Your car could be trying to tell you something with every noise it makes. Learn the signs of your car's health with our list of common car noises and their diagnoses. Read the best way to fix these common car illnesses, but remember to follow up on your own with a professional check-up.
Clutching and/or squealing brakes:
- Improperly mounted disc brake caliper
- Damaged or missing brake hardware
- Dirt on the brake rotors, pads, drums, and/or shoes
- Worn brake pads and/or shoes
- Overheated brake pads that are now glazed
What to do: Have a mechanic inspect your brakes. Most of the time, these sounds just indicate your pads need to be lubricated or replaced. In most modern vehicles there are soft metal tabs that when worn down make contact with the brake rotor and create a sound.
Hissing/rattling/squealing under the hood:
- Leaking vacuum hose
- Coolant or oil leaking on engine (potential overheating)
- Slipping drive belt
What to do: For a vacuum hose leak, the vacuum may simply have come disconnected. For the rattling sound, check your coolant temperature; if it's normal, consider using premium gasoline. However, if neither of these eliminates the noise, have a mechanic look at the vehicle. For the squealing sound, have a mechanic inspect your driving belts and replace them if necessary.
- Torn tire rubber
- Bubble in tire sidewall
- Flat spot in tire
What to do: If the problem is indeed with your tires, you will also feel vibration in the steering wheel. Tire issues can be very hazardous, as torn rubber or a bubble could lead to a blowout. Have your tires inspected to ensure road safety.