Car Noises—What They Could Mean

Noises are normal part of a car’s operation. The tires hum against the asphalt road, the horn honks as you press it, the wind whistles as it passes around the car’s body, and so forth.

Mechanics at a car repair shop

Most car owners in Singapore don’t mind these sounds, but some noises, particularly shrieks and squeals, should not be ignored. If you hear clicking, thumping and banging inside your car or car engine, you should check it right away. Ignoring these signs will not make the problems magically disappear. Delaying the repair provides an opportunity for the problem(s) to worsen, which usually translates into a more expensive car repair.

Here are some of the most common car noises and the possible problems they signify.

1. Clunking When Hitting Bumps

If your car clunks when you drive over bumps, something is definitely out of place. It’s not just roadway bumps hitting the undercarriage of your vehicle, but bad ball joints, faulty stabilizer pins, or detached chassis components that could be causing the sounds. Have a car maintenance expert check your vehicle to find the source of the unusual clunking.

2. Hissing Sound In the Engine

Unless you have a bundle of rattle snakes under your hood, that hissing sound from your car’s engine could be an indication of leakage, either in the vacuum line or the cooling system. If it’s the latter, you would also experience frequent overheating; if the former, fuel economy and drivability could be the resulting issue, and you know you can trust merlin motors to service cars in Singapore. A trip to a car repair shop in Singapore is a must.

3. Screeching Noise While Accelerating

If you hear a screeching sound when you accelerate, or when your car is warming up, it could be because of a loose or worn out fan belt. Usually, if the fan belts are worn out, it means that the car’s timing belt needs to be replaced as well. When you start hearing this noise, it’s a sign of a serious engine problem, which indicates that your car should be brought to a car servicing company for a system repair.

4. Clicking Sound When Turning Directions

If your vehicle creates a noticeable clicking sound while moving at low speed, turned into certain direction, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with the CV joints, which are located near the drive axles. If a similar noise comes from the back of a rear-drive vehicle, it could be because of a bad universal joint.

5. Squealing Brakes

There are several reasons for this. If you can hear squealing noises when lightly hitting the brakes, it’s probably because of the vibration at the brake pads, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you hear high-pitched squeal every time you use the brakes, it could be a sign of worn out pads that needs to be replaced soon. Let a mechanic check your car. If the squeal is caused by simple vibration, it can be solved by applying a lubricant.


6. Rhythmic Thumping

If the noise decreases and increases with the car’s speed, it could be because of a tire issue, such as torn rubber, a flat spot, or bubbles in the sidewall. If you experience this, you will also feel vibrations in the steering wheel. Make sure to have the tires inspected as soon as possible. Bubbles or tears in the rubber of the wheel could cause a blowout.

7. Knocking Sound In the Engine

If your car’s engine creates a knocking or clattering sound that intensifies with RPM, it’s probably because of a serious engine trouble. If it creates like a ‘tap-tap’ sound, it can be a sign of a faulty lifter or that the valve clearance needs to be adjusted. This is not necessarily a fatal problem, but it’s something that should be checked by a car servicing expert.

8. Percussion Sound Under the Hood

Pinging, hammering, or rattling sound is usually associated with combustion problems. They usually happen when the engine is under load or during acceleration. Essentially, what happens is that the engine ignites abnormally. Rather than evenly firing the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion, the system creates multiple flame fronts, creating a clattering or pinging sound. Retarding ignition timing, changing air-fuel mixture, de-carbonizing combustion, or using higher octane gasoline can correct this problem.

9. Squealing Porcine

A shrieking sound in the engine system could indicate a faulty serpentine belt. Either the belt’s tension needs to be adjusted or the rubber has gotten brittle. If the former, the belt may not be in the recommended pressure, causing an uproar in the engine. Fortunately, this trouble is easy and inexpensive to fix. Just make sure though to bring your car to a servicing shop in Singapore before the serpentine belt snaps.

10. Knocking Noises In the Engine

These noises usually indicate that your car is in serious trouble. A ‘rod knocking’ noise means that there’s a part deep in the engine that’s worn out. If the rod bearing are too worn out or have loosen up, it’s only a matter of days that the bearings will fail. For such instance, do not use your car until the knocking sound has been examined, diagnosed, and fixed.

So, the next time you go out for a drive, keep your music low and listen to any unusual sound your vehicle may create. It may be trying to tell you something that will keep you safe and help you save money later on.