Car noises and what they mean

Car noises and what they mean

Cars make every kind of sound but what if you hear strange new noises from your car? They seem to appear out of the blue. You’re driving, everything is fine, then you suddenly hear a strange noise coming from your car as you accelerate. Understanding some of the common car noises and what they mean can help you identify what the problem may be, and when it might be time to schedule an appointment with your mechanic.


1. A finger-snapping, popping or clicking sound when turning

If you hear finger-snapping, popping or clicking sounds when you go around a corner, one or both of the constant velocity (CV) joints on your front axle could need replacing. The CV joints that lube the front axles will wear out and loses their grease.


2. Clunking sound when driving

If this occurs while driving, then you might have a bad shock absorber, which can adversely affect your handling, steering, or braking. Be sure to get this checked out.


3. Loud grinding sound under your brakes

It’s most likely the callipers grinding against the rotors that you’re hearing. Get your vehicle to the workshop as soon as possible. If you’re not tapping your brakes but still hearing the noises, don’t assume everything is well. This problem will only get worse, and your brakes are critical for your safety.


4. High pitch squeal sound when starting the engine

Usually, worn or cracked belts are the culprit. If this sound occurs only while operating the air conditioner, the belt probably needs to be replaced.


5. Wobbling sound when driving

This sound could be due to a loose wheel nut, or low tire pressure which may cause a tire blowout.  All you have to do is jack up your car and tighten the nuts using a wrench. If the tire pressure is low, fill it to the proper weight. You might need to replace the tire if the sound continues.


6. Scratching sound from windshield wipers

This is the ultimate red light for your windshield wipers! Get it fixed as soon as possible. When your windshield is scratched by a worn-out wiper, it can be very costly to replace. A defective wiper will also reduce visibility when it rains, making driving much more dangerous.


7. Screeching sound under the hood when accelerating

This sound could be the sound of a loose accessory belt that drives several vital pieces of equipment in your car, including the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor and radiator fan. Make an appointment to have it evaluated. Your mechanic can tell you if there is a problem and when it should be replaced.


8. Hissing sound when you pull over

This is usually a sign that something is leaking into your car engine. Liquid dripping on hot engine parts, such as engine oil, transmission fluid, or coolant, could be the source of the hissing. It’s also possible that your radiator is overheated.


It is good to know the noises your car produces and address any issues as soon as possible to avoid more costly repairs. Find a technician you can trust so you can rest certain that your vehicle is in good hands. If you need help, download the UDRIVERS app to source for our hand-picked workshops!

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