Common Engine Sounds and What They Mean

By blogsadmin | Posted in Service on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 at 3:56 pm

If your car’s making some surprising noises, it’s likely that some part of your engine is trying to talk to you. Whether it’s a shriek or a clunk, you’ll want to get any engine noise checked out straightaway.

Engine sounds and problems

When you’re behind the wheel, the only sounds your engine should make are the predictable sounds of starting and accelerating to meet your speed requirements. That should be true when you turn, brake, accelerate, and idle—if you’re hearing something other than smooth engine sounds, you’ll need to take your car in to see a mechanic. 

Car on road
  • Hearing a hiss? You’re probably hearing a leak in your cooling system or vacuum line. Indicative of potential overheating, driving issues, and a drop in fuel economy, this definitely merits a trip to the mechanic.
  • Clicking or tapping indicates an issue with the aptly-nicknamed tappet, or upper valve train. It’s a pretty good indication that your oil pressure is low and may be a sign of a worn part. The next step? You guessed it: see a mechanic.
  • Knocking or clunking sounds can indicate some serious trouble with your rod or ball bearings, which means that your car needs immediate attention from a mechanic.
  • If you’re hearing squealing sounds, the issue is likely your serpentine belt. If it’s a metallic sound or has a tone of groaning to it, that could be an issue with your brakes. In both cases, a trip to your mechanic is warranted.
  • If your car moans and groans when you turn, it’s time to have a good look at your power steering pump. Unless you know how to do this yourself, you guessed it—it’s time to go get to know your mechanic.

Related: Are Safety Features Worth the Money?

Don’t know where to head with mechanical issues? Come see us at J. Bertolet Volkswagen. Our service center is ready to help, and if you need to start considering new cars we’re here to show you our inventory.

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