Cars are not usually quiet machines, but many of their sounds mean the vehicle is working properly. There are other out-of-the-ordinary sounds that can signal mechanical problems. Below is a list of several common issues.
Squealing while braking
This could just mean that there is excess dirt in the rotor, shoes or pad. However, it likely means that the shoes or pads have worn down and need to be replaced.
Grinding while braking
Brake pads need to be replaced regularly. If ignored, brake pads can wear all the way down to the metal. Grinding indicates the pad is worn out and is scraping against the rotor. Bring your car in for maintenance as soon as possible.
Clunking while braking
Sometimes, when doing brake maintenance, replaced parts are misaligned or incorrectly reinstalled. Clunking can indicate that a caliper wasn’t properly set. For proper installation and alignment, come to our service center.
Manual Transmission - Grinding while shifting
This can be as simple as not fully engaging the clutch while shifting. If not, there’s a possibility the clutch needs aligning or has become worn down.
Squealing while accelerating
If there’s squealing, a belt is starting to come loose. Bring the vehicle in for service as soon as possible — a slipped or broken belt can lead to bigger problems.
Whining while turning
Do you hear a whine or squeal while turning, the power steering fluid may be low. It’s also possible that the linkage is damaged.
Abnormally loud engine while accelerating
Typically, these sounds come from damage to the exhaust system. In the case of manuals, the engine may not be advancing to the next gear while shifting.
Hissing under the hood
When the engine is off, hissing usually means that fluid is leaking onto the hot engine. However, it could also be a sign of overheating.
Popping under the hood
Popping signals a misfire in the engine. Many issues could be the culprit, from a clogged fuel filter, old spark plugs, or ignition problems. Have one of our experts take a look.
Tapping under the hood
This is usually due to low oil levels — wait until the engine is cool, then check the oil level. If the car has plenty of oil, there could be a blockage in the system.
Need help diagnosing your vehicle’s noises? Bring it in for service at Tropical Ford.