When you hear noise coming from your vehicle’s engine, your first thought usually involves hope that it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, unless a critter is stuck and trying to flee, engine noise seldom disappears. We put together a short list of the 5 engine noises that require immediate attention:
Squealing or Chirping Noise
If your vehicle squeals upon accelerating or when you fire it up, you have one of several problems. Older vehicles make this sound when you have loose or worn accessory belts. These belts drive engine parts such as the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioner compressor.
A Popping, Snapping or Clicking Sound
If you have an all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive vehicle, this is a problem sound. If you hear these sounds only during a turn, then the constant velocity (CV) joints need replacing on your front axle. One or both joints might need attention. Do NOT ignore this sound. A broken axle could occur while driving in heavy traffic, at high speeds, when stopped at a light or at any time and it can be extremely dangerous to you and your vehicle.
If you hear your engine grind when you start your vehicle, then you need to get the starter motor checked. It might just need adjusting. Occasionally, the starter motor needs a replacement. A bigger problem exists if you hear grinding when shifting gears. This major warning sign signals problems with your transmission. If you drive a manual transmission, it likely needs replacing.
Rattling, Sputtering or Rumbling Noises
When you hear rattling noise from somewhere near your engine, it may not come from your engine at all. That sputtering sound and loud rumbles might indicate your exhaust system has a hole in it. Typically, a simple solution like attaching a new muffler, replacing corroded pipe sections or tightening and reattaching loose pipes will fix the problem.
Hearing rattling noises while sitting at a stop light or sign means worse problems that likely comes from your engine. The catalytic converter makes this sound when it goes bad. Normally, replacing the catalytic converter is your only option.