There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing what’s wrong with your car.
When it starts making strange noises, it can be difficult to identify the issue and determine how to fix it, especially when you don’t know how cars work (we can’t all be experts). We’ll provide some professional advice on how to identify weird car sounds, potential causes, and what to do when these noises happen to you.
Strange Vehicle Sounds and Which to Worry About
Some of the sounds your vehicle makes may be harmless, others can indicate a serious problem. To help you determine which noises are cause for concern, here is a guide to some of the most common strange vehicle sounds.
A Rattling Noise
If you hear a rattling noise, it could be an indication something is loose in your engine.
This is usually not a cause for alarm, but it is important to have it checked out by a mechanic to make sure nothing is damaged.
A Grinding Noise
If you hear a grinding noise when braking, it could mean your brake pads are wearing down and need to be replaced. However, if the noise is accompanied by vibrations, it could be a sign of brake damage, and you should have your car checked by a professional as soon as possible.
A Hissing Noise
If your car starts making a hissing noise, it could mean there is a leak in your cooling system. This is especially true if the noise gets louder when you turn on the air conditioner. While a small leak may not be cause for concern, a large leak can lead to engine damage, so it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible.
Other Common Noise Culprits
In some cases, the source of the noise is immediately apparent, such as a loose part or flat tire. However, in other cases, the noise can be more mysterious, and it can be difficult to determine the cause.
Some other common causes of strange noises in cars include:
- Engine misfires: These sound like popping or coughing, and they can cause a loss of power.
- Exhaust leaks: These could sound like hissing or whistling, and they can be dangerous because they can allow deadly carbon monoxide fumes into the cabin of the car.
- Loose fan belts: This can cause a squealing noise, especially when the engine is first started.
- Power steering issues: If your car starts making clicking sounds when you turn the steering wheel, that’s a sign of a problem with the power steering system.
- Worn-out suspension: This can cause creaking or rattling, especially when going over bumps.
A good rule of thumb is if the noise is significant and coming from your car engine or exhaust system, the best thing to do is to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
It could be something as simple as a loose exhaust pipe, or it could be something more serious like a cracked engine block. In either case, it’s important to get it checked out so you can avoid any costly repairs down the road.
Is your car being weird, or is there something wrong with it?
If you’re driving along and you hear a strange noise, it can be difficult to know whether you should pull over and investigate or just keep going. After all, cars are complex machines, and it’s not uncommon for them to make strange noises from time to time.
In some cases, noises may also be due to something as simple as a build-up of dirt and grime. However, there are a few things that you can look out for that may indicate that there’s something actually wrong with your car.
For example, if the noise is coming from under the hood or if it’s accompanied by a loss of power or strange smells, then it’s probably best to stop and check it out. On the other hand, if the noise is relatively faint and doesn’t seem to be affecting the performance of your car, then it’s probably nothing to worry about.
In any case, if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get your car checked out by a professional.
Preventing Strange Noises From Happening in the First Place
One of the best ways to avoid strange noises in your car is to keep up with regular maintenance. This means having the oil and filter changed on schedule, checking the tire pressure and tread depth regularly, and making sure that all fluid levels are topped off.
It’s also a good idea to have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic at least once a year. They will be able to spot any potential problems and make sure that everything is in good working order.
Doing those few things can help prevent strange noises from happening in your car and keep it running smoothly for years to come.
Finding a Professional to Look at Your Vehicle
If you’re having car trouble, it can be tough to know whether you should try to fix the problem yourself or take it to a mechanic. After all, car repairs can be expensive, and nobody wants to waste money on unnecessary services.
So, should you bother fixing your car yourself? In general, if the problem is something that you don’t feel confident about fixing yourself, it’s always better to take it to a mechanic just to be safe.
If you’re unsure where to take your car, ask for recommendations from friends or family members who might have a good recommendation. Once you’ve found a qualified mechanic, they will be able to diagnose the problem and give you an estimate for the repairs.
They’ll be able to diagnose and fix the problem quickly and efficiently, and they might even be able to give you some tips on how to prevent similar problems in the future.
Ultimately, Trust Your Gut and Get Your Car Checked Out
In short, trust your gut when it comes to strange vehicle sounds. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, it probably isn’t. Sure, there are some common car problems that the average Arizona resident can handle.
But if you’re ever in doubt, take your car to a qualified mechanic. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose the problem and let you know if it’s something serious.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. His passions include best practices for insurance and educating motorists on how cars both work and break.