A weird car noise is enough to send most drivers in a panic, especially those who do not know a lot about cars. Well, you have a legitimate reason to be scared. In some instances, it could be a sign of a problem that needs an immediate attention. However, there are also instances wherein these noises are not a reason to be alarmed.
In the rest of this post, we will have a quick look at some of the most common car noises that you can hear when you are driving. We will not only identify the causes, but we will also dig deeper at the best things that you can do. Some of the solutions can be completed even on your own while there are also more complicated things that are best to be handled by an experienced mechanic.
Squealing Engine Noise
This is the type of noise that can be heard almost in an instant after turning on the engine. As we all know, the engine is the heart of the car. Therefore, when there is a noise coming from the engine, you should immediately check it out. It is a serious problem that could be costly to repair when not resolved as soon as possible. This could also put your safety at risk.
Among others, one of the most common causes of the squealing engine noise is the worn-out serpentine belt. Through years of driving, it could have already given up. Sometimes, all that you have to do is to readjust the belt. However, when it has already taken the toll, a replacement is warranted. This is necessary because the belt controls the other parts of the engine system, such as the compressor and alternator.
It is also possible that the problem is with the tension of the belt. If the tension is too tight, it could put more stress on the different parts and can be the reason for the noise. If it is too loose, on the other hand, it can make a wobbly sound. A quick inspection and readjustment of the tension will help.
Aside from the serpentine belt, the failure of other accessories to function properly can also be blamed for the weird noise that is being made by the serpentine belt. The pulleys, for instance, could be the ones that are causing the noise.
Bad Noise from Brake
This is another common noise that you can hear would be from the braking system. If you have parked outside and you hear the noise shortly after driving, this may not be a cause of concern. The rotors could have been rusted because of the buildup of moisture.
Going to the more serious concerns, a bad brake noise can be caused by worn out brake pads. In the case of some brake pads, they come with an indicator providing an immediate warning when it is already calling for a replacement. There are small steel clips, which will make a noise to let you know that it is time to have new brake pads. The backing plate at the back of the pad could become thicker over time, which can compromise the braking system of your car. If they are not damaged, there can also be a noticeable noise when you use low-quality brake pads.
Another reason for the noise in the brakes would be stuck solid objects. They can be stuck between the caliper and the rotor. More often than not, you will hear a grinding noise when this is the problem. In most cases, a small rock or a debris is the problem.
Lubrication can also help to address the problem. When the caliper bolts are unlubricated, they can produce a grinding sound every time the brake is applied. To minimize the friction and noise, lubrication is necessary.
Clicking While Turning
When you turn the car and you hear a noise, the first thing that needs to be done is to determine the source. Did you hear it from the front, middle, or back? There are some clicking noises that are normal, such as when you turn emergency flashers.
However, the most common reason for a clicking noise when you turn is the constant velocity (CV) joint. They function like the arms and legs of the car, making sure that the movements in the engine system will be well-coordinated. Therefore, when the CV joints fail, it is not uncommon to hear a noise when turning or accelerating. This could be because of the lack of grease, causing a friction. In worse situations, the joint can already be damaged and it is time for a replacement.
The failure of the bearing hub is one more thing that should be looked at. The axle hub has the main function of shouldering the load as the vehicle turns. When it fails, there will be a clicking sound. Replace the hub or have it adjusted to fix the issue.
Loud Tire Noise
There are several reasons why the tires make a noticeable noise when you are driving. It could be because of compressed air on the tire treads. It can also be because the car is having difficulty carrying the load, especially if it is towing something.
On a more serious note, there are three things that could make the tires make a noticeable sound. One of the reasons would be uneven wear. This means that there is uneven contact between the tires and the road, making the tread unbalanced. There can also be a problem with the alignment of the tires. If you have not had wheel alignment in a long time, it may now be the time to have one to prevent the air chamber from making a noise. Lastly, it could also be because of a problematic wheel bearing. This is the most serious from the three problems. You can often hear this sound when you are changing lanes.
To solve the problem with loud tire noises, regular service and maintenance will be important. From the alignment of the wheels to the replacement of the bearings, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. Otherwise, the tires will not just keep on making annoying noises but will also be less fuel-efficient and can even end up compromising your safety. It significantly minimizes the road-worthiness of the vehicle.
As it has been mentioned in this article, there are four major common car noises – squealing engine noise, bad brake noise, clicking noise when turning, and a loud tire noise. Some of the problems may not be serious, but in most instances, you need to be proactive in having the issue resolved before it will be costlier to repair and to ensure that you will stay safe and sound while on the road.