Identifying Worrisome Car Noises

Owning a car is necessary for getting to work, to school, the doctor, the store, and just about everywhere else. It is true that having a car means having the freedom to go where you want to go, when you want to go there. It should also be noted, however, that owning a car means being responsible for keeping it in good working order to keep you and those around you safe. This article examines several worrisome car noises and what to do about them.

Brake Noises

Grinding, squealing, and screeching sounds coming from your brakes may indicate a problem. A little swishing or grinding first thing in the morning until your brakes warm up can be perfectly normal. But excessive squealing each time you brake may mean it is time for some new brake pads. If the squealing turns into a scraping noise you may have to replace more than just the brake pads, your brake shoes could be worn as well. Having your brakes checked out every six months or so is a good idea, just to be safe.

Low on Power Steering Fluid

If your car makes a loud screeching noise as you park or turn while driving slowly, you should check your power steering fluid. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix your local mechanic can help you with. If you take your car in for regular oil changes the mechanic usually checks the power steering fluid level as well. If you find your car is low on power steering fluid often, you should get your car checked for any leaks.

Bad Belts

A squealing sound coming from under the hood, especially if it changes pitch as you change engine speeds is likely a loose or worn belt. Check belts for cracks, burns, or other signs of wear. If there is an issue with a belt in the engine, they can easily be replaced by a mechanic.

Broken CV Joints

If you hear a clicking noise as you turn your car, it could be your CV joints are going bad. CV joints have protective boots to keep them in good shape. But if the boots get cracked or otherwise damaged, the lubricant in the CV joint dries up and the joint eventually breaks. Replacing CV joints can get expensive. So its a good idea to keep an eye on the boots to make sure they are always in good shape. By doing so you can greatly extend the life of your CV joints.

Normal Noises

While some car noises are worrisome and even annoying, others are perfectly normal. As was mentioned earlier, a little grinding of the brakes first thing in the morning is a completely normal occurrence. The faint clicking you often hear just after turning off you car’s engine is the manifold cooling off. A woosh of air on start up or when your engine gets too hot is also normal. That is the sound of the fan located behind the radiator doing its job.

Diagnosing what is wrong with your car is the first step to repairing it. Some sounds may be easy to identify, but others may require the help of a trained professional to identify them. Do not hesitate to take your car to the mechanic if you begin to notice a strange noise. Getting things checked out and repaired quickly saves a lot of time and money in the long run.

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