Sounds That Indicate your Car is in Need of Repair

Are there some strange sounds coming from your car? If so, it’s likely that you may need one of these repairs performed.

Recently manufactured vehicles are more reliable than they have ever been. Many car owners never notice an issue with their vehicle until they observe a change in performance or hear an abnormal sound.

As a vehicle owner, you are typically most in sync with how your car is supposed to sound.  When there is an abnormal noise coming from your vehicle, this should act as an indication that something is wrong and needs to be look at by a trusted repair shop. Typically, the louder and more frequent a noise occurs, the more severe, and more urgent.

The following explanations may identify the reason why the abnormal noise is occurring:

Rumbling, sputtering and rattling exhaust noises from under the vehicle

Possible service or repair required: Exhaust system inspection, repair, or component replacement

If your vehicle is emitting a sound from beneath the vehicle and the vehicle sounds overall louder than it has in the past, odds are that you have an exhaust leak.  This may be as simple to resolve as reattaching a loose exhaust fitting, replacing a section of the pipe, or installing a new muffler.

If you hear a sound like marbles rattling beneath your vehicle when you are at a stop, chances are the problem is related to your catalytic converter.  This exhaust component reduces harmful polluting vehicle emissions from the exhaust leaving your vehicle. This type of repair is typically a little more involved, and a little more expensive.

Cost associated: If the problem is minor, you may pay as little as $100 however if the issue is with the catalytic converter, it may cost as much as $800, or as much as $1,500 for some more common imports. If this is happening to you, schedule an exhaust system inspection today using CarAdvise.

Grinding while braking

Possible service or repair required: Brake system inspection, new brake pads, calipers and rotors

If you’re hearing (or feeling) grinding when you step on the brake pedal, it means that the brake pads have not been replaced in time to prevent rubbing against the rotors incorrectly.  The brake pads might be in need of replacement and could be coming into uneven contact with the rotor.  It is also possible that the problem may be more severe such as the brake calipers or pistons grinding against the brake rotor.

Cost associated:  Costs can vary depending on your vehicle and the severity of the problem.  $300 to $1,000 per axle is typical (which is a small price for safe slowing and stopping). Schedule a brake system inspection with a trusted shop using CarAdvise.

Screeching or squealing when you brake

Possible service or repair required: Brake system inspection, new brake pads, rotor replacement/ resurfacing

Some OEM’s incorporate a wear indication system into the brake pads that emit a squealing sound to indicate that the brake pads require replacement. Brake pads can also become worn, resulting in the brake pad not releasing properly from the rotor, causing excessive heat and a squealing noise.

Installing new pads and replacing/ resurfacing the brake rotor, will help to ensure proper slowing and stopping without resulting in further damage to your brake system.

Cost associated:  Again, costs will vary by vehicle make and model, as well as the repairs needed. You may want to expect to pay $250 to $400 per axle and upwards. If your rotors are worn to the point that they cannot be resurfaced and require replacement, the cost will increase. To schedule reliable brake service today, use CarAdvise.

Growling, humming, or roaring when driving

Possible service or repair required: New tires or wheel bearings

A growling, humming, or roaring noise when driving can indicate that the tires are in need of replacement however it can also indicate that there is a bad wheel bearing.

An easy way to identify if the problem is tires vs a wheel bearing is to listen closely while changing lanes.  If there is a change to the pitch of the noise while the vehicle is changing lanes and the sound continues when it continues straight, chances are the problem is a bad wheel bearing.

It is recommended to have this looked at by a trustworthy shop immediately.  A wheel bearing that seizes or comes apart can leave you stranded with an inoperable vehicle.

Cost associated:  New tires can range in price dramatically depending on the vehicle and the type of tire.  Wheel bearings can range from $150 to $750 per wheel. To have this properly diagnosed, select a CarAdvise Certified Shop.

Squealing or chirping from under the hood

Possible service or repair required: Drive belt replacement

Your drive belt is also known as the serpentine belt. This belt transfers power produced by the engine to other engine accessories such as the power steering, A/C, and the alternator.  The drive belt will become worn over time and can slip, resulting in a squealing or chirping sound.

It is common for it to make more noise when starting your car or when you rev the engine.  You may also notice that when turning on your A/C the sound intensifies.  A drive belt replacement is a simple and inexpensive repair.  It is recommended to get it looked at the first signs of a problem.

Neglecting a drive belt replacement can lead to much more severe issues such as losing function to power steering, engine cooling, and charging. Do not attempt to drive for any distance if the belt brakes.  This may lead to engine overheating which can lead to catastrophic damage.

Cost associated: Replacing a drive belt in time of further damage can cost as little as $75 but can be as much as $300. To have this and additional routine maintenance performed, schedule service using CarAdvise today.

To make an appointment with a reliable and trustworthy shop to have any of these issues inspected, choose a CarAdvise Certified Shop. When you use CarAdvise, maintenance reminders direct from your OEM will be provided and your maintenance history can be accessed at your fingertips.  Enroll today for FREE!

Comments 4

  1. Thank you for listing sounds that indicate that your car is in need of repair. My car keeps making this really weird noise and I don’t know what it could mean. That is good to know what a growling or humming noise when the car is driving could indicate that the tires need replacing or there is a bad wheel bearing. I will have to take my car in to get it checked!

  2. Car starts making noise means, without wasting a while you have to take it to the professionals. A car can make various noises over time. Different noises correlate to different complications. Some are quite insignificant, and some can lead to an expensive repair. Whirring, whining, squeaking, screeching, whistling, sputtering, rattling, rumbling, grinding, flapping, sizzling, hissing, clicking, tapping- are some the sounds that a vehicle parent can never ignore if he wants to keep his speed machine safe and serviceable for a longer period of time.

  3. Really useful article. Appearance of abnormal sound while driving a car could be very dangerous. So, the condition of different components of the vehicle needs to be evaluated and source of appearance of such abnormal sound needs to be identified and repaired in time to prevent an accident. Prior to the leaving for a long road trip, a quick inspection of different components of the vehicle is really necessary to identify abnormal components and replacement of such abnormal components is really necessary to prevent any major problem.

  4. Wow, I had never considered the idea that a roaring noise when driving can show that the tires need to be replaced, I always thought it would be some internal problem. My car has actually been having that problem for about a week, and I am worried that it is something I won’t be able to repair and I will need to buy a new car. These tips helped me ease my mind a little bit, and I think the only way to find out what is wrong is to actually take the car to a local mechanic.

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