Featured image for post: 5 Engine Noises that Require Immediate Attention

5 Engine Noises that Require Immediate Attention

When we hear strange noises coming from our engines, it can often feel easier to ignore them and hope that it goes away. No one likes scheduling a repair appointment, especially when we aren’t sure what the problem is. Unfortunately, ignoring noises from your engine can cause problems to worsen, leading to more expensive repairs later down the road. Not only that, but certain engine noises can spell disaster if left unchecked, making it dangerous to drive your vehicle if the noise is not properly addressed.


5 Common Engine Noises that Signal Repairs

Engine noises can be difficult to diagnose, so ask yourself a few questions to make it easier for your mechanic to find the issue. For example, consider whether you only hear the noise when it’s cold outside, only when you accelerate, or only when you make a turn. Also, consider if your vehicle has been driving differently since you started hearing the noise. Bring any notes to your mechanic to help them find the cause of the noise more quickly.


Here are five common engine noises to look out for that signal that it’s time to schedule a repair appointment.


Squealing or Chirping Noise Coming from the Engine

If you find that your vehicle squeals when you turn on the engine or accelerate, it could be one of many different types of problems. Older vehicles typically make these sounds when their accessory belts become loose or worn. Your vehicle’s accessory belts drive engine parts such as the alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor.


If you have a newer car, the squealing or chirping noises can mean that your serpentine belt needs replacing. A serpentine belt works like accessory belts on older vehicles but is designed to drive several accessory parts at the same time. Luckily, this is typically an inexpensive repair if addressed quickly.


Engine Hissing

If you hear a hissing noise coming from your engine, this could mean that your engine has overheated or you have a plugged exhaust system/catalytic converter. A hissing noise can also signal that a vacuum has leaked. This type of noise needs to be addressed immediately, as a blown engine is a major safety risk not worth taking.


Hearing a Popping, Snapping, or Clicking Sound When You Turn

If you have a vehicle with front-wheel or all-wheel drive and you hear popping, snapping, or clicking sounds when you turn, it may be time to replace your vehicle’s constant velocity (CV) joints on your front axle. Both joints may need replacement at the same time. If you ignore this sound, it means your break your axle at any time, including at high speeds and in heavy traffic.


Grinding Noises

If you hear a grinding noise in your engine when you start your vehicle, you should have its starter motor checked. The cause of grinding noises could be an easy fix, as simple as adjusting the starter motor. Occasionally, this sound can mean your starter motor needs to be replaced.


On the other hand, hearing grinding noises when shifting gears can signify another problem. This sound is a major warning sign of problems with your transmission. If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, grinding noises may mean the transmission will need to be replaced.


Rattling, Sputtering, or Rumbling Noises

Sputtering and rumbling noises coming from near your engine can indicate that your exhaust system has a hole in it. This typically requires a simple fix, such as attaching a new muffler, replacing corroded pipe sections, or tightening and reattaching loose pipes. 


If you hear rattling noises while sitting at a stop sign or light, it is most likely coming directly from your engine. The catalytic converter tends to make rattling noises when it goes bad. The only fix for this problem is replacing your catalytic converter. 


Professional Automotive Engine Repair in Burlingame

If your vehicle makes any of the above noises or any other noise that concerns you, it’s time to schedule a repair appointment. Putnam Automotive is your auto dealership group in the Burlingame area. 


We have certified repair centers for all major vehicle brands, including Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Subaru, Buick, Volvo, Lexus, and more. Visit our locations page to find the repair center for your vehicle, and trust our certified technicians to diagnose and service your vehicle in a timely manner.


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