Unusual Car Noises Drivers Should Never Ignore

Pops, hisses, and sizzles are great when cooking steak but not when they’re coming from the engine of a vehicle. Unusual noises coming from the hood, brakes, or underside of a car can be indicative of serious problems. Drivers who hear strange sounds should take their car to a mechanic for maintenance as soon as possible.

Alarming Noises Under the Hood A man working under the hood of a vehicle

A loud, squealing noise coming from under the hood is likely caused by a loose or worn serpentine belt, which powers the car’s major systems. Once the belt snaps, drivers are left with a vehicle that won’t move. If a car makes hissing or sizzling noises after the engine is turned off, the most likely issues are coolant or oil leaks, an overheated engine, or leaking vacuum lines. Knocking or tapping noises can be caused by a number of issues, including ignition problems, clogged fuel filters, or damaged or dirty spark plugs. Even using fuel that’s a lower grade than the owner’s manual specifies can cause engine knocking.

Squealing or Grinding Brakes

Noises from the brakes are a major cause for concern. A high-pitched squeal means that the brake pads are beginning to wear down and will need replacements soon. A grinding noise usually points to calipers that are grinding against the brake rotors. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a quarter of car crashes in the United States are caused by brake failure. It’s important to schedule a brake repair appointment immediately if you hear anything suspicious.

Roaring Sounds Under the Body

A roaring coming from beneath the car is probably caused by a crack or leak in the exhaust manifold. Normally, the muffler silences the engine’s sounds. When the exhaust system fails, that excess engine noise gets channeled into the car. Exhaust failure can also cause carbon monoxide to seep into the cabin of the vehicle. For obvious health and safety reasons, a mechanic should address this immediately.

Schedule Maintenance Today

If you’ve been hearing strange noises in your car, let the mechanics at A+ Japanese Auto Repair Inc. take a look under the hood. Our family-owned business has been providing repair services to Japanese vehicles for more than 20 years, and our team can identify and resolve issues before they become major problems. We stay open on Saturdays to make repairs as convenient as possible. To schedule your maintenance appointment today, call (650) 595-2277 or fill out our form.


Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended as advice for your particular vehicle, and should not be relied upon for that purpose.  Please consult a qualified automotive maintenance professional to determine the maintenance and repair needs for your vehicle.

Categories: Car Maintenance
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