Audible Vehicle Warning Signs

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Online

The sounds that your vehicle makes can act as early indicator that there is a problem with your car, and as a smart driver, it is especially important to take heed of any new sounds or sounds that become louder and more frequent as they can lead to a larger problem and end up costing you more in repairs. A car is an elaborate composite of hundreds of moving parts, so some noises are common and to be expected, so make sure you take time to get to know its normal sounds so you will be more prepared to spot and troubleshoot anything out of the ordinary. An accurate description of the shake, rattle or roll can help your mechanic better diagnose your issue and get you back on the road in a safe vehicle.

Here are some noises that could mean trouble for your car:

•         Engine knocking – Steady knocking noises from under the hood during driving can be indicative of loose connections within the engine or worn crankshaft bearings.

•         Engine ticking – Less loud and “thump” like than engine knocking, this sound often occurs when the oil is low or dirty and needing to be changed. Make sure you have your oil changed regularly to avoid this issue.

•         Metallic grinding during breaking – Screeching and grinding sounds emitted from your car during breaking are an indicator that your brake pads have worn through and the metal is rubbing together. This is something that needs to be fixed before further damage is caused and to ensure your car can break properly.

•         Thumping tires – A steady thumping sound coming from the wheel region of your vehicle can be a sign of tires with insufficient air or uneven wear or flat spots. You should check the air pressure on the tires, fill where necessary, and opt for having the tires rotated or replaced if the noise continues.

•         High-pitched squeal – This sound, especially when heard right when you are starting your engine and accelerating, can mean a loose or damaged belt within your engine.

•          Growling steering system – A low growl coming from the steering wheel or column may mean it is low on power steering fluid or that there is air in the system. Make sure you check your levels and ensure there are no leaks.

Also remember to keep an ear out for less obvious sounds such as hissing or dripping as well as they could be indicators of a slow leak of air or fluids, which could become exacerbated over time and lead to larger problems.

To read more on a broad range of subjects from “How To Change A Tire” to “How To Jumpstart Your Car”, visit DefensiveDriving.com’s Safe Driver Resources website!

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