Is Your Car Yelling At You like A Two Year Old?
Ugh. Tiny humans….they cry, they scream, and they make the weirdest noises. They’re sort of like cars, although you don’t really pick up after your car. Or do you?
If your car is screaming, whining, or making other weird noises, it might mean that something’s wrong with it. Whether it’s a warning indicator of a storm that’s about to happen to your brakes, or your car is at it’s final stages of a tantrum and about to break down, these handy sounds mean something. So get ready to check it out Brevard, we’re about to list some of the possible sounds your car might make and what is causing those whines and screams!
This is Snow! We’ve recently purchased her, and along with our green bean Jetta, we’re a cute family 🙂
So personal problem: Yesterday I started my car for the first time that morning…and after a few feet from my driveway- my car let out this loud squeal. It sounded like I’d run over a poor squirrel, so I stopped, looked under all the wheels…only to find nothing. What?! My car was just yelling at me as though I’d done something wrong. It seems like my car is out to haunt me. Literally. I’d been driving this car for a little over a year now- so what gives?
This got me to thinking…how many people driving have their car yelling at them? Probably a lot, especially since these days most of the cars on the road are used, hand-me-downs, or barely new.
It’s inevitable, at one point or another your car is going to make funny sounds. The good news? It’s pretty easy to describe the sound to your technician…and if they’re anything like Johnny at Air Mobile, they will be able to diagnose the problem in no time!
Today I’m going to describe the different types of noises your car could be making and the types of problems associated with the sounds. So let’s begin, shall we?
1. The Brake Squeal.
Are your brakes squealing at you? Well, this might mean that you need new brakes 🙂 This picture shows you what a bad brake pad looks like.
It’s happened to us all at some point. Imagine your driving down the road with a couple of friends (or your boyfriend – like I was- Yikes!!) and you go to make a stop. As a good driver, you know you need to start braking at least 300 feet from the stop sign or light…but as you push on the brake- it sounds like the most awful sound coming from your wheels. Did you just run over the neighborhood cat? Nope. It’s just your brakes!
<—–You see those four holes? Well, they’d usually have a little warning indicator attached to them, that’s the sound you hear as you brake. It only gets worse, and much louder (also embarrassingly loud) as your brakes wear away.
This is the most common sound your brakes will make when they need to be replaced or worked on. While it is soo embarrassing- it’s a pretty easy fix, and whether you know how to do it yourself, or need to get to your technician as soon as possible, they will be able to hear right away…espically if you’re squealing the whole way into the parking lot. (insert red cheeks and anxious smile here).
2. The irritable grinding noise.
So you turn your car on, it’s pretty hot so you immediately turn the A/C on…and all of a sudden it sounds like there are tons of gears that are grinding against each other like an angry metal music mob. What gives? Did some poor little creature climb up into your A/C system and get caught between all of the different mechanical stuff in there? Probably not- but it has happened to me. (if you mention this story to Troy at Air Mobile on your next visit, you both will have a good laugh and she might even give some sympathy to you and give you an awesome deal on your next A/C repair!)
This is your car fan motor. (maybe- each car varies but just imagine it’s yours) Sometimes when the fan motor is going out, you’ll hear this annoying grinding noise.
Unlike the brake squeal, this grinding noise may have you stumped. What could it be? Most often, if this happens when your A/C or heat is on, it could be the fan associated with your heating and cooling system. However, if it’s not happening when you turn your A/C off…well, then that might be something your technician can diagnose for you.
3. A whining noise while you drive.
So this comes from my own personal horror story. As I said above, I started to drive away and all of a sudden it sounded like my poor car was throwing a tantrum at me! We all know toddlers go through stages, well so do cars! And my poor Snow (my white Toyota Corolla) was definitely throwing a tantrum…but only when I was driving her. This noise didn’t happen when I was braking, nor did it happen at high speeds…so what is it?
Look! A perfect picture to show you exactly what I was saying! You see that little white cloud in the upper left corner? Well, that’s what our car needed to have replaced…and trust me, it definitely screamed at me the entire time I would drive.
Well, thanks to Johnny at Air Mobile, I was made aware that I needed a new ball joint. Cool. At least it was a pretty easy fix, and now Snow is driving like a good girl again! I’m so thrilled! Seriously, if your car is beginning to throw a tantrum- making a horrible whining noise as you drive- it’s probably your ball joints. You can most certainly tell it’s a ball joint if it sounds like it’s only coming from the wheels!
The picture to the right shows you a couple of things that could be contributing to the whining noise. When your ball joint becomes worn down and rusty like the one in the picture, it begins to rug against anything next to it…hence the awful whining your car does like a little two year old.
4. Awful squeaking as you drive over bumps in the road.
Shocking news~ If you’re hearing a noise as you drive over any bumps in the road This is pretty easy to describe. It’s only as you drive over those pesky bumps in the road…or the horror of driving over those speed humps (I still shudder sometimes!). The good news is that it’s most likely your shocks. Yes, cars have shocks- and they usually don’t need replacing often, but when they do, they’ll let you know!
Shocking news! If you dread going over bumps in the road, and hear this really annoying squeaking noise- it might be your struts…or shocks! Ha!
Normally when you get your shocks replaced, they will realign your axles too. This is a very good thing (and if your technician doesn’t do that- SHAME ON THEM!) That way your brand new shocks and alignment will continue to produce a smooth sailing car.
I should also note that this squeaking you’re hearing will come from all over the car. Plus, it’s pretty hard to not laugh at your face as your cringing painfully to avoid this noise. HA! too good actually.
5. The window grinding.
Ugh. The worst possible noise I can think of (other than the brake squealing and squeaking!). Imagine it’s so dang hot that all you want to do is roll your windows down and get some fresh air…but your windows have other ideas. As you roll them down, they are constantly complain with each motion. Cry babies, I swear. Windows are so finicky…
Meet your window motor (unless your arm is the motor, then pat yourself on the back). When this thing takes it’s final turn, you’ll either be too hot, baking in a car that won’t allow you freedom unless you open the door…or it’ll make you cold. Very cold.
This is the inside of your door. And unless your manually rolling your windows up, then this baby will be a live saver, so get it fixed asap…otherwise your window would grind up and down like the worst exotic dancer.
Whether you have all electrical, or you’re still using your good ole arm to roll down your windows- we all hate that sound as it goes up or down…espically if it starts to really yell at you. This is a pretty easy diagnosis! If you aren’t using your hand to crank the window up and down, it’s undoubtedly your window motor grinding and not working to it’s fullest potential. If you are using your hand to crank the window, it’s probably just off it’s track, which could lead to other problems…like your window completely falling off it’s track.
Trust me, my last car didn’t have air conditioning, and while that was like heaven on earth during the winter months…come summer I was boiling in my car! All I wanted to do was roll the windows down, but once they fell off their tracks, it was like a constant battle to keep them up! So take it from me- if your windows are grinding, get it checked out asap!
This could be you. Happy as can be with your car acting like it’s supposed too!
So there you have it folks. Some noises your car could be making and what they possibly mean for your technician to fix. While all these noises are super annoying- some even ridiculously embarrassing, it’s always good to take your car in for a regular check up, that way these pesky noises won’t just pop up and take you by surprise 🙂
Well, here’s to another week! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much, but I promise to be a better blogger. 🙂 – K, the Car girl.
That’s me! The Car Girl.