5 ODD CAR NOISES TO NOT IGNORE
When you’re driving down the road, you’re used to hearing the hum of the tires on the road and the whistle of the wind as it passes by your windows. But what should you do if you suddenly hear a noise you’ve never noticed before? If your car starts making any of these odd noises, consider taking it to your mechanic to get it checked out.
1. SQUEALING NOISES
If you hear a squealing noise coming from your vehicle, it’s important to note where you hear it and when you hear it. If it happens when you’re accelerating and stops when you shut off your engine, it’s likely because of a worn belt. If it’s a high-pitched squeal that continues after the engine is turned off, it might be a worn rubber gasket on the radiator pressure cap. On the other hand, if it occurs when you’re braking, it could mean you have badly worn brake pads that need to be replaced.
2. KNOCKING SOUNDS
A knocking sound coming from your engine compartment could mean one of several issues. Using a lower-grade fuel than what the owner’s manual specifies for your vehicle could produce an engine knock. The knocking sound could also be a sign of ignition problems, like a damaged or worn-out fuel filter, fuel injector, spark plug, or distributor cap. If the knocking is especially loud, pull over and call for road service. The noise could be caused by a faulty piston or loose bearing that could destroy the engine.
3. CLICKING NOISES
Clicking sounds can come from several areas in your vehicle. The most common cause of a clicking noise in your car is because of low engine oil. If you check the oil level and it’s good, the problem might be a loss of oil pressure or blockage in the system due to dirty oil. If the oil in your vehicle is fine and you hear the noise when you go over a speed bump, it might be a sign of worn sway bars or struts.
4. THUMPING SOUNDS
If you hear a thumping noise when you’re driving, it’s important to pinpoint where the sound is coming from in the vehicle. Thumping when you hit the brakes could mean a damaged, improperly mounted, or missing brake caliper. On the other hand, a rhythmic thump when you’re driving could indicate your tires are improperly inflated, have uneven wear, or are unbalanced.
5. POPPING NOISES
A variety of issues could be responsible for popping noises coming from your vehicle. However, if these sounds are accompanied by engine hesitation, the problem is probably with the engine itself. The issue could be something as simple as a dirty air filter, clogged fuel filter, or worn spark plugs. Unfortunately, popping sounds could also mean a compromised catalytic converter or internal ignition problems.
It’s important to listen for unusual sounds coming from your vehicle when you’re driving. If you hear any of these odd noises, you know it’s time to take your vehicle to your mechanic for service.