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5 Common Car Noises, What They Mean, & How to Fix Them

When your car makes a strange noise, the first thing that probably goes through your mind is dollar signs. Not all noises are expensive to fix, though, but all noises should be checked out as soon as possible. Preventative maintenance can prevent many of these noises, as we catch many problems before they can cause damage.

Contact Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI if you hear noises that shouldn’t be there. In the meantime, let’s explore the five common car noises, their potential causes, and how to address them. 

1. Squealing Noises

Squealing noises are often a cause for concern, and they can originate from different components of your car.

Male driver hearing unusual car noise. Concept image of “5 Common Car Noises, What They Mean, & How to Fix Them” | Little Wolf Auto in Waupaca, WI

One common source is the serpentine belt, which drives several vital systems like the alternator and power steering. This belt can produce a high-pitched squealing sound if worn, loose, or misaligned. To fix it, you must replace the belt as soon as possible.

A loose or worn-out fan belt can also generate a squealing noise, particularly when the engine is running. Tightening or replacing it may be necessary. 

In any case, seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic to ensure proper diagnosis and repair. The Little Wolf Auto team in Waupaca, WI is here to help.

2. Clicking Noises

Clicking noises are often associated with the engine or electrical components. One common cause is a malfunctioning or dying battery. If you hear rapid clicking sounds when trying to start your car, it could indicate a weak or faulty battery. 

Another possible source of clicking noises is the CV joints. These joints connect the transmission to the wheels and can wear out over time. Clicking noises during turns or acceleration may suggest CV joint damage.

Consider having the battery tested and replaced if necessary to address clicking noises due to a weak or faulty battery. If the clicking comes from the CV joints, a professional inspection is recommended to determine if the joints need to be repaired or replaced. 

3. Knocking Noises

A knocking sound emanating from the engine can signal serious trouble. It could indicate problems with engine components like the pistons, connecting rods, or crankshaft. 

Knocking noises often occur when the fuel and air mixture ignites unevenly within the cylinders. This can be caused by low-quality fuel, incorrect ignition timing, or excessive carbon buildup.

If you hear a persistent knocking sound, you must have your engine inspected by a professional mechanic immediately. Ignoring the issue may lead to severe engine damage. 

At Little Wolf Auto, our mechanics will diagnose the root cause of the knocking noise and recommend the necessary repairs, which may involve replacing damaged components or performing an engine tune-up.

4. Grinding Noises

Worn-out brake pads are a common culprit. When the brake pads are excessively worn, the metal backing can make contact with the brake rotor, resulting in a grinding noise. This noise may occur when you apply the brakes or while driving, depending on the severity of the issue.

A professional inspection of the braking system is recommended to determine the extent of the problem. In most cases, replacing the worn brake pads and resurfacing or replacing the damaged rotor can resolve the issue. Ignoring grinding noises can further damage the braking system and compromise braking performance.

5. Hissing Noises

If you hear a hissing sound coming from under the hood, it could signify a coolant leak. A leak in the radiator, hose, or water pump can cause coolant to escape and produce a hissing noise. Another possible cause of hissing noises is a vacuum leak, where air escapes from the intake manifold or vacuum lines.

If you notice a hissing sound, it is important to address it promptly to prevent engine overheating or potential damage. Have a professional mechanic inspect the cooling system to identify and repair any leaks. In the case of a vacuum leak, our mechanics can perform a thorough diagnosis to locate the source and replace or repair the affected components.

Say Goodbye to Annoying Car Noises, Contact Our Automotive Experts at Waupaca, WI!

Unusual car noises should never be ignored, as they often indicate underlying problems that require attention. By being aware of common car noises, you can take the necessary steps to diagnose and address these issues promptly. 

Remember, seeking professional assistance from a trusted auto service center is crucial to ensuring your vehicle remains in excellent condition. As such, you have Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI. 

Call us at (715) 258-0200 for vehicle diagnostics and auto repair. We are conveniently located at 225 S. Western Ave., Waupaca, WI 54981.