Common Car Noises and Their Causes

As a car owner, you will undoubtedly need auto repairs at some point. One of the most common indications of a car issue is unusual noises. While most car owners ignore these noises to save money, avoiding auto repairs can lead to significant and costly problems.


Knowing what causes strange automobile sounds can help you determine if your vehicle needs immediate service. If you’re not sure whether the noise your car is making indicates a significant problem, you should have a professional mechanic do an inspection. When it comes to automobile repairs, you are better safe than sorry! Let’s discuss some of the standard car noises owners report and their causes.

6 Common Car Noises and What Causes Them


Here are the most common car noises that require service:


1.   Squealing Sounds


Even if you don’t own a vehicle, most people have heard the screeching and squealing sounds that cars make. As long as you’re not speeding around a parking lot or making sudden, sharp turns, your wheels shouldn’t be squealing. The most common cause of screeching and squealing is underinflated tires. If you notice these sounds, your tires are calling for air.  Underinflated tires don’t just create several issues for your vehicle, but they can put you at risk of having an accident. If you notice a squealing sound when you’re driving, make sure your tires are properly inflated. If the issue continues, contact a local mechanic for an inspection.


2.   Knocking Sounds


A knocking sound coming from your engine is typically an indication that something is wrong. Your local mechanic can tell you if there’s a severe problem with your engine’s internal components or whether this is something that they can quickly fix. Most knocking sounds are caused by poorly tuned engines or low octane fuel. Still, you should contact an auto repair shop to make sure there’s not a more significant problem.


3.   Slapping or Thudding Noises


You may have a severe problem if you hear thudding or slapping noises coming from your tires while driving. Thudding noises signal various issues, from severely underinflated tires to suspension and alignment issues. It’s essential to get these sounds checked immediately to avoid progressive damage and costly repairs. Since significant tire noises like this indicate that your tire is about to experience a blowout, you should act fast.


4.   Rattling Sounds


When you let up on the brakes, you may hear a slight rattling sound. Surprisingly, this does not always indicate a brake problem. Brake pads expand due to exposure to the tremendous heat created by friction. Therefore, rattling can occur once in a while. However, when you press down on the brake pedal, you should never hear a rattling sound. This commonly indicates a problem with your brake pads and requires immediate attention.


5.   Hissing Sounds


A hissing sound coming from under your hood typically indicates a fluid leaking onto a hot component of the engine. A typical example is radiator coolant seeping onto the engine block or exhaust. This can also be a vacuum leak from one of the small hoses surrounding the engine’s air intake. Regardless of the cause, you should contact your auto repair shop immediately to check your fluid levels and ensure there isn’t a problem with your engine.


6.   Rumbling Sounds


Have you noticed a rumbling noise while driving that gets louder as your speed increases? This often occurs when a gasket or exhaust components, such as the flex pipe or muffler, might be leaking exhaust. In most cases, the leaky component needs to be repaired or replaced. So, contact your local mechanic immediately for an inspection. If you need a reliable and affordable Riverside auto repair shop, we’re here to help!

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