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It can be difficult to describe the noises your car makes.  Click, click … vrrrrrrrrr … squeak … these are just a few you may have heard once or twice. Some car noises are completely normal, but there are some that you should never ignore.  Here’s a list of car noises you should always pay attention to and whether or not you need to visit a mechanic.

Never ignore these 7 car noises:

#1: Squealing When You Brake – Not an Emergency

Sometimes brakes squeal from dirt on the pads, but it’s likely time to replace your brakes when they sound like nails on a chalkboard! It may become an emergency when the squealing changes to grinding. Now, your brake pads are completely worn down and metal rubbing against metal can cause damage to the brake rotors and other brake components. Either way, a brake inspection could be in order.

#2: Squealing Under the Hood – Maybe an Emergency

Squealing under the hood is a classic sign of a loose or worn serpentine belt. You should have this checked as soon as possible.  The serpentine belt is essential and if it snaps, all power to the engine’s accessories is lost and you are left on the side of the road.

#3: Hissing Under the Hood – Emergency

Chances are something under the car is leaking if you hear a hissing noise.  Be careful as some liquids are hot or harmful to touch.  Make an appointment with your mechanic right away for a diagnosis and repair.

#4: Rattling Noise – Not an Emergency

If you hear a rattle, first check the trunk for loose items rolling around.  If that is not the case, your mechanic can check for something loose underneath the car.

#5: Humming or Whining Noise – Emergency

There are lots of reasons why your car may be making a humming or whining noise.  It may be something small, but it could also be your transmission failing.  It is always best to get a professional opinion from your mechanic.

#6: Rurr, Rurr, Rurr When Starting – Maybe an Emergency

If you hear rurr, rurr, rurr when starting your car, your battery is struggling to power the engine.  While this may not be an emergency at the moment, you should have your mechanic check it out before you are left with a car that won’t start when you need it! A clicking noise when trying to start your car means that the battery is dead.

#7: Engine Knocking – Maybe an Emergency

A common cause for engine knocking is using a lower-octane gasoline than the manufacturer recommends.  If you are using the correct fuel and hear knocking from the engine, take it to your mechanic right away to avoid major engine damage.

Get help from the car care experts!

If you are unsure of what’s going on with your car, contact one of our trusted NARPRO recommended shops. The Neighborhood of Automotive Repair Professionals is made up of independent, locally-owned auto repair shops.  Whatever your vehicle needs, one of our tried and true shops is here to help. If you hear any car noises that give you cause for concern, schedule an appointment at one of our local auto repair shops today!