How to Identify Strange Car Noises

 
Unusual noises coming from your car can indicate a problem
A squealing noise in the engine may mean the drive belts are slipping
A rattle under the car may mean the exhaust system needs repair
 

car problem symptoms One of most obvious symptoms that you may have a car problem is when you hear unusual and persistent noises coming from your car. The sounds can vary widely from squeals, clicks and rattles. Naturally you’ll want to try to figure out where the sound is coming from and if it needs to be taken to a mechanic.

Here is a list of common noises and their possible causes:


The brakes squeal when they are pressed:

  • There could be dirt on the brake rotors, drums, pads, or shoes
  • The brake pads and/or shoes could be worn
  • The disc brake calipers are mounted incorrectly or have come loose

The brakes make a scraping noise at low speeds:

  • The brake rotor could be warped
  • The brake drums could need to be replaced

There is a clunking noise when braking:

  • The brake hardware could be damaged
  • The steering system components could be worn
  • The disc brake caliper may not be mounted properly

The transmission grinds when shifting gears:

  • The clutch could need to be adjusted or could be worn
  • There could be internal damage to the transmission
  • The shift linkage may need to be adjusted

There is a squealing noise in the engine when accelerating:

  • The drive belts could be slipping
  • The drive pulleys could be misaligned
  • The drive belts could be loose

There is a scraping noise in the rear of the car while driving:

  • Something could be caught under your car and is dragging against the road
  • The brake drum backing plates may be rubbing against the brake drum
  • The parking brake could be on

There is a scraping noise in the rear of the car when braking:

  • The brake shoes could be severely worn
  • The brakes may not be applying evenly
  • The brake drum could be out-of-round or distorted

The engine hesitates and makes a popping noise:

  • The air filter could be dirty
  • The spark plugs could be dirty or worn
  • The spark wires could be bad
  • There may be an ignition problem
  • The fuel filter could be clogged
  • There could be water in the gasoline
  • The catalytic converter could be clogged

The engine makes a clicking noise when idling:

  • The valves could need adjusting
  • The engine could be low on oil
  • The engine’s oil pressure could be low

There is a popping noise from the exhaust:

  • The fuel injectors could be leaking
  • There could be a hole or leak in the exhaust

There is a rattling from under the car:

  • The exhaust system may need to be repaired

The engine makes a ticking noise:

  • The valves in your engine could need to be adjusted
  • There could be sludge in the engine stopping the oil from circulating properly
  • The engines valve lifters could be collapsed
  • The engines valves could be stuck

There is a hissing sound coming from the engine:

  • The engine could be overheating
  • The exhaust system and/or catalytic converter may be plugged
  • The vacuum line could be disconnected or leaking

There is a whirring noise from the engine that gets worse as speed increases:

  • The power steering fluid could be low
  • The alternator bearings could be bad
  • The water pump could be bad
  • The power steering pump could be bad
  • The air conditioning compressor could be bad

The engine backfires when you press on the gas pedal:

  • The camshaft timing belt or chain could have slipped
  • The ignition timing could need adjusting

The engine backfires when you let off the gas pedal:

  • The air injection diverter valve could be bad
  • The ignition timing may need adjusting

There are noises when turning a corner:

  • The steering linkage may need to be lubricated
  • The steering linkage may be loose or damaged
  • There may be worn suspension pieces

There is a rattling noise from the engine when accelerating:

  • The ignition timing could need adjusting
  • The engine could be overheating

Published on Monday, November 24, 2008 - Copyright 2014 BuyingAdvice.com, INC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

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