Car Noises & What They Mean

Your car can make a whole host of different noises. While some of these can be indicative of a healthy vehicle and engine, others can be hinting at a problem. All car owners should be well versed in the healthy range of car noises, as well as knowing the obvious warning signs to look—or listen—out for.

When it comes to keeping our vehicles in tip-top condition, knowing what each of the different sounds your vehicle is making might mean can give an excellent DIY diagnosis for problems. Furthermore, understanding which noises are perfectly normal is a skill which will save you lots of time and worry!

What Noises Are Abnormal?

When it comes to your vehicle, there are many noises which might sound alarming—especially if it’s your first car—but are actually completely harmless, or sometimes even indicative of a healthy and functional set of systems! By contrast, though, there are many sounds that are rather alarming as well.


If you find that your vehicle is making a peculiar droning noise as you drive—one which notably gets louder when you try to accelerate—could be indicative of poor quality tiers. Often, these tiers will either be feathering or otherwise old and irregularly worn. Either way, this is an easy problem to fix; just change your tiers and, in future, keep a closer eye on their condition.

‘Bird calls’

If it sounds like you’ve got a stowaway (of the feathered variety) in your engine, then don’t panic—you probably haven’t secretly turned the engine on with a nest full of chicks in your engine, but rather, your engine’s serpentine belt has slipped or is getting damaged through repeated use.

Protesting At Turning

If your vehicle seems to protest you turning the steering while by making a whining noise, this can be indicative that the hydraulic powered steering has been locked. Furthermore, if you hear peculiar clicking noises when you attempt to turn the car, you could bet that there is probably a problem somewhere with your CV Axle, most obviously when it is damaged and leaking/wasting precious oil reserves.

Low-pitched bangs

If you’re hearing a worrying number of clangs and clunking sounds as you’re driving—particularly over bumps or potholes—you may be looking at an issue with your vehicle’s suspension. The exact location of the issue can’t be pinpointed further that, though, without further examination as there are many individual components.

Grumbles and rumbles throughout the night

When it comes to rumbling noises coming from your vehicle, particularly when it’s at rest, then you should be on the lookout for an exhaust leak in one of your vehicle’s gaskets. This should be repaired by a qualified technician straight away!

Wobbling Noise

We’ve all heard of a wobbling Washington machine at some point, but if that sound is happening to your vehicle, it could mean that the tiers are getting loose, or that they may even fall off! This is usually an easy fix, though; just jack up the vehicle to take the pressure off the wheels and tighten the wheel nuts that have come loose.

When it comes to keeping your car running, you should listen out for strange sounds at all times. Being a more proactive owner will help you to stay on the road for years to come.

Change Your Oil, Change The Life Of Your Car

Oil is the heart of your vehicle. It offers the proper lubrication and protection that keeps every car running smoothly and efficiently. An oil change is a pivotal part of regular maintenance of your vehicle. You may ask: how does driving around affect how often I will need an oil change? After all, your car is designed for driving. Here are some of the conditions that will ultimately influence the life of your oil.

Whether your oil lasts or needs changing more often than usual will depend on your driving habits. In ideal conditions, cruising on the highway will allow your oil to stay at the perfect temperature. Fuel and water should not be accumulating under these circumstances. Now, if you are driving at high speeds, your fast acceleration and speeding can raise the temperature of your oil and reduce its viscosity, which will expose the engine to greater wear.

If you drive primarily within city limits, there are also issues that you may encounter that cause you to change oil more often. Frequent starts and stops, which are also common problems on the highway, hurt your vehicle because oil is not able to sufficiently warm up. It may accumulate water and fuel due to prolonged idling. It will cause the build-up of corrosion and sludge.

A regular oil change is basic vehicle maintenance; driving correctly can ensure that this does not need to happen more often than it normally should.

Weather can also affect the oil in your vehicle. At lower temperatures, oil will thicken, and that will reduce pumping efficiency. Thus, it will take longer for your car to reach engine parts so that it can provide the protection and lubrication that it should. On the other hand, warmer conditions can make it harder to keep the motor cool. Engine oils are not designed to perform under high temperatures. These oils will lose the ability to protect the engine’s moving parts as quickly as if they were at optimal temperatures.

You can help to reduce the cost of oil change over time by not pushing your vehicle through unnecessary speeding, stopping, or other demanding conditions. Oils are ultimately designed to operate at higher temperatures and will help keep your engine protected. It will contribute to prolong your engine’s life and help it to run more efficiently.

However, there is something to be said about unpredictability: you cannot always avoid those sudden stops if you have the highway to work each morning. Some conditions simply cannot help. It can be a big help if you are going to pay attention to the status of your engine and when you check the engine oil. Never let this go: your vehicle will suffer for it, and you could lose it prematurely.