It can be alarming if your car is making a noise you don’t recognize – but when is it time to see a mechanic ASAP, and when is it okay to wait until your next oil change?
Grinding noise when you apply the brakes – This noise usually means your brakes need some work. When you brake, brake pads help slow your car down while keeping the metal rotors of the brake system from touching.
The grinding noise indicates your brake pads are completely worn down and the metal components of your brakes are pressing against each other. Schedule service as soon as possible – the longer you wait, the more damage is done to the rotors (which means more money out of your pocket).
Squealing noise from the engine when you start your car – This is likely a worn or cracked serpentine belt. This belt is a crucial part of your engine system (your car won’t run without it), but is relatively easy and cheap to fix. Talk to a mechanic soon to see if the belt needs to be replaced right away or can wait.
Loud clicking noise when you’re turning – What you’re hearing could be a bad CV joint. Although these joints can last a while before complete failure, if the joint is damaged or leaking, it can eventually cause pricey issues with your car’s axle. Have a technician take a look at it as soon as possible to determine if it should be replaced.
Flapping noise when driving – If you’re on the highway and you hear a flapping noise, it’s likely something is loose on your car. It could be a bumper flapping in the wind or a loose or broken under panel. It could even be something as simple as the license plate frame coming loose. Mention it to your mechanic the next time you’re in for service.