As many as a quarter of Americans don’t feel safe when they get behind the wheel of their car. The reason? Their car needs repair or no longer runs well.
Are you familiar with this situation? You don’t have to live this way. By listening, the car noises you hear can help you diagnose your vehicle’s issues.
Once you identify the sound, you can schedule an appointment for repair.
1. Squealing or Screeching When You Brake
The light ahead of you turns red, and you hit the brakes. Except for today, there is a loud squeal reminiscent of a banshee that accompanies your braking.
This sound means that the brake pad wear indicator is rubbing against the rotor. It’s your signal that it’s time to replace your brake pads.
While this sound doesn’t cause an emergency, it isn’t something you should ignore either. Make an appointment for brake service and inspection.
2. Grinding When You Brake
Sometimes brakes start grinding instead of squealing. It’ll be a loud metal on metal grinding sound.
Unfortunately, you’ve worn through the brake pads, and now your calipers are grinding on the rotors. This is very bad, and your brakes won’t work properly until you get them fixed.
Driving without brakes pads on your car is dangerous. About 25% of all vehicle crashes happen because of failing or degraded brakes.
3. Squealing Under the Hood
Now, what if that squeal comes from under your hood instead of the brakes? This is the telltale sign that the serpentine belt is loose or worn out.
This squeal is a cause for concern. This belt is what transfers the power to all of your car’s major systems.
That squeal could mean that your belt is about to break. If that happens, your car will no longer work. You’ll have to pay to have your car towed to the shop for a new belt.
Instead, make an appointment and have the belt changed.
4. Flapping or Slapping Car Noises
It’s hot out, and you flip the AC on expecting to feel the rush of cool air. Accompanying it is a flapping or slapping sound.
This is the sound of a ventilation flap that has become misaligned, worn out, or loose. It isn’t a big deal; your car will continue to run just fine.
While it isn’t a safety issue, it may affect the running of your AC, and the noise will be annoying. If you can tune out the noise and roll down the windows, you can deal with this issue. When you have time, schedule an AC performance check.
5. Rattling, Rumbling, or Sputtering Exhaust
Is there a strange noise coming from the back of your car? It might even sound like it’s coming up from under you.
These noises are a result of your exhaust system having a problem. The most common issues are leaks and cracks.
The muffler is what silences the sounds of your engine. The loud noises you hear now are those sounds escaping due to a fault in the system.
While the louder sounds might be cool, they shouldn’t be ignored. You could be expelling poisonous carbon monoxide into the cabin of your car.
Get Your Weird Car Noises Checked Out
If your car suddenly starts making a new noise, you need to inspect the source. Then you can determine if it’s a safety issue and needs repairing immediately.
As a general rule, metal on metal car noises should never be ignored. These are almost always a bad sign.
Schedule an appointment today if you have any of these sounds coming from your car.