We’ve all been there, that sinking feeling as you hear your vehicle make an unusual sound. Although it’s tempting to turn up the volume and ignore the problem, it’s not going to fix anything. Sounds can tell us a great deal about our cars, and if you listen closely you might be able to diagnose the problem from just the noise alone. Some rattles, clicks and clunks can be classic examples of mechanical problems. Here are a few examples of what to listen out for:
Vehicle making noise when braking?
As we have mentioned in a previous article, if you hear any noise as you apply the brakes then you should seek professional advice as quickly as possible. Screeching, grinding or squeaking could indicate that your brake pads need replacing. Waiting too long to fix this could be dangerous and lead to more expensive repairs down the line, so whatever you do DO NOT ignore this sound.
Hearing a noise whilst changing gear?
The transmission contains many components that can become damaged or worn over time. This is a complex area of the car, so only use experienced and trained professionals to investigate any problems. Clinking, buzzing, grinding, humming and vibrations are all indications that you should get your transmission checked out.
Squeaking from the Engine?
A constant high pitched squeaking when the engine’s running is not only irritating but could also be a sign that a pulley or belt needs adjusting. The drive belt in your car powers elements such as air conditioning, power steering, the alternator, fan and water pump. High velocity components can become stretched or misaligned over time and replacing them but not fixing other issues such as pulley tension could still cause the squeaking sound.
The exhaust can create a variety of noises that could indicate different issues. The most distinctive example is a problem with the silencer. If this becomes corroded your exhaust will start to make a loud roaring noise. Other sounds to listen out for include hissing, which indicates a crack or a leaking gasket. A chugging noise can indicate a blockage in the system, and any rattling noises could mean the exhaust has become misaligned.
Rumbling from the corners of the car?
If you notice a rumbling sound coming from the corners of your car, you will most likely have a problem with one of your wheel bearings. The sound will get louder as you turn left or right and could also have a vibrating hum to it. Hearing your wheel bearings doesn’t indicate that you need an immediate fix, but it is good to have it seen to. Having one side fail doesn’t necessarily mean the other side will need to be replaced either.
Sounds you won’t hear until it’s too late!
One component you will hear only when it is too late is the cam belt or timing belt. It is advised that you change your cam belt every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. It is an essential part of your engine that keeps the car running efficiently and smoothly. If the Cam belt fails it could damage other parts of the engine, which would require a costly repair. Unfortunately, if you hear it breaking then it will be too late to avoid.
If you are worried about any unusual sounds come by and let us put your mind at ease. We are Gosport’s leader for high quality vehicle care, maintenance for cars and motorcycles, fill our our online enquiry or phone us on 02392 522344.