While some noises may be harmless, others can indicate underlying issues that require immediate attention. Ignoring these sounds could potentially lead to more significant problems and repairs down the line.
By understanding these sounds and their potential causes, you can take measures to keep your car running smoothly and ensure your safety on the road. That's why we have put together the list below, so you are informed about five of the most important noises your car makes when it has issues.
1. Squealing Brakes
One of the most common and noticeable sounds is a high-pitched squeal when using the brakes. This sound typically indicates worn-out brake pads - either because of the wear indicator or the pad backplate making contact with the rotor. Ignoring it can lead to decreased braking performance and potential damage to the brake system.
2. Grinding Gears
If you hear a grinding or crunching noise when shifting gears in a manual transmission vehicle, it could indicate a problem with the clutch. This sound suggests that the clutch disc and pressure plate are not engaging properly, which can lead to excessive wear and eventual clutch failure. Getting your clutch inspected and repaired can prevent further damage and ensure smooth gear shifts.
3. Knocking Engine
A knocking sound coming from the engine is a serious cause for concern. It often reveals an issue with the engine's internal components, such as worn-out bearings or piston problems. Ignoring this sound can result in severe engine damage and even engine failure. If you notice a knocking noise, consider leaving your vehicle where it is and calling a tow truck.
4. Whining Power Steering
Whining noise when turning the steering wheel could indicate a problem with the power steering system, more specifically low power steering fluid or a malfunctioning power steering pump. Neglecting this sound can lead to difficulties in steering and potential power steering system failure, which is the last thing you want on the road.
5. Hissing Radiator
A hissing sound coming from the radiator/engine bay area could indicate a coolant leak. This sound typically suggests a damaged radiator hose or a failing radiator cap. It can also mean that the coolant is boiling so do not open the coolant reservoir or radiator! Consult with a mechanic for the best course of action.
If you find yourself in these situations, make sure to stop by Jeff's Automotive, Inc. Our team of pros can take a look!