Weird Car Noises: What is Your Car Trying to Tell You?

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656323170059 Car Noises What Do They Mean Featured(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Be it screeching, rattling or weird peculiar clanking. Cars make weird noises from time to time but what do they actually mean and should you be concerned?

The noises your car make is its way of telling you what it needs. Oftentimes, it may even represent a call for help so always make sure you attend to it when it ‘talks’ to you!

Different noises represent different needs, however, so how do you know what it’s trying to tell you? Today we’ll be covering some of the most common noises your car might make!

Brake Squealing/Screeching

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656323459348 Car Brake Screeching(Photo Credit: Pexels)

We’ve all been there. Coming to a stop at a traffic light when suddenly, ‘skreeeeeeeeeeeeeee’. You raise your eyebrows, you cringe and you wish you'd tinted those windows pitch black beforehand, as other road users and pedestrians alike glance over at your car.

Fret not, it happens quite frequently and the most common reason behind it is worn-out brake pads. What you’re hearing is your calipers grinding against your wheel rotor. Prolonged periods of this happening can lead to greater damage that will be more costly than just a brake pad change so don’t hesitate to get them changed!

The Mysterious Ticking Sound

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656323744170 Cv Joint Noise(Photo Credit: Mechanic Base)

Specifically when at low speeds, a ticking sound when you make turns could be a result of expired constant velocity (or CV) joints. These are basically what helps your CV axle flex when your car moves up or down.

When these CV joints are too worn or damaged, it will stop the axle from operating properly and efficiently and emit the mysterious ticking sound!

Engine Squealing

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656323893064 Engine Noises(Photo Credit: Pexels)

When you find that your engine starts squealing when you start your car or when you accelerate, there’s a variety of issues that could cause this but generally, it revolves around faulty or loose accessory belts used to drive parts such as your car’s alternator or power steering pump for example.

It could also be an issue with your serpentine belt, common with newer cars. But fret not, it’s relatively cheap to get it fixed!

Droning Sound when Accelerating

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656323971074 Car Tyre Noises(Photo Credit: Pexels)

It’s really hard to not notice when there’s an issue with your tyres due to the noise it makes and this is no different. A droning sound that gets louder when you accelerate might make you feel like you’re driving a spaceship but it’s really not that cool, rather, it could be quite hazardous. The first reason could be worn tyres, especially if they were worn out unevenly. Alternatively, it could also point to underinflated or punctured tyres.

We shouldn’t have to say it but tyre issues are extremely dangerous, so please avoid driving when you hear this especially if there’s very bad wear and tear or a puncture. Get that spare tyre out or call for a tow!


Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1656324080130 Hissing Noise Under Hood(Photo Credit: Pexels)

No, there probably isn’t a bunch of snakes under your hood so don’t call animal control just yet! Hissing is another common car noise that may indicate trouble with your machine. Normally, it signals the presence of a leak. Take haste to get it checked as a leak in your cooling system may lead to overheating issues that'll cause further damage to your vehicle!

Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry!

It can become a hassle to get your vehicle to your workshop every time it makes a weird noise. You might also find it to be an unnecessary expense, after all, some of these noises don’t necessarily mean your vehicle can’t be driven. However, we promise you, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This "it’ll be fine" mindset is a slippery slope that leads to further damage and even higher costs (not to mention the risk of accidents that come with it!)

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Read more: The New Car Owner's Guide Vol 2: Tyres