7 Strange Engine Sounds That Need Urgent Attention

Strange noises from machines with moving parts spell trouble. Your car’s engine is a perfect fit for that description. If it makes any unusual noises, get it checked without delay. Timely intervention can prevent a major or costly breakdown. Here are seven engine noises that you should be wary about.

Popping Sounds

A popping or sputtering sound, especially when it’s accompanied with hesitation or a reduction in engine power, is a hint that something is wrong with the fuel supply or the exhaust system.

Many things can cause this. Usually, it’s something as simple as a bad fuel filter, dirty spark plugs or damaged wires. It could also be an ignition problem or a fault in the catalytic converter. Other than the catalytic converter, most of these problems are easy and cheap to fix.

Squealing Noises

A squeal means that either something is worn out or is slipping. The most common cause of this is a worn out or loose serpentine belt. It can also be due to worn-out brake pads or a faulty steering system. All these systems are critical and you have to get it rectified without delay.

The serpentine belt transmits rotational power from the engine to other components requiring mechanical power like the power steering, water pump and the air conditioning system. Replacement of the belt will normally take about an hour, but for some models, it may take longer.If the sound is coming from the brakes, your brake pads are worn out and will need replacement. If the problem seems to occur only when you turn, it could be the steering system.

Grinding Noises

Car Engine Noise

A grinding noise indicates that something is worn out or metal is rubbing against metal. If the sound is coming from the engine when you are driving or idling, you probably have worn-out bearings. If the sound is coming when you shift gears, it could be a worn-out clutch.

If the noise comes only when you are cornering or taking a turn, components in the suspension may have worn out. If it occurs only when you brake, the brake pads are completely worn and need immediate replacement. Whatever the reason, it’s best to get it repaired without delay.

Sizzling Or Hissing Sounds

If you hear a sizzling noise after you shut down the engine, some fluid is dripping onto hot surfaces. It could be the oil or coolant leaking onto hot engine surfaces. If you also notice higher than normal engine temperatures, it’s most likely the coolant.

An overheating engine is an SOS situation because driving in this condition could damage it beyond repair. An engine replacement is expensive. So, it’s best to address the problem right away. The other possible source of a hissing sound is a bad vacuum line.

Clicking Or Ticking Sounds

A clicking or tapping sound could be due to inadequate engine oil. Check the oil level and if it’s low, top it up and have the vehicle checked. Topping up the oil is a quick fix, but oil should not run low in a car that’s regularly serviced.

Low oil could be due to poor maintenance, higher oil consumption by the engine or loss of oil due to a leakage. In this case, the right thing to do is to find and fix the root cause of the problem. If oil levels are fine, the noise could be coming from a malfunctioning valvetrain. Either way, the issue should be diagnosed and fixed without delay.

Detonation Knocks

If you hear a metallic knocking sound when you drive, it could be what’s called a detonation knock. This occurs due to a fault in the mixing of air and fuel inside the combustion chamber. Using fuel of the wrong grade can cause this issue. It can also be due to a malfunction in one of the engine components or poor timing. Driving in this condition can cause more serious engine damage.

Loud Bangs (Backfires)

If you hear loud bangs like firecrackers going off in your car’s exhaust, you have an engine backfire problem. This is due to incomplete combustion of fuel in the engine. As a result, the exhaust gas still contains a lot of unburned fuel, which ignites in the exhaust. This can be caused by wrong air to fuel mixture in the engine. If the problem keeps recurring, you have to get it checked to prevent additional damage.

What To Do When Your Engine Does Not Sound Right

Car Engine Overheating

With most engine problems, timely diagnosis and repairs make all the difference. When moving parts malfunction, they damage other components. Very often, delays cause a small issue to snowball into a major and expensive breakdown. For example, a major repair like an engine replacement is very expensive and may not make sense for an old car. When the problem is with critical safety components like the brakes, it becomes a huge safety risk.

Most problems can be prevented by getting your car serviced in time. With vehicles, sooner a problem is detected, diagnosed and repaired, the better. If your car starts making strange noises, get it checked without delay at a good garage.

If you have concerns over a possible problem with your vehicle engine you can book your car or van in for a check, use the quick quote form below or give us a call on Oldham –  0161 624 5060, Bury0161 761 3030, Van Centre Oldham0161 628 5270 or at our new Heywood branch 01706 622633. We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a courtesy car to ensure your routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced or repaired.

Arranging Your Service

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Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.

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Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.

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If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.

Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.

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