Car Noises – Don’t Touch That Radio Dial!
Have you ever heard your car make a noise and thought, “That’s not normal” or “That doesn’t sound good”? What about turning up the radio to drown out a noise your car is making? While it may be easier to tune it out, sounds are often the primary indicators that something is going on with your vehicle. No one knows your car better than you, so when you start to think, “that’s not a normal sound,” make sure you take the proper steps towards investigating and rectifying it!
To help you in identifying “weird” sounds, we’ve put together a list of the most common sounds that you shouldn’t ignore. If you hear any of the below sounds, or perhaps something you can’t quite identify, bring your vehicle into your local AAMCO Utah location to have an expert mechanic perform a detailed inspection.
10 Car Noises You Should Not Ignore
If you hear your engine hissing, you may have a leak in one of the many joints or tubes that make up the cooling system and vacuum line. A compromised cooling system can impact the overall drivability of the vehicle and should not be ignored.
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Click Click…Clickity Clack
If you’re driving at low speeds, have your wheels turned, and hear a thumping or deep clicking similar to riding down train tracks, your drive axles may be in trouble. Specifically, the constant velocity joints, which manage vertical inputs from the road, send power to the wheels, and allow you to steer.
If you hear a clunk when driving over potholes or bumps, there’s a variety of issues that may be at play. Faulty stabilizer link-pins, bad ball joints, worn control arm bushings, or even a loose exhaust system may sound like a drum-line performing in your undercarriage. A free multipoint inspection can help to identify the exact cause.
Moaning or Growling
If you hear an angry, almost animalistic growl while turning, you may be facing the impending failure of your power-steering pump. While not outfitted on every new vehicle, if you have a hydraulic setup and ignore the issue, you risk losing the ability to turn properly. In this case, it’s better to assume you have hydraulics instead of assuming you don’t and ignoring the sound.
Related Article: Signs Your Power Steering Is Broken
If you hear a shrieking sound coming from your engine, you may have a serpentine belt issue. The rubber may be brittle or the tensioner may be failing due to inappropriate pressure being applied. Your belt may be slipping, which needs to be addressed before it snaps or pops off entirely.
If you hear a high-pitched screeching when you apply the brakes, your brake pads may be at the end of their functional lives. Small metallic tabs are embedded in the friction material to start audibly rubbing on the rotor to let you know they need to be replaced. If ignored, these shrieks may become low growls, which occurs when the pads have been worn down to the steel backing plates. No brakes means no stopping, which is never a fun ride.
Related Article: Is It Time For New Brakes?
If you hear a howling noise and it seems to be coming from the back of your rear-wheel-drive car or truck, it may be due to one of the components in your rear differential. Bad bearings, worn gears, or pinion preload may cause these sounds in driving situations ranging from accelerating, steady-state driving, or decelerating.
If you hear a knocking from your engine, it may be a sign to get your valve clearances adjusted or ensure your lifter is pumping up. If the knocking is deeper and increases with RPM, your rod bearing may be on its way out, or your engine may have spun a bearing, both of which will require extensive repairs.
Metalic Rattling or Pining
If you hear a metallic pinging or rattling from your engine while accelerating or the engine is under load, there are three main combustion issues that may be ongoing: spark knock, pre-ignition, or detonation. These issues are due to abnormal ignition, and the sounds specifically are due to different pressure waves within the engine colliding. If ignored, you may destroy your pistons entirely!
If you hear gears grinding or crunching in a manual transmission vehicle, you may require extensive service that will grow the longer you ignore it. Grinding noises may be due to a dragging clutch or a worn out synchronizer, which is the part of the transmission that facilitates shifting between ratios. Transmission issues, if ignored, can become major repairs.