The Automotive Industry, Briefly

What Was That?

Vehicle Making Noise

We all know pretty much what our car should sound like.  We get acquainted with the familiar hum from the engine the roll of the tires on the road and all the other noises in and around the vehicle.  Whether you are driving down the road or just starting up your car you know what it should sound like but when the car has a different sound and shows off with an audibly unfamiliar noise that disrupts your normal vehicular harmony.  Many sounds are akin to an instrument being completely out of tune and will sound this way but do you know what these noises mean?  Here are ten noises you really should be concerned about on your vehicle.

Hissing – A hissing noise typically means your car has a leak of some type under the hood.  Either a hose or set of hoses has come loose or damaged and needs to be replaced in order to let you have a vehicle that is operating correctly.  Make sure you see a mechanic right away to bring the car back to its drivability.

Clunking – Worn parts at the wheels can make this noise and show you a bevy of problems.  You don’t want to have this be a continuous problem.  Whether it’s your ball joints, control arms or stabilizer bar you will not want to have this become worse on down the road, have it checked out right away to get this fixed and have your back on the road.

Squealing – If you have a car that runs using a serpentine belt, as most do any more, a squealing noise could mean this belt needs to be replaced or the tensioner is failing.  The worst thing that can happen is to have the belt snap and break and since this is a fairly easy fix that is inexpensive there is no reason to put it off.

Screeching – If you hear a screeching or a growling noise when you are braking it could easily be the brake pads need to be replaced.  Your brake pads are made with a metal tab that will rub against the rotor when it needs to be replaced to ensure you can have an indication that they are worn and ready for a chance.

Clickety-Clack – Listen for a sound that resembles that of a train as it travels down the tracks.  This sound would indicate a need to have your CV join looked at.  If this sound comes from the front it’s the CV joint for a FWD vehicle, if it comes from the rear it would be the UV joint for a RWD vehicle, in both cases this needs to be repaired right away.

Growling and Moaning – When you are turning your vehicle and the car makes a growling and moaning noise indicates that power steering pump is not working correctly.  If you have a car that has electrically assisted steering this won’t be the case, but most cars that are only a few years old have the pump so have this checked out before it becomes a bigger problem.

Hammering Sound – When you hear a racket under the hold that sounds like a drum line is under there the problem could be a detonation, pre-ignition  or spark knock which can often harm your engine.  This usually happens during acceleration and is a sign of abnormal ignition.  There are several ways to fix this problem, consult a mechanic to learn which is best.

Clattering or Knocking – This sound coming out of the engine could indicate a lifter that is no longer pumping.  This noise does not mean death for your engine, but if you don’t have it checked out right away you could certainly be in some trouble and eventually have to replace the entire engine of your car, so have this one checked out immediately.

Crunching – For those who still drive a manual transmission vehicle, a crunching sound when changing gears could indicate a worn out synchronizer,  which makes it impossible to shift from one gear to the other.  This could also indicate a dragging clutch which means the clutch does not fully disengage when the pedal is pressed.

Howling – This noise coming from the rear of a RWD vehicle means there could be a problem with the differential.  There are a variety of driving conditions when this could occur but this noise should certainly not be ignored and needs to be reviewed before you have a larger problem on your hands.

With all these different noises in mind and you who know your car better than anyone, keep a mindful ear to your car and listen for anything that disrupts the beautiful harmony that your car makes for you.  Nothing is worse than hearing an instrument out of tune, which is certainly what your car will be should any of these noises show themselves.



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