Call to Schedule (253) 850-6234
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Call to Schedule (253) 850-6234
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm

Weird Noises - What is your car telling you?

4 common, unusual sounds you may hear from you car

Squealing. Whirring. Knocking. Clattering. Rattling.  Those unfamiliar sounds your car makes let you know something is wrong.  Those sounds, most likely, will cause a unpleasant gut reaction.  Here are 4 common, disheartening, sounds that your car can make to warn you that there is a problem.

  1. Rattling under the car. Short, sharp knocking sounds from under the car may indicate exhaust system issues. So, if your car is suddenly making excessive noise from underneath it may be suffering from a hole somewhere in the exhaust system to a loose pipe or a bad muffler. It can also indicate something is not quite right with your catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is responsible for reducing your car’s emissions, so it is an important component to your exhaust system. Catalytic converter repairs can range from a quick fix to something more complex. If you hear these unfamiliar sounds coming from below be sure to have your car checked, by a technician,  as soon as possible. Other signs of exhaust system issues can be a decrease in power, acceleration and fuel efficiency.
  2. Grinding.  Your brake pads are most likely worn down when you hear a harsh grating sound while braking. The grinding noise is typically a symptom of worn out brake pads that cause metal-on-metal contact between your car’s brake pads and rotors. Brake pads need to be routinely replaced. The grinding noise signals your car is far over due for brake pad replacement. Your driving habits, the type of traffic you drive in and the quality of your brake pads all contribute to how often you should have your pads changed. On average your car’s brake pads should be replaced somewhere between 40,000 and 70,000 miles.
  3. Tires can squeal, squeak and produce humming sounds. If a sharp turn produces squealing from your tires, you most likely have tires that are not fully inflated. It is dangerous, especially in Auburn’s rainy, wet road conditions to drive with under inflated tires. So, be sure to heed sharp turn squealing and check your tire pressure. These noises could also indicate uneven tread or worn suspension components. Time, road conditions, and driving habits cause inevitable wear and tear on tire tread. Worn down tires create a considerable risk to driving especially in the wet, rainy road conditions in western Washington. Preserve your tire tread and routinely get your tires rotated and balanced.
  4. Tapping, clattering, loud noises from your engine.  When the inside of your engine makes these unusual sounds it may be a sign that your car needs oil or is in need of an oil change. Adding more oil can make the sounds go away but if there is an underlying issue, like a leak, the problem will quickly reoccur. Oil also gets dirty and loses viscosity which can cause major problems for your automobile’s engine. It is important to stay on top of your oil changes for the health and longevity of your vehicle. Most manufacturers  recommend changing your oil every 3000 to 6000 miles, depending on your car’s make and model.

A basic understanding of common, unusual noises your car can make will help you make informed decisions about how to keep it in top shape. We would love to help you keep your car sounding the way it should! So if your car is making concerning sounds, or if you just want to make sure it keeps purring along smoothly, please give us call at (253) 850-6234. We are here to help with your car’s maintenance and repairs. Pinnacle Auto Service is conveniently located in Auburn, between Seattle and Tacoma. 

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