8 Car Noises to be Concerned About


Jun 25th, 2020

8 Car Noises to be Concerned About

Does your car make sounds when you drive? Should I be worried when my car starts making noises?

When cars leave the production plant, they drive smoothly. Modern vehicles are meticulously designed such that they are almost noiseless when you drive them. After a while, however, it might develop some issues that bring about noises.

What Car Noises Mean

Some noises are normal, while others mean that something is amiss with your car. Knowing how to differentiate the sounds is crucial as it ultimately helps you identify what is wrong and how to fix it. In this article, we'll walk you through some of the sounds you need to watch out for as they indicate that something’s not right.

1. Squeals

This is perhaps the most common sound that car owners quickly recognise. These high-pitched squeals/screeches typically happen when you apply brakes while driving. Sometimes they happen even when you are not pressing on the pedal. If you hear squeals, the first and foremost suspect is the brake pad. 

You should drive to a mechanic to get them checked out (or replaced). If you keep on, the squeal will likely turn into a grinding sound, which indicates something so much worse. At this point, you'll have to replace the brake rotor, which can be quite expensive.

2. Shrieks

If you hear shrieks or loud squeals coming from the car engine (under the hood), something is probably amiss with your serpentine belt. It could be that the rubber component is worn out or has become brittle.

In the case of a loose serpentine belt, it will not have the correct pressure and thus cause slippages. Worry not since this issue can be easily fixed and will not break your bank. If you ignore the shrieks, the belt might snap or pop-off, which is the last thing you want happening as you drive home.

3. Thunks or clunks

These noises often come up when you drive over bumps or potholes on the road. It may indicate that your shock absorber is not right. Bad shocks have an overall effect on braking and steering. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you call your mechanic right away.

4. Ticks

Ticking sounds could mean many things, but most commonly they remind you that your car is running low on oil, or the oil pressure isn't normal. Fortunately, you can find out what exactly is the issue without having to visit the mechanic. 

Stop the car and let it cool for a while before checking the oil levels. If the oil level is lower than it should be, then top it up as needed. If the gauge shows low oil pressure or the noise persists, you should drive the car to the nearest mechanic shop lest it turns into a more serious engine problem. Find car repair professionals fast at CarPart’s directory!

5. Hisses

If you hear hissing sounds, usually from the engine compartment when driving or turning off the car, the engine could be overheating or the coolant system/vacuum line leaking coolant. The first thing you should do is to check the temp gauge. Steam rising from the hood undoubtedly spells trouble. If you notice steam, don’t drive the car any further. Pull over and call your mechanic to inspect the vehicle.

6. Rumble or roar

This sound originates from the driver's seat and indicates that there is a possible leak or crack in the exhaust system's manifold. Under normal conditions, excessive engine noise is usually absorbed and silenced by the muffler. If the exhaust system fails, these sounds won't be muffled, but instead, they are channelled to your car. A trip to the mechanic shop is due so they can check out the exhaust system.

7. Flapping

If you hear flapping sound when you turn you A/C on, chances are you have a worn-out or misaligned ventilation flap. Although this is not a major concern as the others, you still need to have it checked out when you have time. You can still get some air in the car by rolling down the windows.

8. Groaning

These groaning sounds become louder when you turn the steering wheel. In other cases, the steering wheel might also feel rigid. This is caused by friction in the power steering system, and if not checked, the problem will become worse. You might even lose control over the car's steering. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic to fix this issue. It is also wise to avoid sudden turns when you drive in this condition.

Wrap up

These aren't the only sounds you should be concerned about, so make a habit of checking out any unusual or weird noise coming from your car.

Other sounds you should also watch out for are scratches from wipers which shows the wiper rubber is wearing out, loud click-clickety-clacks when turning which indicates failing or worn-out CV joints, squeaks when accelerating which could be coming from the universal joints, and howling or whining that could mean the bearings are out of order or fluid is leaking.

Don’t skip or scrimp on maintenance, and if you hear something, make it a point to listen and act promptly. Use high-quality parts and consult with the professionals if you’re not the handy type, and make smart decisions, especially in obtaining auto parts. You may send us a request for the car part you need, and we will connect you to certified sellers who have the part in stock. This will save you time and give you access to the most competitive offers.

By Sam O.