Over time, as you drive your new or new to you vehicle, you will get to know all its quirks and noises. Those noises you hear can become an invaluable tool in telling you something is going or about to go wrong with your car. Most people rely on lights on their dashboard to tell them what’s wrong, but those are often generic and will just basically tell you there is an error. From there it’s up to you or a mechanic to figure out the problem.
But, like any good mechanic, listening to the vehicle can really tell you where the problem is because those sounds are very specific. We break down the most important ones below.
1) The Clang
This will be a metal on metal clanging, that has no association to speeds or road conditions and will most likely sound like a metal part hitting another metal part. This noise is definitely an indication that something is loose or detached beneath your vehicle.
2) A groan
This will sound like rubbing or a groaning noise that is heard when the vehicle is in motion. You should immediately pull over as soon as possible and check your tires. Usually underinflated tires or flat tires will make a noise like this.
3) Metallic Banging
If it sounds like there is metal on metal banging, especially when on rougher roads, it could be that there is an issues with the vehicle suspension or steering systems. Things like suspension bushings, broken coil springs and badly worn ball-joints will all make a similar noise. However to narrow it down and make it easier, always make sure to check that the exhaust system isn’t loose and that items like the spare-tire are secured in the trunk.
4) A whirring sound
If when you shut off your engine you hear a whirring sound like an electric motor or fan, it is just the normal sounds of colling fans or air suspension. There are no concerns for these noises as they are supposed to run, even with the vehicle off for a few minutes.. especially after some spirited driving.
5) Dull Clunk
This will sound like non-metallic banging, like a loose piece of wood in the trunk. If it sounds like it’s coming from under the vehicle it could be a loose mud-flap, spare tire or cargo in the trunk. If those are all secure, take a look at your motor mounts, differential mounts and suspension bushings and make sure they are all in proper condition.
Remember, if you aren’t sure, check with your local mechanic and have them take a look!