Our vehicles don’t hesitate to speak out of turn when something’s up. Nothing is worse than being next to a screeching car in traffic than being the screeching car! Clinking, clunking, screeching, and squealing are all cries for help and mean our vehicles need special attention. Here’s a quick guide to the sounds your car might be making and what they mean.
Clunk! When Braking
Clunking noises when you’re breaking can mean one of three things. A. Your steering system components are worn. B. Your Disc Caliper is not properly mounted. C. Brake hardware is damaged or missing. None of these are great option, but the sooner you take your vehicle into your Lawrence area ASE certified Auto Repair Center, the less damage will occur.
Squeal! When Braking
Squealing Brakes are fairly common, but they still need attention to prevent long term damage. This unpleasant noise is associated with a variety of potential ailments. You may have dirt on the brake rotors, drums, pads, or shoes. The Brake pads or shoes may be worn, or have overheated and are now glazed. (Glazed pads are bad news. They work less efficiently to slow or stop your vehicle.) Alternatively, your disc brakes calipers may be mounted incorrectly or the wear indicators are contacting the rotor. If the squeal is making you squirm (and it should!), stop by your nearest friendly and knowledgeable Mechanic around Lawrence to get them check out.
Grind! When Shifting Gear
This sound can bring panic to a manual transmission driver. This sound could simply mean that the clutch or shift linkage needs to be adjusted or have a more pressing meaning like the clutch is worn. The worst case scenario involves internal damage to the to the transmission. Any way you grind it, it’s best to head on over to Lawrence and speak to an Automotive Specialist.
Pop! From the Engine
Oh no. Was that my car? Your engine mostly likely has a slower response time right as well. This heart-stopping noise can mean something as simple as a dirty air filter (yes, you really do have to change those) or worn spark plugs. Worn spark plugs need to be replaced immediately. They are a simply fix but ignoring them can lead to unspent fuel building up in the exhaust system and catalytic converter. This can clog your cat and those are not cheap to replace. The less pleasant origins may be ignition problems, a clogged fuel filter, or the Carburetor may have a bad accelerator pump or power circuit. The dreaded Pop! should make you listen up. If you want to keep your car happy and on the road, it’s time to head over Lawrence and speak to a highly-trained and certified Automotive Specialist.
Being aware of changes in your vehicle’s drive, sound, and even scent can help you intercept minor malfunctions before they turn into wallet busting problems. Be your own first line of defense by being attentive and aware. Your vehicle will reward you with the purr of a happy engine and the peace of mind that your vehicle is as happy as you are.
Bryan Harris is the owner of Harris Auto Repair and strives to keep his customers informed and provide the best advice in car maintenance and repair!