Winterizing Your Car for Safe Driving

3 Common Sounds Your Car Might Make And What They Mean

by Troy Fowler

Do you have a vehicle that's making funny noises? Are you having a hard time getting an appointment at your mechanic? Sometimes, you might be able to get your vehicle seen sooner at a specialty shop than at a generic mechanic, but you need to know if you even have an issue that the specialty shop can address in the first place. While you should certainly get your vehicle diagnosed by a professional whenever possible, here are some of the most common noises cars make and what can be done about them:

Screeching/rasping: If your vehicle makes funny noises when you're coming to a stop or when you're trying to accelerate, you may be in need of a brake repair or replacement. Brakes that are worn out will start making noises whenever your foot is pressing down on the brake pedal. Misaligned brakes can get stuck or can otherwise rub in a way that they're not supposed to do which can also cause uncomfortable/strange sounds. If any of this seems familiar, any qualified brake repair shop should be able to repair or replace your brakes and get you back on the road again.

Rattling/clanking noises: In most cases, a rattling noise means that there is something loose in the engine compartment that needs to be fixed by a regular mechanic. When the rattling only happens when the vehicle is in motion rather than just idling, the issue may be in the wheels rather than in the engine compartment. Every so often, something like a washer, a bolt, or even a small screw can get thrown up into the space between the brakes and the rim of the wheel itself. While this isn't something that happens every day, it can still be worth taking your vehicle to a brake repair shop and having them inspect your wheels for this type of item. Should they find nothing, you can still take your vehicle to a regular mechanic for a more thorough inspection.

Buzzing: A buzzing noise is often an indication of something more serious going on with your vehicle. There is the possibility that you have something in your wheel well causing the buzzing and that a brake repair shop can remove it, but it's more likely to be something like a bad bearing or your suspension needing a repair. It can still be worth trying to get it checked out at a specialty shop, but you should also be fine waiting for an appointment with a generic mechanic to have the issue repaired.

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