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Why is My Car Making Strange Noises?05.17.2023 | Okan Sengullu

A Guide to What Those Strange Noises May Mean

You may never have thought of it, but your car can give you feedback in the form of strange car noises indicating there may be a problem that needs attention. But what are those noises and what do they mean?

Read on, and your friends from Bucaro Brothers Auto Care in Lincoln Park will try to explain a few of the more common ones and what they might mean.

1) A hum that increases as you accelerate

In this case, we’re not talking about the normal hum of your engine as you drive down the road, but a different kind of hum that may sound like a plane taking off and tends to get louder as you accelerate or make a turn.

What it means: That hum could well mean a worn wheel bearing. It’s easy to confuse this noise with engine noise, and one way to check is to speed up a bit and then take your foot off the accelerator. If the humming noise continues, it’s probably not coming from your engine but from one or more of your wheel bearings.

2) A droning noise

Like the humming noise we’ve described, this one also increases as you accelerate, and it, too, is probably not coming from your engine.

What it means: This noise could be coming from your tires, an indication of uneven wear on them, a problem known as “feathered tires.” And feathered tires could be an indication of a worn-out suspension system on your vehicle that’s causing your tires to bob up and down rather than rolling smoothly down the road.

3) A high-pitched squealing noise

This is a kind of chirping or squealing noise you hear when you crank your vehicle.

What it means: That noise could mean you have a badly worn or cracked serpentine belt. That’s the belt that powers a lot of your vehicle’s components, like the AC, power steering pump, water pump, and alternator. Get your mechanic to check it out.

Why is My Car Making Strange Noises

4) Strange noises when braking

This is a light grinding sound or squeaking noise that occurs when you hit the brakes.

What it means: This noise is probably an indicator of worn braking materials, like the brake rotor or brake pads. If the problem is caught early enough, your mechanic may be able to correct it by cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting your brakes. In fact, some brakes have what are called “squealers” built into them that let you know the brakes are wearing out and need to be serviced. Given how vital the brake system is to your safety, don’t ignore any noise coming from your brakes!

5) A thumping, bumping sound

This noise is very similar to one you hear at home when the load in your washing machine has become unbalanced, and it’s definitely a sound you don’t want to hear.

What it means: Once again, the noise is probably coming from your tires. It could mean the lugs on a tire have become loose, and you’ll need to tighten them with your jack handle/lug wrench. Or, the noise could be coming from a badly underinflated tire. If you don’t have any way to add air to the tire, replace it with your spare, and drive carefully with the spare until you can inflate the problem tire to the right level.

And by the way, be sure to check the pressure in your spare regularly to make sure it can be used in emergency situations like this one.

Complete Vehicle Service at Bucaro Brothers Auto Care

At Bucaro Brothers Auto Care, whatever your automotive needs may be, from basic maintenance services, like an oil change or tire rotation, to collision repair, and everything in between, we can handle it for you.

For your service, we’re open Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM and on Saturday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Whatever your automotive repair needs may be, we can take care of you at Bucaro Brothers Auto Care. And that includes both domestic and foreign models. So, come see us at the first sign of trouble!

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