What’s Wrong With My Car? Identifying Noises and What They Mean

Car trouble always seem to just come out of the blue – everything will have been in perfect working order, then BAM out of no where , trouble. The best bet is to listen closely to where the noise is coming from so it can help you determine the next best step. There could be a big difference between preventative measures or a costly repair bill. Here are some common car sounds and tips on what to do about them.

             This post is sponsored by Zeigler Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Grandville.

Noises Under the Hood.
If you hear a screeching sound that seems to have a continuous pattern coming from your hood – it’s most likely a loose or worn serpentine belt.

A serpentine belt drives several vital pieces of equipment to your car – such as your alternator, water pump, power steering, AC, compressor, and radiator fan. Make an appointment to have it looked at – your mechanic should be able to tell you how serious it is, and when it might need replaced. You want to get it replaced before it just gives out; its better to plan for these situations, then break down and have an emergency.

Noises Under the Car.
If you have a chugging or rattling noise from under the car – it’s probably your exhaust system.

A damaged exhaust can be pretty noisy, and all the sounds could mean something different. A chugging sound could mean there’s a blockage in the exhaust; a rattling could mean an alignment issue. A hissing could mean a crack in the exhaust. You definitely need to take your vehicle in for an exhaust system check so your mechanic can let you know if it’s something urgent that needs fixed right away, or something you can live with for awhile.

Noises from Your Brakes.
A squeak or loud grind when you push on the brakes – worn out brake pads.

The grinding sounds are probably the calipers grinding against the rotors – you need to get your car to the shop asap. If its just a light squeak, you should probably be OK to schedule your appointment out a bit – however , you want to get it taken care of still because it will only get worse, and your brakes are a very important safety concern.

Noises from Your Tires.
If you hear a thud from your tires – it’s most likely low air pressure or improper tire alignment.

First off check the air pressure –  make sure that your tires are inflated to the recommended levels from the manufacturer. IF that doesn’t work, then most likely you need to get an alignment. Improper alignment can wear out your tires faster, and also results in poor gas mileage or a really bumpy ride.

Other Noises.
Clunking noises: If it happens while you are driving it could be a bad shock absorber which can cause issues with steering or even when you brake. Get those checked out right away.

Loud Clicking Noises.
IF you hear a click while you are turning it’s probably the CV join which lubes the front axles. When it wears out, it loses the grease that keeps the axle lubed; so its best to get the CV joint replaced rather than waiting until you need a costly axle replacement.

Ticking Noises.
You will hear this probably while you are stopped, or when your vehicle is running hot. IF you do hear this, you are low on oil. As you know you do not want to that to get low, it can effect your engine. So make sure to either add oil or get it changed as soon as possible.

Paying attention to noises or changes to your car and taking necessary steps can help you avoid facing a more costly repair in the future. Find a mechanic you can trust so you can make sure that you keep your car properly maintained.


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