Your car makes a weird noise. No big deal, you’ve heard it before and it didn’t mean a thing. We learn to ignore some noises after a while; they become part of our vehicles personality. However, there are noises you may not want to ignore. If you hear squealing, banging, and thumping it’s a safe bet that your car has a problem. If you choose to ignore these then more damage may happened and your repair cost could go through the rood. There are the familiar noises to ignore and the noises that scream out, “Take me to a knowledgeable mechanic.”
What should you be listening for?
Here are 16 noises to pay attention to so that you don’t pay more down the road.
- Pay attention to any sound that your car might make when you turn a corner. This noise could be the steering linkage. This could mean it requires lubricant or replacing.
- When you brake, you hear clunking. This could be damaged, poorly mounted, or missing hardware or a brake caliper.
- A flapping noise could mean a disintegrating belt or something in the way of the fan.
- When shifting a manual transmission; you hear grinding. This could mean a problem with your transmission or a clutch.
- Sizzling or hissing under the hood could mean that something is leaking or that the engine could be overheating.
- If the engine compartment is “knocking” it could mean that you’re using the wrong grade of fuel.
- That loud bang coming from your tailpipe is your car backfiring. This could mean that the catalytic converter is having issues or that your air-fuel mixture is too rich.
- A low-pitched whirring or humming under the car could mean many things. It’s almost impossible for those with no car knowledge to know where it’s coming from let alone what the problem is. You may need different lubricant, the transmission could be going, universal joints may be the issue or you may have a wheel bearing that is shot. Get it looked at!
- Popping near the engine could be many things. It could mean problems with the catalytic converter, damaged spark plug wires, clogged fuel filter, bad spark plugs, and ignition issues.
- Rattling under the car. This could mean loose brake pads, exhaust systems, or a number of other things that could be loose.
- Roaring as you accelerate could mean that there is either an issue with the exhaust system or that you are having transmission issues.
- During acceleration, you hear chirping or squealing. This could mean a drive pulley needs fixing or that you have loose belts that are slipping.
- Squealing when you use the brakes could mean that you either have dirt on the brake shoes, pads, or rotors. It could also mean that you have badly worn shoes or pads. This is something that you should have looked at ASAP.
- Grinding or scraping when you press the brakes could mean that you have bare metal rubbing on more bare metal. At this point, you can safely assume that your brakes are shot and that you’re damaging your rotors.
- Clicking or tapping around the engine may mean that your engine is low on oil. If that’s not the issue then it could be that you’re losing oil pressure or that you have a blockage somewhere. If the oil isn’t the issue then you may have to do with the valve train.
- Whining could be an indication serious transmission wear.