14 May 2023
What’s That Noise? Unusual Car Noises You Can Identify

 Ever driven your car one day and noticed a strange sound you’ve never heard before? Concerned that there might be an issue? We’re here to help you debunk that.

Modern cars are generally well-built and durable, thanks to improvements in manufacturing technology. However, your car is only as good as its weakest link, or part in this case. Over time, wear and tear can cause various parts of a car to fail, and this can introduce strange noises while operating your vehicle.

Unusual sounds typically signal the need to replace a part. Should the issue persist, it might snowball into more severe problems. Here are some common sounds you might hear:

Engine having knocking or tapping noises

If your car’s engine is making weird knocking or pinging sounds, it could mean that the wrong fuel was used in your car. Pumping in incorrect octane levels for your car is the most common cause of this.

Thankfully, this isn’t a serious issue. Just make sure you give your car the right fuel next time you hit the pumps.

On the flip side, if you hear distinct tapping sounds coming from your engine, this could mean that your engine oil levels are low. Continue running without sufficient oil, and your engine will self-destruct down the line, so make sure it’s topped up at all times. 

It’s good practice to periodically check your oil levels too, as this can help spot potential oil leaks in your car.

Loud noises from the exhaust

Unlike the ever-annoying pop-and-bang engine tunes, a loud “boom” noise produced from your car’s exhaust could be due to a faulty catalytic converter. 

Best to get this one checked as soon as possible, as faulty catalytic converters can even cause fires if not addressed.

Metal grinding noises when braking

This is usually a tell-tale sign that your brake pads are wearing out. Ignore this, and the grinding sound can translate into more serious problems down the line.

If bare metal rubs against your rotors, this could be a costly repair bill to replace, so get those pads checked!

Metal grinding noises in general

This is different from braking, as metal-on-metal grinding sounds can mean something on your car is out of alignment. Each and every component of a car should work in unison, and two components rubbing against each other is obviously not good.

This isn’t isolated to a particular area of a car too, and the severity of the issue is all down to what component is causing the issue.

Screech or Squeal each time you turn the wheel

If each time you turn the wheel and you hear a weird squealing or screeching sound, it may indicate that your power steering fluid is low, thus causing a lot of friction.

Alternatively, if you hear this noise but the wheel turns easily, then it could be a loose or worn power steering belt instead.

Sizzling noises

Similar to that hot plate dish you just ordered from a restaurant, sizzling sounds coming from the engine bay can mean excess fluid is coming into contact with the car’s hot engine. This fluid could be oil, transmission fluid, or coolant. 

The sound can also be attributed to an overheating engine, which is caused by the lack of sufficient coolant fluid. If you hear this sound, quickly pull over at a safe spot and turn off your engine.

DO NOT attempt to open your bonnet or any component until your car has cooled down. Some fluids can easily reach extremely high temperatures, and can easily scald you if you’re not careful. 

Flowing water

Each time you apply the brakes, you might hear the sound of rushing water or fluid running through your car’s systems.

This sound might indicate that your car’s brake fluid is leaking, and without enough fluid in your system, this could lead to issues like brake loss, so it’s best to get this checked out.

Subdued cracking noises when idling

This typically means your water pump might be kicking the bucket soon.

Water pump bearings with weakened seals, in conjunction with the belt rubbing against it, may cause strange cranking sounds to emanate from the car.

Peace of mind with AutoApp

Unusual sounds should be addressed immediately, as persistent problems can result in costly repair bills down the line.

If you notice a strange sound coming from your car but do not know how to diagnose it, why not give AutoApp a try?

Best of all, AutoApp is now running a promotion for basic servicing for new customers! Score $20 off your first servicing with us with the promo code – FOMO20. Better yet, all first-time customers also receive free concierge services (Collection & Delivery only) for your first booking with us!

Limited to the first 50 customers, so get started on AutoApp’s mobile app today, and claim your discount now!

Terms & Conditions

  1. Valid for first 50 New Customers only.
  2. Promo code must be mentioned during booking.
  3. Promo code is only valid for servicing packages.
  4. Booking must be received before 31st July 2023.
  5. Free Collection & Delivery (U.P. $68) will also apply for all first-time customers.
  6. Prevailing $5 booking fee & GST will apply.
  7. Not valid with any other offers.