6 Car Sounds You Should Not Ignore!

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6 Car Sounds You Should Not Ignore

1. A Diesel-Like Clattering in Your Gas-Powered Car.

Worst-Case Scenario: Detonation, also known as pinging or knock.

Why: Things like bad gasoline or incorrect ignition timing cause the fuel to go boom too early. If left unchecked, you risk serious engine damage.

What To Do: Switch to higher octane gas, which resists detonation, and check the timing.

2. Questlove Drumming Underneath Your Car when It’s Moving, Increasing with Vehicle (Not Engine) Speed.

Worst-Case Scenario: Failing universal joint or driveshaft bushing.

Bad Stuff That Can Happen: U-joint fails completely, driveshaft digs into pavement, and the car pole-vaults and crashes.

Why: Both the U-joint and bushings simply wear out. The noise comes from the driveshaft flopping around like an ailing fish.

What To Do: Inspect the driveshaft for worn or broken parts, replace them, or get to a mechanic.

3. A Million Fingernails Scraping on a Chalkboard when You Start Up the Engine or Accelerate from a Stop.

Worst-Case Scenario: Loose accessory drive belt.

Bad Stuff That Can Happen: Your enraged neighbors will kill you.

Why: The belt is slipping on the pulleys, either due to age and wear, or improper tension.

What To Do: Inspect the belt for minor cracks or fraying. Replace as needed.

4. Sharp Tapping Like a Clunky Washing Machine, Increasing with Engine RPM.

Worst-Case Scenario: Connecting-rod knock.

Bad Stuff That Can Happen: Broken rod blasts hole through the engine block; metal parts and flaming oil shoot out.

Why: Usually a failure of a rod bearing due to oil starvation.

What To Do: Stop driving immediately. If caught early, the bearing can be replaced.

5. Grinding Metal—Think Snowplow on Pavement.

Worst-Case Scenario:Brake pad or shoe material completely gone.

Bad Stuff That Can Happen: Destroyed brake rotors or drums. Car may pull to one side under braking and possibly crash.

Why: Brake pads should make a squeal when the pad has worn down to the danger zone. But sometimes we don’t notice this sound.

What To Do: Fix the brakes.

6. A Whine Like an Empty Ice Machine When You Turn the Steering Wheel, Especially at Low Speed.

Worst-Case Scenario:Failing power-steering pump.

Bad Stuff That Can Happen: Loss of steering assistance.

Why: Low power-steering fluid or a pump groaning to death.

What To Do: Check the fluid level, top off as needed, and get ready to buy a new pump.

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