Common Car Engine Sounds

When you first drive your car off of the car lot, everything about the car is new. It looks new, it smells new, and it sounds new. In fact, it can be so quiet that you have to double check to make sure you even started it. However, over time, the car engine can start making strange little sounds. That is when you start to worry. These noises may not be good, but they are common. This list below offers up some of the more common noises that your car might make as well as what they can mean.

Knocking Noises

Knocking noises generally spell trouble and can be reason to worry. In fact, when your car starts making these sounds, it needs to be checked out immediately. One common cause of knocking noises is rod knocking. This means that your rods have worn out, and it is only a matter of time before your bearings go. This can be dangerous, and if it ends up being the cause of the noises, the car should not be driven until it is repaired.

Grinding Noises

If you begin to hear grinding noises coming from the front end of your car, you may be wondering what the source of the sound is. Sometimes, this sound can be metal that is grinding against the cylinders. If this is the case, it could be that your brake pads need replaced. If you check your brake pads and they are not in need of replacement, you should have the car looked at by a professional.

Tapping or Clicking Sounds

One of the more confusing noises a car can make happens when the engine begins to tap or click. The reason for this noise can be a little harder to pinpoint than some other noises. However, most times, you can hear the tapping speed up as you accelerate the car and slow down as you slow the car down. This could mean that the upper valve train (commonly called a "tappet") has worn out. Low oil pressure can cause a cars’ engine to make a similar sound as well.

Squealing Sounds

A squealing engine is unmistakable. This is the sound that draws everyone’s attention in the parking lot as you cruise by. The culprit for this irritating sound is the serpentine belt (also known as a fan belt). Over time, the fan belt in the engine can get weak. Once worn out, or worn loose, the rubber teeth on the belt begin to drag, making that squealing sound. Sometimes, all you need to do is tighten the belt. However, the wearing can sometimes be so bad that you need to replace the belt entirely.

Whining or Rattling Noises

When your car begins to whine or rattle this, the cause is typically the camshaft. It is possible for your camshaft to slip, or be misaligned, causing it to make noises. When this happens, it is a good idea to forgo self-repairs and opt to have a professional fix the problem instead.

Although it may be troublesome (and sometimes embarrassing) when your car starts getting vocal with you, it is good to "listen" to the warnings it is trying to give you. It may very well be that something is amiss, and this warning can save you from a more serious problem. The list above should give you a pretty good idea of what kinds of problems are related to which sounds. By listening to the sounds coming from the engine in your car, finding the problem, and fixing it early, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.