When driving, you get used to what your vehicle sounds like when it is running properly. So when you hear a noise that is unusual, like a whine, crack, or squeal, consider it an alert that something has changed. By paying attention to those sounds, you can often catch a minor problem before it becomes a major one. This can help reduce the chance of other parts wearing and becoming damaged. Having issues looked at quickly can help save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
Squealing Noises from the Brakes
Several things can cause this. If you hear squealing only during braking, especially light braking, a vibration at the brake pads probably causes it. Squealing does not affect your braking performance. It will however usually indicate that the brake pads are starting to wear out. If you hear a similar high-pitched squeal from the brakes while the vehicle is moving but it stops when you step on the brake pedal, it can be a sign that your brake pads have worn down and need changing soon. It is a normal warning sound, because most of the vehicles have a soft-metal tab on the brake pads that contacts the brake rotor when the pads have worn to a certain point.
If you notice Squeals from Under the Hood
If you hear this while revving the engine or when first starting it while cold, the noise is often due to a slipping drive belt. The belt could need adjusting or it could be glazed, which means it requires replacement. It is always best to bring the vehicle in as soon as you hear an odd noise. This way we can inspect it for the source of the problem. If the problem is ignored, it can develop into a more serious issue.
Light Rattling from the engine
This might be pinging, which can sound like tiny marbles bouncing around inside the engine, and usually occurs while accelerating or climbing hills. It is often due to using gas with too low an octane rating and can begin occurring in older engines because of carbon buildup. Severe pinging can damage the engine. Engine overheating can also cause pinging, which can indicate a serious problem.
Rhythmic thumping that you might hear
If the noise increases and decreases with the speed of the vehicle, it is probably a tire problem, such as torn rubber in the tread, a bubble in the sidewall, or a flat spot. If so, you will often feel a vibration through the steering wheel as well.
Hissing Beneath the hood of the Vehicle
It is most likely a vacuum leak, caused by a cracked or disconnected vacuum hose. Your engine could also be running or idling rough and the check engine light could be on. If you notice the light illuminate, make sure to bring the vehicle as soon as you can. If the light starts to blink, pull over and turn off your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. This can help reduce the chance of further issues from occurring.