Wondering if Your Car Needs Serviced? Learn About These Vehicle Noises & What They Might Mean

Drivers who spend a lot of time in their cars often find that the sounds created by the engine and other moving components quickly become background noise. Instead of paying attention to them, drivers tend to ignore the engine sounds and road noises they have come to know as ordinary. In fact, they may even turn up their stereo to cover them up. Sometimes, however, a new sound will be heard above the other ones that will immediately capture the driver's attention just because it is not a familiar one. Since these unfamiliar sounds are often a signal that the car needs to be serviced, learning about some of these troublesome sounds is a smart plan for any driver. 

Grinding noises emanation from the wheels

Grinding noises are typically noted when moving parts are not working properly, causing one or the other to rub abrasively against the other. This is common in faulty braking systems. If the brake pads become too worn, the wear indicators are exposed. These indicators then rub against the rotor, resulting in sounds that range from a squeak to a more ominous grinding noise.

The squeak occurs when the wear indicators are first exposed as an early warning sign. If ignored, the wear indicators become more abrasive to the rotor, resulting in damage that often can be heard by drivers as a grinding noise. Drivers who pay attention may only need to have new brake pads installed - a relatively inexpensive fix. However, if the grinding noise is ignored or not caught quickly, the metal-on-metal friction can quickly destroy the surface of the rotors and ruin the brake calipers, making it necessary for more expensive repairs. 

Excessive engine noise

Experiencing excessive engine noise often occurs when the muffler or another component in the exhaust system has developed a hole that allows the exhaust to leak out instead of going through the muffler where the sound is reduced. If the engine noise is accompanied by a dragging or metallic sound underneath the car, it is possible that the muffler or tailpipe assembly has become loose and is coming into contact with other components in the undercarriage of the car or the pavement while the car is in motion.

If you are experiencing this or any other type of unusual noise while driving your vehicle, making an appointment with an auto service as quickly as possible to ensure it is safe for you to drive and help to reduce the risk of more serious repair issues later on.