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Common Noises that Can Indicate Lurking Problems with Your Car

Last updated 6 years ago

One of the most important tools an automotive mechanic has doesn’t come from any shop or manufacturing plant; it’s his or her ears. Cars make a variety of noises, while many of these noises are perfectly normal, others can indicate a multitude of problems. Let’s take a look at a handful of sounds that a vehicle will make that indicates a lurking problem.

If a car sounds like it is sputtering, especially as it starts up, then there may be a fuel-injection issue. Fuel injection is what controls the amount of air and fuel that enters the combustion chamber of an engine: If there is a malfunction with this system, then the engine may make sputtering or pinging noises.

An obnoxious and much more noticeable sound than sputtering, squealing often occurs when brakes need to be replaced. A brake pad squeezes against the brake rotor in the wheel to slow the vehicle.  When brake pads become worn, they are designed specifically to emit a squealing noise, letting you know that they need to be replaced.  You will notice this sound most often when gently applying the brakes.

Sometimes, cars sound like they are grinding and groaning, which is often a sign of transmission problems. Transmission problems are usually quite expensive to fix, so if your car sounds like it struggles to engage gears, or if gears grind before engaging, then head to a mechanic or automotive maintenance shop as soon as possible.

A scraping noise may be evidence of a variety of problems. Pieces of the undercarriage may scrape the road surface during driving, or wheels and tires can scrape the insides of their wells if a malfunction occurs. When wheels move out of alignment, it can have costly consequences for a vehicles suspension, and a scraping noise justifies a trip to the repair shop.

At Greulich’s Automotive, we understand all of the common noises a car makes before it exhibits a problem.  If you hear something you don’t like, then you can call us at (480) 483-8186. Our website has additional details related to our services and locations. 



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