What's That Sound? Common Car Noises and What They Usually Mean

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What's That Sound? Common Car Noises and What They Usually Mean:

February 21, 2019


It’s an all too common scenario: you’ve gotten into our vehicle, started it up and heard a noise right away that didn’t sound good. Or, maybe you were driving when you heard something that you knew wasn’t a part of the song you were listening to.


Hearing strange noises from your car can be scary, but if you know what they mean, you are better equipped to get the proper car maintenance done.


Let’s break down some of the most common noises your vehicle may make, and what they mean:


Loud squealing


This generally sounds like metal on metal when you’re hitting the brakes and is usually a very uncomfortable sound for you and anyone around you.


What it means – Your brake pads or discs are worn down and need to be replaced. The louder the squealing, the worse off they are. Brakes are obviously extremely important, so don’t ignore this noise.


Clunk noise


This will be most apparent when going over potholes or bumps.


What it means – This is a sign of an issue with some part of your vehicle’s suspension. It will usually be the vehicle’s shock absorbers, bushings or the joints attached to the suspension.


A clicking or popping


Maybe most noticeable near the front wheels when the vehicle is turning.


What it means – Your vehicle’s CV joints could be worn down and will need to be replaced.


A ‘whirring’ sound


Generally, this noise can be heard from your engine.


What it means – This could be a sign that your fuel pump may be failing. Other indications of this would be if your vehicle struggles to start, constantly loses power and/or stutters while you’re driving.


Screeching noise


Comes from your engine when it is revved up.


What it means – The vehicle’s fan belt could be slipping when trying to engage. It may need to be tightened or replaced.


Steering wheel groans


A groan may be heard from your steering wheel when you turn it.


What it means – A few things could potentially be wrong with your steering. You could be low on power steering fluid, you may have a leak in the power steering system or the power steering pump needs to be replaced.


A high-pitched squeal or Hissing Noise


It may also sound like compressed air escaping from the engine. This will most likely be coming from your engine when it’s idling.


What it meansA fitting or vacuum line is leaking or has been severed. It needs to be reconnected or repaired.


Thumping noise


Will generally be heard coming from your tires.


What it means – Your tires may not be flat, but they could have ‘flat spots” on them. This typically occurs when a car has been sitting in the same spot for an extended period of time. If it persists past a few kilometers, get it inspected.


If you hear any of these noises, suspect something is wrong or are just looking for general car maintenance, contact Xtreme Tire Garage today.



Our Xtreme team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you with anything you need.