You might be the car owner who never thinks about the symphonic sounds of your car or maybe you find the sound of your car running smoothly to be relaxing. Being either or would cause you to immediately notice when your car begins to make a new and unfamiliar sound.
Below are four sounds your car may be making and the possible reasons why.
1. Brake and whistle
This can be very alarming when you begin to hear your car give its best attempt at playing the theme song of the Andy Griffith Show (click here if you are too young to get the joke).
Usually this means you should get your brakes checked. Most brake pads have wear indicators that whistle when your pads get low. In most cases, this is a warning and it is not yet critical. However, if the whistling noise grows to be a metal to metal grinding then you may have completely worn down your brake pads. Should this happen, it is important that you take your car to a repair shop immediately before you cause major damage to your brake system.
You might also hear a whistling noise if it is wet outside. It is when you hear noises as you brake that you should be concerned about your brakes. Most repair shops will check your brakes for no charge. (But remember, always beware of dishonest mechanics when getting your car checked)
2. Turn and Roar
There is nothing like cruisin’ along then, all of a sudden, as you begin to turn your car, it starts roaring at you. The issue can be as simple as a tire not being properly inflated or as major as the steering or suspension system malfunctioning.
The most common causes are worn out ball joints (the components that allow your steering system to move your wheels), a damaged power steering system (eases steering effort) or damaged front struts (front shocks). If your front struts are damaged, the roaring will be heard during turning or any other time the front suspension is engaged.
These repairs can be very expensive. To avoid paying too much it is best to get the issue fixed as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse or damaging other parts.
3. Whistling (Hissing) Under the Hood
Whistling under the hood can be a possible leak in your exhaust or vacuum system.
Usually if the issue is the exhaust system it will be more of a ticking noise depending on the extent of the leak. When you have an exhaust leak you might also smell an excessive amount of exhaust gas under the hood.
An exhaust gas leak under the hood is usually caused by a damaged exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold is the piping that your engine exhaust exits from first. It is fixed by replacing the faulty part.
A leaky vacuum hose is common due to the fact that the hoses consist mainly of rubber. These hoses are constantly subjected to very high temperatures and pressures. They degrade over time and can begin to leak.
Repairing a leaky hose requires a hose replacement which, in most cases, can be inexpensive.
4. Whining Noises Under the Hood
These sounds can be very similar to the whistling noises (or the sound of that one annoying friend) but are usually a deeper pitch. These noises can be caused by issues with your accessory belt system. This system consists of a rubber serpentine belt (the belt on the front of your engine) and drives many of the different components for your car such as the air conditioning, the alternator, power steering system, etc. Over time your belts can begin to deteriorate causing them to make a whining noise while your car is running.
A belt replacement is the only solution to this problem. Replacing your belts is a routine repair and should also be relatively inexpensive. If you are feeling ambitious, sometimes, you can perform this repair at home to save money.
Unfamiliar noises can be very scary. However, they don’t always mean you are facing an expensive repair cost. That is why it is very important to address any unfamiliar noises as soon as they occur, so an inexpensive repair doesn’t turn into an extremely expensive repair.