If you know how to listen, your car will tell you a lot. Believe it or not you can often hear that your car is having problems. Cars often communicate their problems in knocks, squeals, and rattles. When you understand what your car is saying then you will know when and why you need to bring it in for maintenance.

Here is a list of five of the most common car noises, and what could possibly be causing them:

1.       Clicking

A sharp clicking noise that appears to be related to how fast your engine is going could indicate a couple of different problems. It could point to a loose or bent fan blade, or a loose wheel cover. However, it could also mean that the oil level in the engine is low or you have a valve lifter that has become stuck. Sometimes this sound indicates a serious problem, so bring your car to a trusted mechanic as soon as you can.

2.       Knocking

 A rhythmic knocking or pounding sound could mean that there is a problem with your connecting rod bearings, crankshaft, or something is wrong with the transmission. Each one of these problems is something that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

3.       Rumble

Low-pitch, rhythmic, rumbling noises are indicative of a problem with either one of the drive line components or the exhaust system. This sound can point to a problem with the universal joint or any of the other drive-line components. Or, it could indicate a problem with any one of the exhaust system components including the converter, muffler, or exhaust pipe. All of these have the potential to be a serious problem. You shouldn’t wait to have your vehicle looked over by a mechanic.

4.       Screeching

When you try to stop and you hear a high-pitched screeching or scraping sound, it is time to get your brakes inspected. Brake pads have indicators on them that make the screeching noise when it is time for them to be replaced. If you listen to what your car is telling you and change your brake pads as soon as you hear this sound it will save you from having to replace more than just the pads. Waiting will only increase the work and increase the cost of the repairs.

5.       Squealing

When you hear a shrill, sharp noise that fluctuates based on the speed of the engine, you probably have a belt or two that needs tightening. Power steering belts tend to make a loud squealing noise when they are loose or beginning to wear. Air conditioning and fan belts may also make a squealing sound. When you hear the squealing sound take a look under the hood as soon as possible. If it is a worn power steering belt that is causing your troubles you will want to replace it right away.  If the power steering belt breaks it could potentially be a serious problem.

When your car speaks, it would do you good to listen. If you aren’t sure how to handle the situation on your own, we here at Meridian Automotive are happy to be of service. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (208) 297-5573.

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