Most car owners have, at one point or another, been confronted with the (often amusing) situation in which their car was making a particular noise. In all such situations, the following scenario ensues: all passengers in the car are required to keep quiet for a span of time which can range anywhere from five seconds to several minutes, while the car’s owner tries to figure out where the sound is coming from and what is causing it. Funny as the above situation may seem, there also exist several sounds and signals that no driver or automobile owner should ever ignore. Remember, if you ever hear anything like what is described below coming from your car, then chances are you might have to take it to the shop, get it fixed and eliminate any potential sources of damage and danger.
Creaking Wheels While Driving
If you notice an annoying creaking or groaning noise coming from the direction of your wheels while you drive, you should stop the car and pull over at once, then immediately check all the bearing on your tires. Such a noise can indicate the fact that a bearing has come loose, which might, in turn, lead to your losing the wheel. If this happens while the car is in motion, it can cause a fatal accident, since, without wheel you are likely to lose control over your vehicle. Make sure the noise is coming from a wheel and not from your brakes. Such noises coming from your brakes are absolutely normal during damp or wet weather. Certain types of brake pads will swell because of the humidity in the air, and consequently produce such noise. Alternatively, if one your front wheels seems to be making a clicking sound while in motion, check your outer constant velocity joints, which might possibly be damaged.
Scraping While Braking
As previously mentioned, breaks will sometimes produce a creaking, groaning or metallic scraping noise, or a squeak, mostly encountered with semi-metallic pads, in humid or cold weather. While such noises are relatively normal, do bear in mind that properly functioning brakes should be fairly noiseless. Grinding or scraping as you brake usually indicates a sufficient degree of wear and tear on your brakes that indicates the time has come for you to replace them. If the brakes are sufficiently worn down, they can even become seriously damaged, so much so that the backing plates are causing friction with what’s left of the braking pads. The rotors will become damaged on account of metal-to-metal friction.
Engine Hissing While Driving
As a general rule, you should always listen closely to any noises coming from your engine compartment, both while driving and once you’ve stopped the car. If you hear a hissing noise, this is generally indicative of serious overheating or a leakage of cooling liquid. Check the temperature gauge and/or the respective light on the dashboard to make sure you’re safe. Should you see any steam rising from the engine, do not attempt to start the car again, as you seriously risk causing a fire.