What’s That Sound? Noises You Should Listen for in Your Vehicle
Modern cars are advanced pieces of technology. They’re faster, quieter, and safer than they ever were before. But, every once in awhile, your car may start making some noises that it normally doesn’t. That may be a sign that your car is having some problems. Here’s ten noises that you should pay attention to if your car is making them:
Squeaking That Speeds up With Your Car
If you are driving a rear-wheel or four-wheel drive truck or SUV, and you hear a squeaking noise coming from the underside of the vehicle, your U-joint (universal joint) may be faulty. This is an issue which needs immediate fixing, because the U-joint is part of your driveshaft. A faulty U-joint has other signs, such as a clunking noise when shifting, leaking transmission fluid, and even vibrations in your vehicle.
Squealing Under the Hood
Usually, a squealing noise coming from under the hood of your car indicates a worn or loose belt. Some cars have multiple belts, while some have a single, serpentine belt. Replacing the belt is relatively cheap and easy, but should be done as soon as possible.
Hissing is one of the more serious noises you can hear when you’re on the road. An engine that’s hissing is most likely overheating due to a lack of coolant, or a coolant leak. You should check under the hood for steam. If there’s steam, call a tow truck – your car needs professional help.
Squealing When Braking
If your brakes are squealing loudly whenever you attempt to slow your vehicle, it’s a sign that your brake pads are wearing out. Try not to brake aggressively, so the pads don’t die as quickly. They’re not completely ruined yet, but should still be replaced as soon as possible.
Scraping or Grinding When Braking
If your brakes are scraping or grinding, then they’re completely worn out. The pads are gone, leaving metal to scrape against metal. Your brakes will not be as effective, either, when this happens. Ineffective brakes can lead to unwanted accidents. Get your brake pads replaced as soon as possible.
Growling or Roaring When Driving
As your tires get closer to the end of their service, they may start making a growling noise when you’re driving at higher speeds. Tires can be expensive, but nonetheless need to be replaced if they are stripped too much.
At the same time, growling or roaring may indicate a more serious problem. If the noise changes in pitch when you’re changing lanes, there’s a high probability that you need a new wheel bearing. A bad wheel bearing needs immediate replacement, because if it seizes, your wheel will not move.
Popping or Clicking When Turning
In front-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles, a popping noise when turning a corner indicates a bad CV (constant velocity) joint. CV joints connect the driveshaft to the transmission and to the wheels. If your CV joint is popping when you’re turning, it’s already past a boot replacement, and the entire CV joint needs to be replaced. It won’t last you long; if it fails on you when you’re driving, it can break the entire axle and cause a serious accident. Replace the CV joint as soon as possible if it’s popping while you’re turning.
High-Pitched Whining in Reverse
If your car is making a high-pitched whining noise which gets worse whenever you’re in reverse, then you most likely have a clogged transmission fluid filter. A transmission fluid filter shouldn’t get clogged in the first place, so this is also a symptom of a more serious problem. The filter can only get clogged by debris from the transmission itself; so if your transmission fluid filter is clogged, then your automatic transmission might have serious damage. See a professional.
Grinding When Driving
If you hear a grinding coming from underneath you when you’re driving an automatic, then the planetary gear might have damage. A planetary gear set contains multiple gears for shifting; grinding usually means that one of the gears is damaged. This problem will only spread if left unchecked. Stop driving your car and see a mechanic near Tempe as soon as possible.
If your exhaust is louder than it should be, then there’s a number of issues that could be causing it. All of them are easy fixes. There might just be a loose pipe, or a hole in a rusted pipe – which needs to be replaced – or you might just need a new muffler. This is not a very serious problem, but a loud exhaust can be unsettling to others.
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
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