Why is my Car Making that Noise? | Lujack's Used Car Center, Davenport IA

Clicking, clunking and squealing. Where is it coming from? Is it dangerous? Should I get out and take a look, or ignore it and hope it goes away? Cars, like people, communicate when something is not right. Often, a worn or unbalanced car part will make a sound. Here are some common causes of those unsettling sounds.


1.         Hissing:

           A hissing sound it could also be an indication of a leak, either in the cooling system or a vacuum line. If it's the former overheating is a concern, the latter, drivability and fuel-economy issues could result. A trip to the mechanic is in order.

2.         Porcine Squealing:

If your car's engine is making a shrieking sound it could be an issue with the serpentine belt. Either the rubber has gotten old and brittle or the tensioner could be failing. If the latter is to blame the belt may not have the appropriate pressure applied to it, causing slippage and ultimately ill-mannered commotion.

3.         Growling or Moaning:

It may be an indication that the power-steering pump is not long for this world. And you may not be either if you ignore this issue. True, many new cars and trucks are equipped with electrically assisted steering, arrangements that often negate the need for a traditional hydraulic setup.

4.         Under-hood percussion:

If you hear a rattling, pinging or hammering sound beware. This racket is associated with three separate but related combustion problems: detonation, pre-ignition and spark knock, all of which can be extremely harmful.  Running higher octane gasoline, changing the air-fuel mixture, retarding ignition timing or de-carbonizing combustion chambers can rectify these problems.


1.         Clunking:

Bad ball joints, worn control-arm bushings or faulty stabilizer link-pins can cause uncivilized sounds, but other chassis components could be to blame as well. Even a loose exhaust system can flop round and make percussive noises.

2.         Metallic Screeching or guttural Groaning:

If there's a screeching sound when you apply the brakes it's a good chance the pads have reached the end of their useful lives. Many are engineered with small metal tabs that rub against the rotor when the friction material is worn away to a certain point. The squealing sound is an indication that it's time for a brake job.

3.         Clickety-Clack:

If your front-wheel-drive vehicle sounds like an Amtrak train while moving at low speed with the wheels turned it could be an indication that the constant velocity or CV joints are failing. They're located on the ends of the drive axles.


5.         Clattering or knocking:

           If your vehicle's engine makes a clattering or knocking noise that increases with RPM it could be in serious trouble. The former, which is usually a "tap-tap-tap" sound, can be indicative of a lifter that isn't pumping up or a sign that the valve clearances need to be adjusted. However, if the noise is deep and hammering get out your wallet. This can point to a bad rod bearing, which is a serious job to replace. But wait, it gets worse! It can also indicate that your engine has spun a bearing, something that requires pulling the entire lower end - and likely the whole powertrain - to address.

6.         Cap 'n Crunch:

If you drive something with a manual transmission and you're starting to hear a crunching sound while changing gears it can be a symptom of several different problems, ones usually associated with high mileage. For starters, gear grinding can be indicative of a worn out synchronizer, the transmission component that enables easy shifting from one ratio to another. Likewise, a dragging clutch could be the culprit, one that's not fully disengaging when the pedal is depressed. Both of these issues often require extensive service work to correct.


1.         Howling:

If your rear-wheel-drive car or truck is making a howling sound that seems to be coming from out back, this can be a symptom of a problem with the differential. A variety of noises can be produced by one of these components in different driving situations, from acceleration to deceleration to steady-state motoring. Pinion preload, worn gears or bad bearings can cause these noises.

2.         Popping Noise:

If you hear a popping noise coming from your exhaust, it could be a couple different things. It could be that your fuel injectors are leaking or it could be that the is a hole or a leak in your car's exhaust. 

3.         Backfire

If your engine backfires when pressing on the gas pedal, even though it sound comes from the rear, the problem is actually in the engine. Multiple things could be wrong, and none of them are to serious. Camshaft belt or chain may have slipped a bit or the ignition timing needs adjusting. Also, the spark plug wires are placed on the wrong plugs.

If it happens when you take your foot off the gas pedal, again it could be the ignition need adjusting or it could be a bad injection inverter valve.

If your vehicle is making any of these noises, feel free to stop by Lujack Used Car Center and our trained service professionals will help you sort out the noise and fix your problem.

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