Car Sounds | When You Should See A Mechanic


car sounds

For the true car fan, nothing beats the roar of an engine or the sounds of a turbo firing up. For the more casual driver, silence is normally preferred as this means nothing is wrong with the car. Next to a visual diagnosis, listening to car sounds is one of the easiest ways to spot something wrong. Unfortunately, listening also isn’t an exact science, so saying you hear a clunking coming from your vehicle can mean a number of different issues.

Here at Gary’s Automotive Ottawa, we’re experts in all things car, including those unusual car sounds coming from under the hood. Learn more about the sounds your vehicle is making and when you should come see our team of mechanics.


Listening For Car Sounds

An engine is loud. There are car sounds and noises that will naturally come from the vehicle as it operates. Something like a rubbing sound coming from your brakes after a heavy rainfall is natural, as the brakes are just wet. Keep in mind, an engine is essentially thousands of contained explosions, so there is some sound to be expected, however, some car sounds are not to be expected and can be signs of a greater problem.


Hissing Or Sizzling – If you’ve just shut your car off but can hear a hissing or sizzling, then you’ve got a leak under your hood. This hissing or sizzling likely means that a liquid is touching a hot part. This sound can also be a sign of a leaking vacuum line or a symptom of an overheated engine.


Knocking Coming From Under The Hood – A knocking coming from under the hood can be attributed to a lower grade oil or gasoline than what is required for the vehicle. The lower grade fuel burns at a different rate than what is suggested, which is what throws the engine out of sync, causing the knocking.


Tapping Or Clicking Coming From Under The Hood – Most new cars don’t come with tap dancing shoes standard, so this sound can possibly mean a problem with low oil. It’s possible that this sound also has something to do with the valves in the engine, which would require service to correct.


Sounds That Only Happen When Cornering – It could be that you’ve watched too much F1 racing and are cutting a corner, but it’s more likely to be your vehicles steering linkage. Sounds can mean anything from a simple lubrication of the steering linkage all the way to a full blown replacement.


Grinding When Shifting In A Manual Car – This likely means that there is a problem with the clutch, in that the clutch has worn out or that it requires service.


Clunking When Applying The Brakes –A clunking sound when applying the brakes can be the symptom of a damaged caliper, the part that applies the friction between your brake pads and rotors that makes your brakes work.


Squealing When Applying The Brakes –
A set of squealing brakes can simply mean that there is dirt or water on your brakes, but it can also mean that the pads have worn out to the point where they need to be replaced. Brakes are designed to screech when they are in danger of being worn too thin.


Grinding Or Scraping When Applying The Brakes – In movies, people will often say “at least it couldn’t get any worse!” only for things to get worse. If you ignored the screeching coming from your brakes and now hear grinding, things have gotten much worse. This means that metal is scraping on metal, which when it comes to brakes and car sounds is not what you want. Seek service immediately.


Rattling From Under The Vehicle – Rattling coming from under your vehicle while driving can be blamed on a loose exhaust system. While not a safety issue, this should be serviced before it leads to expensive damages.


A Loud Bang – If you are driving and you hear a loud bang come from your car, then it’s a backfire. This can mean there is a problem with the oxygen sensor or catalytic converter.


When You Should See A Mechanic

Any one of these car sounds can be a sign of potential issues with your vehicle. Knowing where the issue is likely located can help you feel more confident when seeking help. For fast and reliable service, you can count on the experts at your local Gary’s Automotive to listen to your car and get you the service you need!


Hearings something unusual coming from under the hood? Call us or book an appointment online today!



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