Mechanic working on engine repairs

If you’re like most American drivers, you spend a lot of time in your car. In fact, the average driver puts as much as 13,474 miles on their cars every year.

This means you need your car to run smoothly at all times. Unfortunately, maintenance issues will pop up from time to time, no matter how well you care for your car.

The best thing you can do is learn how to spot those issues before they have a chance to do serious damage to your car. The easiest way to do that is to listen for these common car noises anytime you drive.

1. Loud Screeching When You Stop

When your brakes are in good condition, they operate almost silently anytime you push the brake pedal. Unfortunately, the minute you start hearing any type of noise from your brakes, it’s time to schedule an appointment. However, some noises are more severe than others.

If you hear a loud screeching noise as you slow your car down, take your car to the mechanic immediately. That screeching sound happens when the brake pad starts to wear away. Once it does, the metal beneath the pad comes in contact with your wheel.

As the metal grinds together, it creates a loud screeching noise. Worse, it makes your car harder to stop and puts your safety at risk on the road.

Getting your brake pads inspected and replaced will likely solve the problem and help you stay safe on the road in all weather conditions. Just make sure you work with an experienced professional for all repairs. Choosing brake pads can be tricky, but your mechanic will be able to find the right fit for your vehicle.

2. Banging and Popping in the Engine

Every car engine makes noise when it runs, but that noise should be relatively consistent. If the noises start to sound different, it’s time to pay attention.

The most common change happens when the engine starts banging or popping as you drive.

Those noises are typically caused by problems with the engine itself. The pistons in the engine move rhythmically under normal conditions. However, when there’s an issue with them, they can rattle and bang as the engine runs.

The longer the pistons bang against the other components of your engine, the more likely your car is to suffer serious damage. Getting them repaired can help you keep your engine in better working order for years to come and keeps your car on the road longer.

3. Clicking When Turning

Your steering wheel isn’t the most easily damaged component of your car, but that doesn’t make it invulnerable. When it’s damaged, you’ll likely start to hear a clicking noise anytime you move the steering wheel.

That strange noise can be an early warning sign of a damaged steering column, but it may also be the result of low fluid levels. Over time, the damage will get worse and you’ll find it harder to maneuver your car on the road.

The best thing you can do is bring your car into your preferred repair shop. If the problem is due to low fluid levels, topping them off will solve the problem. However, if there’s damage to the steering column, you’ll need to invest in a full repair.   

4. Whining Under the Hood

The belts under the hood are under constant strain even when your car isn’t running. Over time, the materials will start to degrade and, if you’re not careful, can fray or snap altogether.

Though your engine can typically still run with a damaged belt, it won’t do so silently. You’ll start to hear a loud whining noise anytime the engine turns on.

Pop the hood and inspect the belts for damage. If you notice any bare patches, tears, or fraying, bring your car to the mechanic soon. If the belts are completely broken, schedule a repair immediately.

If you don’t replace the belts, you’ll end up doing serious damage to the engine itself.

5. Grinding During Acceleration

Even cars with automatic transmissions have to shift through different gears as you adjust your speed. When those gears are in good shape, the shifting should happen smoothly and silently.

If you notice a strange grinding noise when you accelerate or slow down, it’s likely a sign that you’ve got a problem in your transmission. The sooner you get your car inspected, the better. It’s possible to repair minor issues if they’re caught before they cause problems with the rest of the unit.

However, if you let it slide and ignore the noises, you risk needing a full transmission replacement which can cost thousands of dollars.

6. Hissing Noises

Leaks in and around the engine are incredibly common even in the most well-maintained cars. Luckily, they’re often easy to spot even before you notice liquid pooling under your vehicle.

Pay attention to the sounds that come from under the hood when you turn the car off. If you hear a soft hissing noise, it’s likely that you have a leak somewhere in your engine. This could be a slow oil leak that’s dripping onto the hot manifold or even a leak in your air hose.

Your mechanic will be able to identify the exact cause of the hissing noise and find the fix quickly. Just make sure you schedule an appointment soon. If left unrepaired, those minor leaks can do serious damage to the rest of your car.

Listen for These Car Noises at All Times

Anytime you hear strange car noises, it’s a surefire sign that you should bring your car into a repair shop as soon as possible. However, if you hear these common noises, take your car to your mechanic immediately.

They’ll be able to diagnose the problem quickly and figure out the best solution to keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you keep your car in great condition no matter how many miles you put on it? Check out our latest posts today.