If there’s something wrong with your vehicle, it could make engine noises or other strange sounds to let you know. While it may be tempting to ignore such noises in the hopes that they’ll disappear, that’s NOT the best course of action!
Now, if you’re a parent, you already know what it’s like to play detective to figure out what’s wrong with a child that can’t communicate. When you have a newborn baby, for example, it’s often a guessing game to determine exactly what their cries mean since they can’t verbally tell you what’s going on.
The same is true for your vehicle. Think of engine noises or other unusual sounds as your vehicle’s way of communicating. Trying to figure out what those sounds mean is the job of the car doctor, aka your trusted mechanic. But bringing your vehicle to your local auto repair shop and telling them about those noises is YOUR job!
It’s possible for your vehicle to make all kinds of different sounds. But today, we’ll focus on engine noises that are particularly important to pay attention to.
5 Engine Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore
1. Knocking or Pinging
A knocking sound, especially when you’re speeding up or your vehicle is carrying a load, can indicate an issue with the engine’s combustion process. Common causes include worn out bearings, damaged pistons, or improper fuel combustion.
2. Squealing or Screeching
Do you notice a high pitched squeal or screech when starting your vehicle or upon acceleration? The problem could be a loose or worn out belt such as the power steering or serpentine belt. Over time and with use, these belts can crack and wear out, with negative impacts to vital engine components.
3. Rattling or Tapping
If you notice a metallic rattling or tapping sound emanating from under the hood, it’s probably NOT a trapped bird trying to get out! Rather, it could be caused by loose or worn out parts like valve lifters or rod bearings.
4. Hissing or Sizzling
These two noises are typically connected with something overheating or liquids leaking. For example, you may have a damaged radiator, leaking coolant, or a failing water pump. The combination of leaking fluids and hot parts can create a fire hazard so it’s especially important to pay attention to these clues that something is wrong!
5. Grinding or Metal-on-Metal
This is perhaps one of the least pleasant engine noises to hear and it also warrants immediate attention. That’s because these sounds can come from internal components like bearings or gears that are rubbing together when they shouldn’t be.
What to Do If You Hear Strange Engine Noises
If you hear engine noises like the ones we’ve described, or even something else altogether, don’t ignore them! While the specific noise and its cause may vary by make, model, and condition of your vehicle, it still means that something is wrong. And, as is the case with many vehicle issues, fixing a problem in its early stages may help to prevent bigger, more expensive problems down the road.
This is one of the main reasons why we’re such big proponents of preventative maintenance here at Good Works Auto Repair. When your vehicle is routinely inspected and maintained, your mechanic is more likely to be able to catch simple problems before they become expensive, complex ones.
Of course, not every major auto repair can be prevented. But when you recognize the importance of strange engine noises and other clues, you can schedule an appointment for service right away. Even though a significant repair may still be required, you can sometimes avoid uncomfortable situations like being stranded on the side of the road.
Whether you hear odd noises emanating from your vehicle or you simply want to keep your vehicle in top shape, give us a call or schedule an appointment online today! We’re on your side and want to help you keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely for as long as possible.