Hearing a strange noise coming from some part of your car can be disconcerting, especially if you are far from home and it’s late at night. If you’re not a mechanic or a car enthusiast, those strange noises have an ominous resonance that can send you into a state of panic. Worse still, they appear from nowhere and turning up the radio, opening and shutting the glove box or belting the dashboard has little or no effect.
The point of this article is to help you to identify some of those ‘strange and ominous’ noises. Knowing what the common car noises are and what causes them might help you to get straight to your mechanic before some really expensive or irreparable damage occurs.
Screeching from under your bonnet
A loose or worn fan belt can make one hell of a racket. It’s a screech that would wake the neighbours and it’s persistent – so persistent that it’s impossible to ignore even if you were that way inclined. The fan belt powers the alternator, power steering, air conditioning compressor and the radiator fan. Yep, it’s a pretty big deal and if it finally goes then you won’t be going anywhere so you need to have it looked at straight away.
Sounds from under your car
You may have driven over a branch or some other object and you’re dragging it down the street with you, we’ve all done that before. That’s nowhere near as bad as something being wrong with your exhaust system. Like your fan belt, it makes a racket but it’s a different racket and they vary depending on the issue at hand. A chugging sound is a blockage in your exhaust and a rattle signals that it’s out of alignment. Hissing indicates something is leaking so there must be a crack or split somewhere.
All of those different issues have a different solution. There are no doubt exhaust and muffler shops near you but to be safe it’s one problem that your mechanic needs to fix, just to be safe.
Your brakes are squealing or grinding
This is a familiar sound that some novices could diagnose. It’s not hard to work out that metal on metal makes an unpleasant sound. To be technical, it’s the calipers grinding against the rotors. Unfortunately it doesn’t go away and obviously, you don’t take chances with your brakes.
Listen to your tyres
A thudding from beneath is never a pleasant feeling. When you’re on the open road and you suspect it’s your tyres, that’s the four pieces of rubber between you and the bitumen, it’s even more concerning.
Kicking your tyres doesn’t qualify as checking your air pressure. Check your manual and check, chances are they could be too low. Slow down and get to a service centre to check your air pressure. If that doesn’t work then it could be time for an alignment. Book in a time with your mechanic.
There’s no prizes for knowing that your wipers are wearing. They scrape, scratch, whine and make it hard to see – which means they’re not doing what they’re designed to do. You may as well replace them as soon as you notice a problem because you will have to sooner or later.
Clunks, clicks and ticks
A clunk is probably a shock absorber which impacts some pretty important driving activities: Braking, handling and steering. You need to check it out with your mechanic.
A click is the CV joint that lubricates the front axle. If you don’t know what a CV joint or and axle is but you do recognise a click then that’s probably a sign that something needs to be done and you’re not the person for the job. That’s another one for your mechanic.
A tick is what you hear before an explosive detonates. That’s not a bad analogy because when you are low on oil and you choose to ignore that … tick, tick, tick … and the warning light, sooner or later your engine will detonate. You shouldn’t need a mechanic to put oil in your car but you will need them to replace your engine if you don’t.
You will find the best car mechanic in Sydney at Mascot. Southern Cross Automotive repairs specialise in all repairs for all models from Australia, Japan, Europe, Korea and everywhere else that cars are made. Book your next service or repair at Southern Cross Automotive repairs, you won’t be disappointed.