What’s That Sound? Common Car Noises and What They Might Mean

November 19th, 2019 by

Common Car Noises and What They Might Mean

Car maintenance is vital; catching small problems before they develop into bigger, more expensive issues is key to keeping money in your pockets.

But what if you haven’t been keeping up with maintenance? Or what if you have, but are still experiencing issues in between?

If you’ve been hearing some car noises, then read on. We’ll discuss some common ones and what they might mean.


Noises When You Make a Turn

Your car may be running smoothly, but whenever you make a turn, you hear some noises coming from it. Since a turn involves a big change in steering, the issue is most likely coming from your steering linkage.

If that’s the problem, the fix can be as simple as lubricating the steering linkage. Otherwise, it may be broken, which may require a replacement from your local auto shop.


Noises From Under the Car Hood

There are several noises that can come from under the car hood, and each has its potential source. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.


Screeching Sound

You may be hearing a screeching sound whenever you’re out on the road. If there’s a noticeable pattern to it, it can be an issue with your serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt is what connects multiple components of your car to the engine. As you can infer, any problems with this belt can cause serious problems.

A screeching sound indicates your serpentine belt is either loose or worn out. Either way, you need to have a mechanic look at it, pronto. If you drive for too long on a broken serpentine belt, it can completely break and render your car undrivable.


Hissing or Sizzling Sounds

Do you hear a hissing or sizzling sound right after you shut off the engine? Then this may be something leaking in your car.

Your vehicle needs a number of liquids to run, such as oil and coolant. Unfortunately, these do leak out at times. When they do so onto a hot engine, this is what causes the hissing and sizzling sounds.

Other potential issues you may have include a leaking vacuum line or an overheating engine. It’s best to take your vehicle into an auto shop for closer examination.


Noises From Underneath the Car

Like with the noises from under the car hood, there are several sounds and reasons that can come from underneath your car. Read on to find the common ones.


Whirring or Humming Sounds

Unfortunately, if you hear whirring or humming sounds coming from underneath your car, there are multiple potential sources.

For example, if you only hear it when you’re accelerating, you may need lubrication for the differential. Or you may need a new transmission. Or you need a need wheel bearing.

Whatever the problem is, chances are, you can’t determine it yourself, even if you have experience with vehicles. Sounds underneath can travel all throughout the car, which makes it hard for you to pinpoint where exactly it’s coming from.


Chugging or Rattling

With chugging and rattling, this most probable source is your exhaust system. The former can mean there’s something blocking your exhaust pipe. The latter can indicate a problem with your exhaust system’s alignment.

If there’s a hissing sound with either of these things, then your exhaust may have a crack. Again, a professional auto shop can help you determine the source of your issue.


Grinding Transmission When Shifting Gears (Manual)

If you own an automatic vehicle, you won’t have to worry about this issue.

However, if you do drive a manual, you may hear things grinding when you’re shifting gears. This isn’t normal and points towards a problem with your clutch. It may need an adjustment or replacement.

A grinding sound while shifting gears can also mean a bigger problem: something wrong with your transmission. Seeing as the transmission is responsible for changing speed and torque in your vehicle, it’s vital you get this issue taken care of. Otherwise, you put yourself, your passengers, and others on the road in danger.


Banging in Your Tailpipe

While driving, you may get startled by a loud bang coming from your tailpipe. No, it’s not the neighbourhood kids stuffing cherry bombs in there.

Instead, you may have an air-fuel mixture that’s too rich. You can try remedying this by changing your air filter.

Another possible problem is a faulty catalytic converter. This is the part responsible for reducing the waste that comes from your exhaust.

While you can still operate your vehicle with a faulty catalytic converter, it’s not recommended. Not only will it contribute to excessive smog, but it’ll also eventually start smoking and smell bad.

Plus, the fuel economy of your car will drop, and you’ll also notice a drop in driving power. While a catalytic converter repair is pricey, the money you save in postponing it will quickly be negated due to these two factors.


Getting Car Noises? Have a Professional Take a Look

Now you know a few reasons why you may be getting car noises. If you’re a person who likes DIY projects, then you may be able to fix some of the smaller issues.

However, it’s always a good idea to have a professional take a look. Not only can they pinpoint the problem quickly, but they can also fix it promptly.

Considering you may lead a busy life, it’ll be worth it to pay an auto shop to remedy the issue rather than try and do it yourself. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your car is 100% safe.

If your car’s making noises and you need a professional to fix the issue, then utilize our service center. We’re open Monday through Friday!