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What Do Different Car Sounds Mean?

Person squints confusedly at the sounds coming from his car's dashboard.

A strange noise from your car could be no big deal…or a serious issue. Learn what some common car sounds mean and why you shouldn’t ignore them.

Humming Sound

A humming noise is one of the more mysterious sounds your car could make because it could mean a variety of things. Most commonly, it’s caused by the transmission failing, the wheel bearings wearing out, or the differential needing lubricant. Take note of when your car is making the noise to help your auto shop diagnose the issue.

Brakes Squealing or Grinding

These sounds are never a good thing, and they definitely mean it’s time to get your brakes checked. Squealing or grinding brakes are usually caused by worn out brake pads. Get to a mechanic right away to ensure your brakes are in good shape and keep you safe.

Thudding Noise from the Tires

A thudding sound from your tires usually means that your tires are low on air pressure or they are misaligned. Fill up your tires first to see if that fixes the issue. If not, take your car to your local auto shop for a tire alignment.

Chugging or Rattling Noise

Rattling noises or a train-like chugging sound are due to an exhaust system problem, perhaps a blockage or improper alignment of the system. Your local mechanic should be able to find and fix the cause.

Hissing or Screeching Under the Hood

Hissing or screeching noises from within your engine are probably from a worn out or loose serpentine belt. Don’t ignore this, because if the belt gives out on you, your car can’t run. Save yourself the headache later and fix it now!

Have a strange sound you need looked at? Contact Pearson Auto to have your issue diagnosed and fixed by our certified technicians.

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