If you hear unfamiliar or strange sounds coming from your car, there’s a very good chance you’ll need to get some repair work done to get rid of the noise. As the owner, you need to be familiar with how your car should normally sound. Generally, any new or odd noise your car makes alerts you to some type of repair that should be done to your car, especially if the noise is getting louder and/or becoming more frequent. The insurance experts from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto insurance San Diego drivers rely on for high-quality service and affordable coverage, offer advice on these common sounds you may hear and what they might indicate is going on with your car.
Grinding Noise While You Apply the Brakes
If you can hear grinding sounds when you step on the brake pedal, something is rubbing against the brake rotors the wrong way and they’re in need of replacement, which often happens with regular wear and tear. Once you discover this problem, don’t hesitate to have your brake system repaired. Otherwise, you’re inviting more potential (and expensive) damage to your car and endangering yourself and those around you while you’re driving.
Rumbling, Sputtering, or Rattling Noises Underneath Your Car
When such sounds come from underneath your car, there’s likely a hole somewhere in your exhaust system. Don’t worry, though, as this is easy and inexpensive to fix by replacing an old corroded pipe section, reattaching a loose pipe, or replacing the old muffler with a new one. Also, if you hear a rattling noise that sounds like a box of rocks shaking around while your car is idling, you probably need to replace your catalytic convertor, which is a little bit more involved than an exhaust repair.
Squealing or Chirping Noise Under the Car Hood
The drive belt of your car transfers the power produced by the car’s engine to keep several car accessories (e.g., alternator, power steering, and air conditioning) working. Inevitably, after enough driving, the drive belt will wear down and slip, which will produce the squealing or chirping noise while you’re driving. Also, listen closely when you first start the car, rev up the engine, or turn on the air conditioner: any one of these actions is likely to intensify the squealing or chirping sounds. Replacing the drive belt is an inexpensive and quick repair, and if you delay in getting it done, much bigger problems can arise, including overheating and significant damage to your car’s engine.
Growling, Roaring, or Humming Sound While Driving
Sometimes these noises are caused by old tires that need to be replaced. However, growling or roaring noises can also signify more serious problems, such as a bad wheel bearing. A good way for you to test out this problem is by moving the steering wheel slightly back and forth as you change lanes while driving. If the noise changes in pitch, your car’s wheel bearing needs replacement. Take care of this before you end up stranded with a wheel that no longer moves.
Screeching or Squealing When You Brake
Typically, this type of noise means the brake hardware is worn and the pad isn’t releasing properly, causing excessive heat and, hence, the noise. Promptly replace the brake pads to fix this problem.
If you hear odd sounds coming from your car, it could cost you a lot of money and stress if you don’t take care of the problem quickly. Some issues could even pose a danger to you and other drivers, so don’t take a chance. At Altra Insurance Services, your safety is our primary concern. We provide reliable, affordable auto coverage as well as homeowners, renters, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents should call us today at 619-474-6666.