5 Engine Noises That Require Immediate Attention

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When you hear noise coming from your vehicle's engine, your first thought usually involves hope that it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, unless a critter is stuck and trying to flee, engine noise seldom disappears.

To determine whether the noise warrants immediately stopping the vehicle or will be fine while you drive to your mechanic's place, ask yourself a few questions. Decide if this is a new sound or if you regularly hear this noise along this particular stretch of road.

Ask yourself if you hear the sound only when it is very cold outside. Determine if the sound stops when you accelerate or if you hear noise only when making a turn. Think back to when you first heard the sound and consider if your vehicle drives any differently. For example, do the brakes feel weak since you first heard the sound. These items will not stop the noise, but they can help your mechanic determine the cause quicker.

Squealing or Chirping Noise Coming from the Engine

If your vehicle squeals upon accelerating or when you fire it up, you have one of several problems. Older vehicles make this sound when you have loose or worn accessory belts. These belts drive engine parts such as the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioner compressor.

Newer cars squeal or chirp when the serpentine belt needs replacing. The serpentine belt is designed to drive several accessories at the same time. If you address the problem right away, it should be an easy and inexpensive item to repair.

To maintain engine timing, a timing belt keeps the camshaft and crankshaft synchronized. The V-belt, fan belt and serpentine belt help transmit front engine power to your air conditioner, fans, charging system and other accessories. Over time, normal wear and tear take its toll on these belts.

When You Turn Your Hear A Popping, Snapping or Clicking Sound

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If you have an all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive vehicle, this is a problem sound. If you hear these sounds only during a turn, then the constant velocity (CV) joints need replacing on your front axle. One or both joints might need attention. Do not ignore this sound. A broken axle could occur while driving in heavy traffic, at high speeds, when stopped at a light or at any time.

Grinding Noises

If you hear your engine grind when you start your vehicle, then you need to get the starter motor checked. It might just need adjusting. Occasionally, the starter motor needs a replacement.

A bigger problem exists if you hear grinding when shifting gears. This major warning sign signals problems with your transmission. If you drive a manual transmission, it likely needs replacing.

Rattling, Sputtering or Rumbling Noises

When you hear rattling noise from somewhere near your engine, it may not come from your engine at all. That sputtering sound and loud rumbles might indicate your exhaust system has a hole in it. Typically, a simple solution like attaching a new muffler, replacing corroded pipe sections or tightening and reattaching loose pipes will fix the problem.

Hearing rattling noises while sitting at a stop light or sign means worse problems that likely comes from your engine. The catalytic converter makes this sound when it goes bad. Normally, replacing the catalytic converter is your only option.

Learn More About Engine Noise

If you would like more information about this topic, we invite you to call or visit our dealership. Our warm, friendly staff look forward to answering any questions you may have.

Categories: Service, Safety