All cars make noises every now and then, and most of them are nothing to worry about. Once in a while, though, you’ll hear something that alarms you. What was that? Was it normal?
While most car noises are no big deal, there are a few that you should take note of and either keep in the back of your mind for your next car check-up or take to a mechanic as soon as possible.
If you’re not sure how to diagnose your car sounds, we’re here to help. Keep reading for some of the more common car noises to learn what they might mean.
When you hear or feel an uncomfortable grinding when you push down on the brakes, you have a problem.
This sound can range from a low grinding hum to a loud screech, and it means that your brake pads are grinding down and deteriorating. This is a major problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Let this noise go on for too long and you may find that your brakes give out while you’re driving.
Humming or Whirring
Do you hear a soft humming or whirring when you’re driving? Does it sound like it’s coming from below you?
This could be a problem with your transmission. A failing transmission is going to need the assistance of a qualified mechanic.
It could also be a problem with your differential. Your differential should be lubricated every so often when you get your oil changed. Hearing these noises when accelerating or when driving over 20 mph is a warning sign.
Check here for other warning signs about your rear differentials.
Rattling or Bumping
If you hear a rattling noise under your car, the most common culprit is going to be the exhaust. You could be experiencing a blockage or a crack in your exhaust system, causing that rattling or bumping noise.
Check on your own to see if there’s an obvious issue clogging the exhaust pipe (like a stray ball or debris) and if nothing stands out to you, take it to a mechanic.
Clicking in the Engine
Most of the time, gentle engine clicks are no big deal. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore them, but the fix is often easy.
If you hear this clicking or tapping, check your oil. It might be time to replace it. If this isn’t the case, you may have a bigger problem. You may have a blockage in the oil system, or you may need to replace a valve.
Knocking in the Engine
Knocking inside the engine is different from clicking. This is another easy to diagnose the problem.
When you hear that knocking sound, consider the kind of fuel that you’re putting into your car. Are you using high-grade fuel when the engine calls for low grate? What about the reverse?
Always follow the instruction manual for your car regarding the fuel quality that you give it.
Are You Familiar With These Car Noises?
Is your car making noises that you don’t understand? Do any of these car noises sound familiar?
If you’re unsure of what’s causing the noises, visit your local mechanic to get your vehicle checked out. There may be something dangerously wrong, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For more articles about all things car-related, visit the Auto section of the site!