Cars have a knack for speaking in their unique, somewhat noisy language. They’ll throw in squeaks, squeals, roars, and bangs to keep things interesting. These sounds can easily blend into the background until something odd piques your attention one day. Admittedly, understanding this automotive lingo isn’t exactly a breeze. Still, paying heed when your car makes some noise is crucial. Those sounds are often its way of indicating there could be something wrong. Tackling these problems early can save you money and a lot of trouble. Here are five common car noises that might be trying to tell you something’s amiss.
It is not particularly comforting when your ride suddenly sounds like it’s got a stash of maracas hidden somewhere. Those mysterious rattling noises usually mean one of your vehicle’s 30,000 parts, give or take, has gone a bit loose. It could be a nut or a sneaky fastener. First, pinpoint where that rattle comes from and determine when it happens. Is it during turns, stops, accelerations, or when you hit a bump in the road? Once you’ve done the detective work, peek around for any wear marks, rust stains, or spots where the paint looks like it’s seen better days. These are telltale signs of parts getting a bit too close to each other.
You’re cruising along, enjoying your drive, and suddenly, your car adds some extra sound effects through mysterious clicks. Now, if your engine’s playing coy and doesn’t want to start, those clicks indicate it needs a little boost. A dead battery or a grumpy starter motor could be causing the commotion. Luckily, jump-starting the engine or swapping out the battery are straightforward DIY fixes. And don’t forget the handy portable jump starter – it’s like a superhero for your car in distress.
Your car serenading you with an eerie whining sound can ruin your groove. First, low tire pressure can sometimes be the culprit behind this whining symphony. It’s like your car saying it needs a little air down there. But if that high-pitched whining strikes when you make those smooth turns, your power steering (PS) fluids could be slightly low. Add the proper PS fluid and give it a good check for leaks. Also, a worn water pump, an alternator bearing that has seen better days, or a drive belt that’s not in the mood for harmony can join this whining chorus. Fortunately, you can be the conductor here as these are DIY fixable. Sometimes, the whining doesn’t want to stop, and it’s coming from deeper within your car, say your timing belts, transmission (manual or automatic), differential, wheel or hub bearings, or even a grumpy coolant fan motor or fan clutch. In that case, consider visiting a reputable transmission repair shop to get back in tune.
Noise when turning
If your ride was manufactured sometime in the last five decades, it’s got a power steering system. Nowadays, some fancy new cars have electric power steering, but the classic version is hydraulic. And like any hydraulic, it needs its special lotion – in this case, power steering fluids to work its magic. But here’s where things get a bit wonky. When that fluid level takes a nosedive, or if the power steering pump throws a tantrum, air sneaks in. Sadly, the air generates the noise. So, if your car is getting noisy while turning, or it’s giving you a workout to turn the wheel, it’s time for some sleuthing. Open the hood, peek at your power steering fluid levels, and ensure they’re up to snuff. It could be a simple top-up situation or a sign that your car’s playing host to a sneaky leak.
Roaring noise during acceleration
So your engine is purring, but you’ve noticed this roaring sound in the mix. It’s coming right beneath your driver’s seat. Ideally, your engine isn’t supposed to be this loud. These sounds are usually kept in check thanks to a muffler responsible for hushing the engine’s roar. But sometimes, life happens, and cracks or gaps appear in the exhaust system. When that occurs, those fiery exhaust gasses break free before they can even reach the muffler, and that’s where the roaring begins. Your car might decide to go rogue and ditch its catalytic converter. Sadly, these converters have become prime targets for thieves these days. So, if you turn the key, hit the gas, and that roaring sound hits you, it’s time to do some detective work. Park and make sure your catalytic converter is still hanging around. If you hear these suspicious sounds and things are getting out of hand, consult your mechanic as soon as possible. Remember, safety comes first.