3 Common Car Sounds - Their Meanings and What to Do

How Do Car Problems Sound | Austin's Automotive Specialists

Our cars are like sophisticated orchestras, each component playing a crucial role in creating the symphony of a smooth and enjoyable ride. However, just like any orchestra, sometimes a discordant note can arise in the form of unusual sounds. These sounds can be your car's way of communicating that something needs attention. In this blog, we'll unravel the meanings behind three common car sounds and provide insights into what steps you can take to address them promptly and effectively.

Squealing Brakes

Are you hearing a loud squeak while using the brake pedal? If so, read along to see what it means and what to do when you spot it.

Meaning: Squealing brakes are often a sign that your brake pads are wearing thin. Brake pads come equipped with wear indicators, which emit a squealing sound to alert you that it's time for a replacement. Ignoring this sound can lead to reduced braking performance and potential damage to other brake components.

What to Do:

1. Schedule a brake inspection with a certified mechanic.
2. If the brake pads are indeed worn, have them replaced promptly.
3. Consider a full brake system inspection to ensure optimal braking performance.

Knocking or Pinging Noise

A loud knocking or pinging sound from the engine bay is never a good sign. Before we explain what it is and what to do, it's important to note that you might need towing services. Why? Well, your engine's internal components might be broken or on the verge of breaking, so be conscious.

Meaning: This sound is often associated with improper combustion, which can lead to engine knocking. It may be caused by using a lower octane fuel than recommended, carbon buildup in the combustion chambers, or a malfunctioning sensor.

What to Do:

1. Check your owner's manual for the recommended octane rating for your vehicle.
2. If you suspect carbon buildup, use high-quality fuel additives or have a professional carbon cleaning performed.
3. If the issue persists, consult a mechanic to diagnose and address the underlying cause.

Whining or Humming from the Transmission

Is your transmission shifting differently or slower? And to worsen things, you can hear a whining or humming sound. Here is what you need to know:

Meaning: Whining or humming noises from the transmission could indicate low transmission fluid, a worn-out bearing, or other internal issues. Ignoring this sound might lead to transmission problems and costly repairs down the line.

What to Do:

1. Check your vehicle's transmission fluid levels and condition. If it's low or deteriorated, have it replaced?
2. If the noise persists, seek a professional inspection to diagnose the specific issue.
3. Regular transmission maintenance, such as fluid changes, can prevent premature wear and minimize the risk of transmission problems.

Weird Sounds? Visit Austin's Automotive Specialists!

If you notice a weird, unfamiliar sound while driving, make sure to come by our Austin auto repair shop. Don't ignore it because it might evolve into something much bigger - a shop visit is much easier than replacing a transmission for example!