically tires will squeal during quick maneuvers or sudden stops: these actions will push a tire past it's level of grip even if there is full tread. But when the tread is low, you'll hear a lot more noise in general. Other problems with your tire and suspension will create extra noise too. This guide will help you pinpoint what the root of your squealing problem is.

Step 1 - Check for low tire pressure

Incorrect tire pressure can cause tire noise, uneven tire wear, and less fuel efficiency. Tire maintenance is an integral part of the overall health of your vehicle. Both worn tire treads and underinflated tires can protest under the duress of regular driving, resulting in a faint squealing sound. Automakers recommend checking tire pressure at least once a month, filling the tire to the correct P.S.I. The truck has to work harder when the tires are underinflated, kind of like swimming with an underinflated inner tube. Checking pressure is as easy as taking a pressure gauge to the gas station.

Tire Pressure Gauge

Step 2 - Rotate tires to isolate problem wheel

Rotating your tires will help you determine if the squealing noise is really your tire. If the noise follows the tire after rotating them, then you can be sure the problem is with that wheel. If it doesn't, your suspension on that corner might be misaligned or otherwise damaged.

A tire with too little tread will squeal at every little turn of the wheel.

(Related: How to Check Tire Wear - Ford-Trucks.com)

Standard Tire Rotation
Figure 2. Be sure to rotate your tires

Step 3 - Get front-end alignment and wheel balance

A high-pitched, ongoing squeal could be either your F-150's alignment, or a problem with a wheel bearing. Your alignment can get thrown off by off-roading, potholes, and curbs. The result is difficulty steering, as well as driver over correction. In the worst case scenario, a driver may completely lose the ability to steer.

Taking your truck in to be aligned and balanced is the best way to snuff any issues with your wheels and tires. If your wheels are still squealing, have mechanic look at the suspension for worn bushing and broken components.

Force-Load Wheel Balance

Step 4 - Bad Wheel Bearing

Another possible source of squealing beyond a bad tire or a screwed up suspension is the wheel bearing. The bearing is what connects your wheel to the axle. As it fails, the bearings lose their lubrication and will start to squeal. Identifying this can be difficult at first because it can sound like a tire noise. However, over time it will become persistent. If your tires squeal even while driving in a straight line, you should have a mechanic examine the bearings.

Related: How to Replace Wheel Hub and Bearings (Super Duty) - Ford-Trucks.com

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