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Decoding Strange & Common Car Noises

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Have you ever heard a strange noise from your car and wondered what it could be? Not knowing what’s causing it can be frustrating and disturbing. But don’t worry; identifying everyday car noises is easier than you might think. Whether it’s an annoying squeak or rattle or a suspicious grinding, hissing or squealing, we’ll help you understand what your car is trying to tell you!

Decoding Strange & Common Car Noises

Understanding the Causes of Car Noises

Various factors, including wear and tear, poor maintenance, or even environmental conditions can cause car noises. Understanding the causes of car noises is crucial to keeping your car running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs. Ignoring car noises or engine noise can lead to serious mechanical problems down the road. Promptly addressing car noises can save you money and keep you safe on the road. If your car makes unusual, unexplained noises, consider taking it in for a service.

Types of Car Noises and What They Mean

Car noises can come in all shapes and sizes, and each noise can indicate a different problem. Let’s break down the most common types of car noises and what they mean so you can diagnose problems quickly and accurately:

  • Rattling or chugging: If your car is clanking or chugging, it could be a sign of a loose or damaged part. Pay attention to this noise, as ignoring it could lead to more serious issues down the road. Get your car checked by a professional mechanic to ensure your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.
  • Engine ticking noise: What is that mysterious ticking sound? Well, the most likely culprit is low oil pressure. However, other potential engine ticking noise causes include a broken train component, like cam followers or lifters, and timing belt or chain problems.
  • Screeching: If your car is screeching, it could be a sign of worn brake pads or a loose belt. Be sure to get this checked out, as it could be a significant safety hazard. Take your car to a trusted mechanic and get it fixed right away.
  • Grinding or squealing: If you hear a grinding or squealing sound when you apply the brakes, it’s time to get them checked by a professional mechanic. Again, this noise could indicate worn brake pads or rotors, which can be dangerous if left unchecked. Be sure to get your brakes repaired before it’s too late.
  • Thudding: If you feel and hear thudding when driving your car, it could be a sign of an issue with your tyres or suspension. This noise from the car could be as simple as low tyre air pressure or improper alignment. This is especially likely if the sound seems cyclical.
  • A low-pitched humming: If you hear a low-pitched humming sound when driving your car, this is most likely a sign of an issue with your tyres or wheel bearings. 

You may have mistaken this sound for engine noise at first. But, if your car hums while accelerating, and the sound gets louder if you turn a certain way, this sound is likely to be a wheel-bearing noise. Try decelerating and coasting along. This sound is definitely not engine noise if it’s still there.

  • Whining: If your car is whining, it could indicate an issue with your transmission or power steering. 
  • Scraping: If your car is making a scraping sound, it could be a sign of a loose or damaged part. 
  • Clunking: If you hear a clunking sound when driving your car, it could be a sign of an issue with your suspension or steering. The coil springs, stabiliser links, ball joints – so many components in a vehicle’s suspension system could be your culprit.

Preventive Measures to Minimise Car Noises

Car noises can be scary, but sometimes, a sound in the car is nothing to worry about. Preventive maintenance is the key to minimising car noises and keeping your car running smoothly. After all, regular vehicle maintenance can make your drive less noisy. This includes checking and replacing worn-out parts such as brakes, tyres and engine components. Proper lubrication and oil changes can also help reduce friction and noise. Installing sound-deadening materials in the car can significantly reduce road noise. 

Additionally, avoiding rough roads and driving at moderate speeds can also help reduce noise levels.

When to See a Mechanic

If you notice any unusual or persistent noises coming from your car, it’s best to seek professional help from a mechanic. This is especially important if the noises accompany other symptoms such as shaking, vibrating or difficulty shifting gears.

Additionally, if you need clarification on the cause of the noise or if it’s something you’ve never heard before, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional mechanic who can diagnose the issue and provide the necessary repairs. Contact us today!

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