It’s always worrying when you drive your car, and you start to hear unfamiliar sounds coming from it. Sometimes they can cause drivers to panic. Especially if they sound like something irreversible is happening to their motors!
As a motorist, you might not have much experience of the inner workings of your car. After all; that’s why you have your local auto shop take care of your car’s maintenance needs, right?
The thing is; there are some strange noises that need immediate attention. You can’t just keep driving your car and hope for the best. Today’s blog post will help you to identify the source of some of those strange sounds you might be unlucky enough to hear from your car.
Do you hear this noise when you first start your car’s engine? And perhaps you might also hear it when the engine gets turned off?
The high-pitched squealing noise is down to an incorrectly tensioned drive belt. In other words, your cam belt or “fan” belt is loose! The easiest way to check is to pop open the hood and push down on your drive belts (with the motor turned off first, of course).
If there is a lot of play in the belt, you need to adjust the tension on it. If you’re not that great with cars, have a mechanic buddy do it for you. Or you could get your car towed to your local auto shop.
Your gas engine sounds like a diesel
We all know that gas engines are quieter than diesel motors. But what happens if your gas engine sounds like a diesel? That usually means something is wrong; I’m afraid:
- Noise on startup – does the engine get quieter after a few minutes? If so, the problem is down to a faulty cam chain or follower. Sometimes the valves can get worn and cause the same problem with low oil pressure;
- Noise on acceleration – the most common reason for the noise to occur during load is a hole in your muffler or header;
- Noise all the time – does your motor sound like metal scraping against metal? If so, your engine bearings might be worn. That often means “new engine time,” I’m afraid.
Grinding noise when braking
Does your car sound like a train when it brakes? If so, the cause of the problem is worn brake rotors and pads. You can confirm this by doing a visual inspection of your brakes, in particular the end of the car where the noise is coming from.
** RCB ** (Flickr)
Your engine sounds out of tune
If your engine doesn’t sound like it usually does, it could be that it has developed a misfire. A friend of mine works as a mechanic for www.hafoxjaguar.co.uk. He said to me that some cars can develop misfires through simple problems like worn ignition wires.
Other causes might be worn spark plugs and faulty ignition coil packs. More serious problems can include cracked cylinder heads and engine blocks.