Cars are not designed to make unusual sounds other than what they usually produce. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore unusual car noises and this can often result in more costly repairs or even make your car unrepairable. When you notice unusual noises from your engine while driving, the best thing to do is to stop and listen closely.
Strange noises should always concern you as they usually indicate something is wrong with the engine of your vehicle. This will require immediate attention, and neglecting them will only worsen the problem. So, what should you do in this scenario?
Here is the all-you-need-to-know guide about strange engine noises!
Contact AP Autocare in Bristol today at 0117 911 8719 if your vehicle is making strange noises. We will use our in-house diagnostic equipment to diagnose the problem offering you solutions to ensure your vehicle is in good, efficient and safe working order
1. Squealing or Grinding Noises
Squealing and grinding noises are common when braking, and often indicate worn brake pads. When you notice either of the sounds, chances are your brake pads or brake shoes are worn out and need replacing. This means the pad is too thin to prevent the metal components from touching when you press on your brakes Worn-out brake pads must be replaced immediately as they compromise your car’s safety and the safety of others on the road.
If they aren’t replaced, and the metal parts continue touching, the disc pads will also suffer damage, resulting in complete brake failure. Another reason you may hear squealing or grinding is when brake callipers come loose due to inappropriate mounting. The safe thing to do is to drive to immediately call your local mechanic to arrange for the necessary repairs or replacements. It could be the difference between arriving home safely and something unfortunate on the road.
2. Chirping or Hissing Noises
When you hear chirping sounds or hissing noises from your vehicle’s engine, it might indicate that the serpentine belt or timing belt is damaged or has come loose. Depending on the nature of the issue, some belts may need an adjustment to ensure they are in good working order, but some will require total replacement. Failure to act will compound the issue and mean your car is not safe to be driven. If you delay having your timing belt adjusted it will mean you will need to replace it sooner than you would have needed to and the cost will have multiplied.
Hissing sounds often signify a problem in your vehicle’s engine, and there are multiple reasons for this. In many cases, it can be an overheating engine, or the exhaust is plugged. This can also happen when there is a leak in your vehicle’s vacuum or fluids leak in the engine’s hot parts. In some cases, coolant leaking from the engine will also produce this sound. With so many possible issues, you should visit your local car professional so they can diagnose what the issue is and repair it for you.
3. Rumbling Noises
Rumbling often becomes apparent when accelerating to signify the likelihood of a hole in the exhaust muffler. While a hole in the exhaust muffler doesn’t harm your car, it is a danger to you. This is because it results in fumes leaking into your car, which can be very toxic when inhaled for prolonged periods.
Another reason your car could be making rumbling noises and shaking simultaneously is that one of your spark plugs could be faulty. This will typically lead to the cylinders misfiring.
Of course, a rumbling noise and juddering through the steering wheel is likely to be a flat tyre.
4. Whirring Noises
A whirring noise can often result from unlubricated components, worn universal joints, or a faulty converter. Your car engine consists of various components, including gaskets, hoses, wires, and multiple rotating belts. Continuous running of the engine stretches the belts over time, which causes them to crack. As the belts rotate at high speed, they may produce this noise. When this happens, the solution lies in replacing the faulty parts to arrest the damage. Ignoring it will result in higher repair costs in the future, and replacing is relatively cheap.
A knocking sound, ticking noise or popping noise is produced when there is something wrong with the ignition. This, you’ll notice when fuel ignites in the cylinder. Ignition in the engine can lead to a fuel injector, a damaged spark plug, or even a faulty distributor cap. If you ignore knocking sounds from the engine then it could cost you a lot more. Contact your local garage and ask them to look at your vehicle to assess what needs to be repaired.
What noise should a car engine make?
Not all noise from your car’s engine is a bad sign. For instance, when you turn on the ignition, your engine always produces a sound unless it is electric or hybrid which is much quieter. However, if your vehicle is louder than usual, there might be something wrong with the cylinder compression. When there is an imbalance in the fuel-air ratio inside the cylinder, combustion occurs at a lower or higher rate than usual and it will be louder than normal.
What noise does an engine make when it is low on oil?
When your car’s engine runs low on fuel, you might hear a “ticking” or “tapping” noise. This results from insufficient fuel being pumped into the engine’s upper part of the engine or you should check if it’s a bad fuel filter causing the noise. You should also check your engine’s oil level to diagnose the problem and top it up accordingly which will stop undesirable noises and prevent damage to the engine. You should check your car’s oil level once a month and this will ensure you never run low and risk damaging or blowing its engine.
What should I do when my engine makes an unusual noise?
When you notice strange noises and are unsure what to do, you should contact your local auto repair garage as soon as possible. You risk compounding the issue by ignoring the noises which often results in higher repair costs, especially when it continues for a long time. Your mechanic will accurately diagnose the problem and suggest repairs.
Strange or different car noises should not give you sleepless nights. Most of the issues behind the noises can quickly be sorted out at a low repair cost by your local garage. However, if you ignore them for a long time, they can severely damage your engine so you should always get your car checked out to find the reason why.
About AP Autocare
We are a trusted, reliable and independent garage with over 40 years of experience based in Bristol. We offer diagnostics, repairs, servicing and MOTs for all sizes of vehicles. We are one of Bristol’s Largest Independent Multi Manufacturer specialists and we can service or repair your car for a fraction of the main dealer prices.
We are Citroen, Peugeot, BMW, Mini, Renault, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagon & VW, Seat, Skoda and Land Rover specialists with dealer-level diagnostic equipment.
We offer service, repair and MOTs for all makes and models of vehicles.
At competitive prices, we supply and fit brakes, clutches, exhausts, and tires.
We diagnose and repair all makes and models of vehicles using the latest equipment – whether the issue is with the engine management, ABS, body control units, or instrument panels.
Service, repair, and diagnostics are available for R134a and R1234YF air conditioning systems and we are fully approved.
Our bodywork repair and respraying services are available for all types of vehicles.
Pendle Performance has approved us as a local agent for remapping and tuning.
All of our technicians come from dealership backgrounds and are highly trained.
We follow strict quality control procedures when performing our work.
We offer a 12-month warranty on labour and parts
We are located within walking distance of Bristol City Center and Temple Meads Train Station, making us ideal for any Service, MOT, or Repair you may need.
We can sometimes offer a courtesy car if you need transport whilst your car is with us or a collection or delivery service within certain areas of Bristol. Contact us to find out more.
We have a team of friendly, professional and trusted mechanics who have worked in the industry and for main dealers for many years. We offer highly competitive rates, without the costs associated with a main dealership.
We offer services for all vehicles of any age and size from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).
Our Services include:
- Diagnostics & Repair
- Engine Diagnostics & Repair
- Winter Car Checks
- Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
- Bodywork & Paint Repairs
- Air Conditioning Servicing & repair
- Tyres & Exhausts
- Suspension & Steering
- Battery Testing & Replacement
- Wheel Alignment
- Tyre Replacement