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Hi all, New poster here
I noticed a low grinding noise around the front right wheel area around 2 months ago while sharply turning in the car park. I didn't think much of it since the inside wheel arch kept coming looses and i assumed it was catching on the tire when at full turn.

Anyway flash forward to a week ago, I unknowingly put some bad fuel in the car and had a fun time time dealing with the engine splutters. I used some redex and the problems getting better however the grinding noise got a lot worse. It hard to explain as it doesn't happen every time but is very frequent, it sounds mostly like I still have my clutch depressed slightly or that something is catching the tire while its spinning. I goes away once I reach higher rpms and only appears when I am in lower gears.

Can't find anything online about it and I can't book it in the garage for a few weeks, so any help is greatly appreciated!

The cars at 110,000 miles and is a 08 cooper hatch.
Could be a number of possible causes.

First I assume you have checked the tire/wheel over carefully for any signs of rubbing against something?

Not knowing the history of the car a bad brake pad could account for the noise. The pad could have lost some friction material, it could have deliminated, which can cause noise.

Could be something caught between the rotor and splash shield. Had this happen two times (with another car). First time a twig and I was able to dislodge the thing by backing the car while turning the steering wheel lock to lock. The 2nd time a small rock and to remove it I had to jack up the front corner, remove teh wheel and pry the splash shield away from the rotor in order for the rock to drop out.

Have to mention in both cases the noise was quite loud and unpleasant -- in the case of the rock caught the noise was like fingernails on a chalkboard -- and the bit of experimentation I did had me convinced the noise would be present all the time.

There is the possibility a wheel bearing is bad, has developed too much play, and in a turn the rotor is moving and contacting a pad.

All possible.

To determine which one you'll have to get your hands dirty.

Check for and sign of the wheel/tire rubbing. Also check for sign of any body or under body plastic panel rubbing or dragging on the ground.

Do not dismiss this possibility: Some years ago with another car I hit some road debris: a tire carcass.

A check for any damage found none. Everything looked ok, in its proper place. But under way at highway speed I heard a noise. Stopped again and what proved to be the problem was a plastic panel had lost its fasteners and was loose but with the car stationary the plastic's hysteresis kept the plastic in proper position. But at speed wind forced the panel down and it rubbed on the pavement. A closer inspection spotted the signs of abrasion of the edge of the panel and some duct tape fixed the panel in place under I could get home and do a proper repair.

If you can spot nothing to account for the noise then with the corner of the car jacked and better the entire front of the car jacked up check both tires/wheels for any signs of bearing sloppiness. The chances are only one is bad so you will have a good one to compare to the bad one.

If the bearing appears ok then you'll have to remove the wheel/tire assembly and inspect the brakes to make sure all the hardware that keeps the pads from moving about is intact and the pads are ok, etc.
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