SHHHHHH, did you hear that? It sounds like it is going to explode! Is it coming from the engine or is that the transmission? No wait that is coming from the rear of the car. Dude… Pull over!
When your car starts making odd and they are sounds that you are not used to hearing, it can be bewildering. All cars will produce some sort of noise. It develops what some people refer to as a “character,” and these noises become part of the performance of the car. Noises such as these do not necessarily mean anything is wrong with your vehicle, we all get to know the noises of our cars, until one day it makes a noise that stands out from the “character” sounds. That’s when we tune in and become concerned. The following list explains some of these noises and what they may indicate.
1. Clicking and Tapping Sounds
A perceptible tapping or engine clicking noise coming from the front of your car will draw your attention. Your ears will perk up and you will tune in to the noise, open a window and try to figure out what is going on. The tapping or clicking will increase as you accelerate and become faster. This could be a lifter or what is known as a ‘tappet,’ or the upper valve train. The causes could be a number of issues stemming from worn parts. It could also indicate that the oil pressure is low. Check your oil pressure gauge when you hear this sound and follow the guidelines to determine the exact problem. Take the dipstick out and make sure you have enough oil. If the oil is fine head to your mechanics for some advanced diagnostics.
2. Deep Knocking Noises
Sounds like these are usually a sign of deep trouble and you should be concerned. ‘Rod knocking’ sounds could mean that one part deep inside the engine has worn out. If your rod bearings have worn completely out or become too loose, it is only a matter time before the bearings fail. In this case, you should not use the car until the knocking engine noise has been fully and properly tested, diagnosed and repaired.
If you hear a drawn out droning or rattling engine noise from your car when you accelerate it could possibly be your camshaft belt is badly aligned or slipping. Have your belt checked or look it over yourself if you have the knowledge needed. It should really be fixed by a good mechanic; otherwise, if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, you could have more trouble further down the road.
4. Squealing when Accelerating
This is an unmistakable sound and it is quite ear splitting. This is your fan belt frankly telling you it is in a bit of pain. The fan belt can loosen over time and when you start your engine the fan belt can squeal when the rubber teeth underneath it start to drag. If the fan belt is loose, it will not be able to move at the same tempo as the pulleys, which control it, thus creating the intense squealing noise. If this happens with your vehicle, you should look in the manual for repair procedures and tighten it correctly. It may have worn to the point that it needs to be replaced.
5. Grinding Noise
If you hear a deep grinding noise, it may be your brakes. Have the front brake pads checked for signs of complete wear. If the metal is grinding against the rotors, you should have already had the brakes inspected some time ago and will likely have incurred some additional parts expense.
Noises by nature can be tricky to diagnosis. Sometimes they are there and sometime they are not. A noise that is coming from the rear can travel and sound like it is originating from the front. If you have any uncertainty, it is probably best to have the noise check by a professional with specialized equipment. This will guarantee that you car is diagnosed right the first time, saving you time and money.
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