When you are driving and your car suddenly starts to feel like it is dragging, the first thing you might think is that one of your tires has gone flat. However, this might not be the case at all! In fact, there are a few different reasons why your back tire might not be spinning when you are driving.
If you ever suspect that your back tire is not spinning as it should, the issue is usually serious and you should pull over and not drive your vehicle any further until you are able to rectify the situation.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of why your back tire is not spinning and what you can do to fix it.
Why Is My Back Tire Not Spinning?
When driving your car, you expect that all 4 wheels on your vehicle will be spinning at the same rate. However, there are a few different reasons why your back tire might not be spinning when you are driving.
If you suspect that your back tire is not spinning, you should immediately pull over if you are driving and park in a safe spot. Once you have stopped, do not attempt to drive your vehicle any further as this could make the issue worse.
Possible causes of your back tire not spinning
Common causes of your back tire not spinning include the following.
One of the most common reasons your back tire might not be spinning is because you have a flat tire. A flat tire can happen for a number of reasons, such as hitting a pothole or driving over sharp objects.
If you have a flat tire, the best course of action is to replace the tire with a spare tire. You can usually find a spare tire in the trunk of your car. Once you have replaced the tire, you should be able to drive your car as normal.
Handbrake is still on
The first thing to check is to make sure that you have not been driving with the handbrake on.
If you own an older vehicle, it is especially easy to forget to take the handbrake off before driving. If the handbrake is on, your back tire will not be able to spin as the handbrake will be holding and stopping the rear wheels from spinning.
Check and make sure that the handbrake is off. If it has been on, this is usually the culprit and releasing it will once again allow your back tires to spin.
Object preventing wheels from spinning
When inspecting your wheel, you may notice an object that may have become wedged in between the wheel and the body of the car. If the object is large enough, it may be able to cause the wheel to stop spinning.
If this is the case, removing it should remedy the issue. If not, keep reading to find out other possible causes.
Brake pad issues
Another common reason for your back tire not spinning is due to an issue with your brake pads. Over time, your brake pads will start to wear down and this can cause them to become stuck. When this happens, your brake pads will prevent your back tires from spinning properly as they will be blocking the wheels from turning.
If you think that this is the issue, you will need to take your vehicle to a mechanic as they will be able to fix or replace your brake pads for you.
Brakes are seized
If your back tire is not spinning, it could also be due to an issue with your cars brakes seizing up. If your brakes have seized, they will need to be replaced as soon as possible. Seized brakes can cause your back tire to stop spinning and can also be very dangerous.
Seized brakes are a common issue if the vehicle has been stationary for an extended period of time, usually a number of months. This is because brakes disks are metal and the surface can rust to a point where they are too rusted to spin safely.
If you think that your brakes might be the issue, do not attempt to drive your vehicle. Instead, call a tow truck and have your car taken to a mechanic or dealership.
Bad Wheel Bearing
Another possibility is that your back tire is not spinning because of a bad wheel bearing. The wheel bearing is what allows your wheels to spin smoothly. If it is damaged or not working properly, it can cause your back tire to stop spinning.
If you think that your wheel bearing might be the issue, again do not attempt to drive your vehicle. Call a tow truck and have your car taken to a mechanic or dealership.
Damage to suspension or wheel
If you have hit a large pothole or curb, it is possible that you have damaged your suspension or wheel. In the most severe cases of damage, the wheel and suspension setup can collapse and cause your back tire to stop spinning.
If this is the case, you will need to call a tow truck to take your vehicle to a mechanic or dealership to have it repaired.
First signs that your back tire is not spinning
If you suspect that your back tire is not spinning as it should, there are a few signs you should be looking out for.
The first sign of an issue with your back tire not spinning correctly will be a new noise and vibration that you feel while driving. If you hear this noise and vibration, it is important to stop as soon as possible so that you can check the condition of your wheel and tire.
Another sign that your back tire is not spinning correctly will be the sound of tire screeching. This sound indicates that your wheel has locked up and that your tire is dragging along the street. If you experience this, do not drive the vehicle any further before checking the wheel.
If your back tire is not spinning correctly you may also notice a burning smell coming from your vehicle. This smell is caused by the friction of the tire against the ground and can be a sign of serious damage. If you experience this, pull over immediately and check the condition of your tire.
The final obvious sign that your back tire is not spinning will be an obvious change in how well your vehicle drives. With a wheel not spinning properly, your vehicle will accelerate much slower and be much harder to drive and control when on the road.
If you see any of these signs, it is important to take action right away.
How to confirm that your back tire is not spinning
There are a number of ways you can check and confirm yourself that the issue you are experiencing is with your back tire not spinning. This allows you to possibly diagnose and rectify the issue yourself before needing to call a mechanic.
The first thing you should do is to visually inspect your back tire to see if it is flat.
If the tire is flat, you will need to replace or repair it before being able to use your car again. If the tire is still inflated, check to see if there is any other visual damage that may be the cause of the noise and vibration. If the tire appears to be in good condition, you can exclude the possibility that the issue is a flat tire.
The best way to confirm that the issue is with your back tire not spinning is to jack up your car and check the wheel itself. Once you have jacked your car up, you can try to spin the wheel by hand. It should spin freely.
However, if the tire is difficult to spin, makes a noise while spinning or does not spin at all, this is a surefire sign that the issue is with that particular wheel.
If you are unable to jack up your car and check, and have not been able to fix the issue causing your back tire to not spin, your only choice is to call a tow truck and take your vehicle to a mechanic or dealership to have it checked and repaired.
There are a number of reasons as to why your back tire may not be spinning as it should. The most common cause is flat tire, but it could also be due to damage to your wheel or suspension. If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned in this article, it is important to take action right away to avoid further damage.
If you are ever in doubt, always ask the help of a qualified mechanic to check and diagnose the issue for you. They will be able to quickly identify the problem and get you back on the road in no time!
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!
What if my front tire is not spinning?
If your front tire or wheel is not spinning, there are a few extra reasons that may cause the wheel not to spin. As most cars power the front wheels to drive, if the steps above do not rectify the issue, it may be an engine or gearbox issue that is preventing the wheel from spinning. If unsure, always ask the help of a qualified mechanic.
How long can I drive with a back tire not spinning?
We would recommend not driving once you suspect that your back tire is not spinning. By doing so, you risk damaging your tire and your vehicle further.