Car Sounds: What's Ok and When To Take It In

Monday, April 12, 2021

Are you the kind of person who freaks out whenever you hear a weird car sound and turns the radio up in response? If so, understand that the ostrich technique never works for anyone.

If you want to have a healthy car that works well for a long time to come, then it's time for you to get your head out of the sand. It's time for you to start paying attention to all the car sounds you hear.

Don't know what the different car sounds mean?

Read on for a list of common car sounds and what you should do about them.


If you step on the accelerator and hear a squealing sound, it could be a loose engine belt or the water pump.

If it's the brakes that are squealing, then it could be a problem with the brake pads, rotors, or shoes.


If the hissing sound's coming from under the hood, it could be a sign of a cooling system or vacuum system leak. High-pitched hissing sounds while driving are a sign of a leak in the vacuum line, hose, or fitting.


Unless you have something attached to your bumper that could cause rattling, rattles are a sign of body damage, loose or missing bolts, or failing equipment.

Interior rattles could indicate problems with doors, windows, or missing screws.


If you hear grinding when shifting a manual transmission, that's a sign that your clutch, transmission, or synchronizer needs looking at. When it happens while applying your brakes, it means the rotors or pads need changing.

Knocking or Popping

Engine knocking commonly occurs when you use low-octane gas in a car that needs high-octane gasoline. Popping noises from the engine could be worn-out spark plugs or a problem with the distributor cap.

It could also mean that the fuel filter is clogged or that your air filter is dirty. A loud backfiring bang means something is wrong with your catalytic converter.

Ticking or Clicking

You might hear a clicking sound when you stop your car. It means that you are low on oil and need an oil change.


When your windshield wipers start making scrapping sounds, it's time to replace them, as they are worn out. They could end up scratching your windshield or prevent proper visibility in poor conditions.


This thudding sound usually comes from your tires and indicates that your tires are low on air. It could also mean that your tires need an alignment.

Car Sounds Mean That Your Car Needs Work

Instead of waiting for something to happen, take your car in for a check-up as soon as you start hearing noises. Your car is making a sound to put your attention on something that needs fixing.

You might think that some car sounds are okay, but it's always better to take it in to a mechanic who's experienced with all sorts of strange car sounds.

If you are in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, B&M Auto provides auto repair and towing services. We'll help diagnose any and all of your car problems! 

B&M Auto Repair and Towing is proud to offer mechanic services to the Collegeville, Phoenixville, and Oak PA areas. We fix brakes, provide towing services, and everything in between, so give us a call at (484) 358-6784 and let B&M Auto be your auto service and repair partner.

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