Commonly Heard Car Noises and What They Mean

Certain sounds can easily trigger our emotions and bring up feelings from the past. Just like a laughing baby might make you smile, or hearing an old tune you used to love might make you want to dance. Sounds work the other way, too, though. Your morning alarm might make you jumpy, or a strange sound coming from your car could stress you out. If your car is making an unfamiliar noise, it could need your attention. Here are a few commonly heard car noises and what they mean.

Squealing when you brake

Is there a high pitched noise coming from your tires when you brake? Then your brake pad indicator might be rubbing against the rotor. While this is not a life or death situation, it usually means that your brake pads are worn down and need to be replaced.

Engine revving when you start the car

If your car is struggling to turn on and making somewhat of a “rurring” sound, your battery might be close to dead. Although it isn’t a safety issue, a dead battery can prevent you from traveling to work or somewhere important. Get your battery tested and replace it as soon as possible.

Squealing under the hood

A car’s serpentine belt power’s all its major systems, like power steering, the alternator, and air conditioning. A squealing under the hood of the car could indicate that the serpentine belt is about to snap, which is a major cause for concern. Get it replaced as soon as possible since you’ll be left with a useless ton of scrap metal if your car doesn’t have a serpentine belt.

Rumbling under the driver’s seat                     

If the driver’s seat is suddenly vibrating, that isn’t a good thing. It could mean that something is wrong with the exhaust system, and that carbon monoxide is leaking into the car’s cabin. Carbon monoxide is poisonous so get this sound checked out immediately.

Grinding, crunching metal

No, that isn’t a Metallica cover band. If you hear a loud sound like grinding metal coming from your brakes, you’ve most likely worn through the car’s brake pads. Your brakes aren’t going to work properly until you get them replaced, which makes your car dangerous to drive. Schedule a brake repair services with a mechanic right away.

Groaning when you steer

Your car is making a loud noise when you steer, and the steering wheel itself doesn’t feel normal. This is likely a power steering malfunction, which means you could lose control over your steering soon. Losing control of the steering is a very big safety issue, so get it checked out right away. Before then, try not to make any sudden turns in the car.

Car problems are inconvenient and usually out of our control. One thing you do have control over is who provides your auto insurance, and how much you pay.  For minimum limits car insurance, visit  It’s fast, easy and cheap.  Get your free, no obligation auto insurance quote in less than 2 minutes.

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