You might be noticing some strange noises coming from your car. While some noises could be minor issues that even amateurs can fix, other unusual sounds could indicate a more serious problem with your vehicle that requires prompt attention. Here are four common car noises and their causes.
Hissing from Under the Hood
If you hear a hissing noise or a sound of something sizzling under the roof, it’s usually a sign that something is leaking. This sound may be especially noticeable when you’ve shut off your engine after parking. The noise often occurs when coolant or oil has leaked onto a hot engine. Parts of the engine where coolant or oil is known to leak onto include the vacuum line and exhaust manifold. If you hear hissing, don’t drive your car until you’ve had it checked by a mechanic. Leaking fluids can be flammable and hazardous to your safety.
Squeaking or Squealing
You may notice a high-pitched squeaking or squealing sound coming from under the hood when the engine is running. One of your vehicle’s belts might be to blame. If you hear the sound only when moisture has gotten under your roof from a heavy rainstorm or car wash, one of the belts likely just needs to be adjusted. A belt replacement might be necessary if you hear a squeaking or squealing sound more consistently. Fortunately, getting a belt adjusted or replaced is inexpensive and some people even do it themselves. Before you attempt this on your own, however, it is important to know where to take the car to be fixed if you are concerned about the belt being in the wrong way or become overwhelmed.
Grinding When Shifting
This grinding sound is usually more noticeable when shifting gears on a manual gearbox. The problem could be caused by a mechanical issue involving your clutch. However, the grinding sound could also indicate an issue that’s occurring deeper inside the gearbox. Whatever the problem may be, it’s important to take your vehicle to an auto shop that offers gearbox repairs so that you can get the issue resolved before it affects other mechanical components of your vehicle.
Scraping or Grinding While Braking
Scraping or grinding sounds are indicative of brakes that are past their prime. When brake pads wear down, bare metal components start to rub up against one another and emit scraping or grinding sounds every time the brakes are applied. If this problem is allowed to persist, your rotors could become seriously damaged, which will result in even costlier repairs. When you hear this, especially when braking, be sure to get replacement brake pads as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your vehicle and further risk to your safety.
Every unusual sound that you hear coming from your vehicle should be taken seriously so that you can take fast action to resolve any problems. By knowing what the different sounds often mean, you’ll be able to get to the root of the issue faster and take the appropriate measures to have everything fixed properly.