Is Your Car Making This Noise - Capitol Chevrolet Service

Cars make noise. Whether it's the sound of the engine or of the tires rolling over the road, there are sounds that we hear so often when we drive that we don't notice them after a while. So when you do notice a sound that seems out of place, there's a chance something might be wrong.

At Capitol Chevrolet, we want to help you learn more about what your Chevy needs to keep it running at its best. That's why we've put together this guide. Below, you'll see a description of six common sounds that might indicate that something is wrong with the car. But whatever you hear, it's best to leave things to the professional technicians at your local Chevrolet dealership's service center.

A loose serpentine belt could cause a shrieking or squealing noise

The Sound: Shrieking or Squealing

What It Could Mean: A shriek or squeal is not a sound you want to hear. When you hear it can help you determine the more likely cause. If it happens when you press the brakes, then it's likely a problem with the braking system. It's often a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced soon, since brake pads have built-in indicators that squeal when the pad lining is nearly worn out. If you hear the shrieking sound at other times, particularly when you accelerate, it's likely due to a loose and slipping serpentine belt.

The Sound: Tapping, Knocking, or Clicking

What It Could Mean: Tapping, clicking, and knocking sounds are almost always very bad signs. If you hear them, it's best to turn your car off as soon as possible. If you hear clicking when you're turning, a CV joint could be in need of replacement. A tapping or clicking sound coming from under the hood could be due to a low oil level or low oil pressure, or it could indicate a different valvetrain problem. And if you hear a knocking in the engine, it may be improper combustion caused by something like gasoline with an octane rating that's lower than what your car needs.

Gas with a lower than recommended octane rating could cause a knocking sound in the engine

The Sound: Grinding

What It Could Mean: Once again, when you hear this sound makes a difference. If you hear a grinding sound when you brake, it may mean that the brake pads are completely worn. The grinding you hear is probably the metal backing of the pads rubbing against the metal rotors, warping and damaging them. This is unsafe, and you should turn your car off immediately. But if you drive a car with a manual transmission and you hear grinding when you shift, the clutch will probably need to be adjusted or replaced.

The Sound: A Loud Explosion

What It Could Mean: A loud, sudden BANG! coming from your car could be due to a tire blowout. If this happens, it's important not to slam on the brakes. Instead, let your car decelerate and pull over to the side of the road. But if all the tires are fine, it's most likely a backfire. This is caused by an incorrect air-fuel ratio, and it can damage your engine.

If your engine is making unusual noises, having it inspected is vital to keep it healthy

The Sound: Rattling

What It Could Mean: "Rattle and Hum" may have been a great album, but hearing a rattling sound when you're driving along and humming a tune is less enjoyable. It generally means that something in your vehicle is loose. Whether it's a suspension component, a lug nut, or part of the exhaust system, rattling is concerning. You should pull over before a component falls off of your car.

The Sound: A Loud Rumble or Roar

What It Could Mean: This is generally due to a problem with the exhaust system. Most likely, the muffler is to blame. A broken muffler can also cause clunking or thumping sounds in addition to the rumbling. Driving with a damaged muffler is not only annoying; it's also illegal. Be sure to have this looked at as soon as possible.