4 Scary Car Noises and What They Mean

We all know that cars can make funny noises. However, sometimes that funny noise means there’s a small problem with your car, while other times it means that your car is about to shut down.

How do you know what your car is trying to tell you?

Check out this guide to discover the top scary car noises and what they mean.

1. Screeching or Squealing Wheels

If your wheels are screeching or squealing, it could mean that the brake hardware is worn down, specifically, the brake pads.

When a brake pad isn’t releasing properly, it will release excess heat as well as a high-pitched noise. Some recent car manufacturers have begun to install an indication system in vehicles that emit a squealing noise when it’s time for you to replace the brake pads.

Installing new brake pads or replacing your brake rotors will ensure that your vehicle stops safely and that no further damage is caused to your vehicle. If the damage is beyond repair, then it may be time to buy a new car.

2. Screeching or Squealing Under the Hood

If you hear a screeching or squealing noise coming from under the hood, it could mean that you need to replace your drive belt, also known as the serpentine belt.

The engine’s revolutions give power to the drive belt, and the drive belt gives power to the power steering, AC, alternator, and other engine components. Over time, this belt begins to wear down and slip, which results in a squealing sound.

Oftentimes, the sound is loudest when you first start your car. If there is an issue with the drive belt, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible. If not repaired in a timely manner, the belt can break and cause the potential loss of the power system, engine cooling system, charging system, or all three systems.

3. Grinding Noise

If your car is making an unpleasant grinding noise, then it could mean that there is an issue with your brake hardware.

If you hear this sound when applying pressure to your brakes, it could mean a different number of things. The best-case scenario is that something is rubbing against the rotor the wrong way or that your brake pads are worn down. Or, it could mean that the brake pistons or calipers are grinding against the rotor.

Whatever the case may be, a grinding noise is not something you want to ignore. If you wait too long to fix it, your brake hydraulics or calipers could become damaged beyond repair.

4. Rattling or Rumbling

If you notice that your vehicle is rattling or rumbling every time you turn it on, it could be that your exhaust system is damaged.

The resolution could be as simple as reattaching a loose pipe clamp or as complex as installing a new manifold system or muffler. If the rattling noise happens when your car is sitting idle at a stop sign or stoplight, it likely means that you need to replace your catalytic converters.

Car Noises: Time to Act

If any of these car noises sound familiar to you, then it’s time to take your car into the shop to be properly diagnosed. You may find that buying a new car is cheaper than dealing with expensive repairs.

If this is the case, be sure to check out our new car inventory today.