Car Engine Noises and How to Deal with Them

Ensuring the proactive maintenance of cars is a crucial step in maintaining their longevity, safety, and functionality. This includes being mindful of the typical warning signs that could point to underlying issues in the vehicle. Ignoring these indicators can lead to a whole lot of trouble, something that could be avoided and promptly addressed.

One of the most common signals of a vehicle issue is car engine noises caused by various issues in the engine and other components. These crucial indicators should never be ignored as they can lead to more severe damage and costly repairs if left unaddressed immediately. Addressing these unusual sounds with the help of the best mechanics is vital in preserving the engine’s health and promoting a safer driving experience.

4 Usual Car Engine Noises You Should Know

Understanding these different unusual engine noises is essential in maintaining an automobile, enabling drivers to have their cars immediately checked for possible repairs.

· Squealing

One of the more common noises the engine could make is squealing, which is often a high-pitched or piercing sound that usually points to possible belt issues. This usually happens when the serpentine belt, responsible for powering the car’s alternator, steering pump, and air conditioning, is loose or if it encounters increased resistance because of prolonged wear. However, it is also possible that this noise could be because of any issues with the steering system or brake pads.

Neglecting this issue can lead to the car’s reduced efficiency and more destructive failure in the belts. This is why it is very important to promptly check the belts and pulleys and ensure that they are properly aligned and don’t have premature wear. This mitigates further damage to the engine and prevents costly upkeep.

· Knocking or Pinging

A distinct noise that car owners might hear whenever they’re on the road is knocking or pinging sounds, which is usually caused by combustion issues. This can be due to worn-out engine bearings, malfunctioning fuel injectors, or problems with the car’s ignition. Persistent knocking noises indicate irregular combustion, which can put more stress on the engine’s pistons, cylinders, and bearings.

You can deal with this by first identifying whether the knocking sound happens during acceleration, deceleration, or when the car is idle. You can also check the engine oil level, as degraded oil can also contribute to knocking. If you’re unsure, go to a qualified mechanic to determine if engine repair is already needed.

· Tapping or Clicking

Tapping or clicking is often a concerning noise for many car owners, especially for those who are unfamiliar with its possible sources. These sounds are usually caused by low oil pressure or valve issues, resulting in significantly reduced lubrication in the engine’s moving parts and potential damage to the valves.

To start diagnosing this issue, you can opt to check the oil level and quality, especially since these problems significantly contribute to insufficient lubrication in the car engine. You can also check and adjust the valve clearances and ensure that they are not too tight or too loose to avoid friction between the valve components.

· Rumbling or Roaring

Way past the engine, the exhaust system is another crucial vehicle component that helps in removing exhaust gases in the cylinders and decreasing the noise coming from the engine. But despite noise reduction being one of its main functions, a damaged exhaust system can also lead to unusual rumbling or roaring sounds.

This is usually due to various issues in the exhaust components, including the muffler, exhaust pipe, or catalytic converter. Compromised pipes can cause a distinct roaring sound, while a faulty catalytic converter will cause rumbles due to restricted airflow or internal damage. This can be checked by thoroughly examining the exhaust system and see if any parts are damaged. Immediately call a mechanic if major issues are identified in the system.

Preventive Maintenance Practices

While it’s true that there are mechanics or professionals you can rely on in times of trouble, proactive maintenance can help prevent these noises from emerging.

  • Regular Oil Changes and Fluid Checks: Not neglecting scheduled oil changes and regularly checking the various fluids in the car is crucial in mitigating unusual car noises. Oil serves as a lubricant for various moving and stationary components, reducing friction and premature wear and tear. The right fluid level also ensures that the transmission, power steering, and brake systems will perform optimally.
  • Keeping Belts and Pulleys in Good Condition: Belts and pulleys are integral components that power various engine accessories, and they will wear out, become cracked, or lose tension over time. Maintaining their good condition and promptly addressing wear and misalignment can avoid costly repairs and promote a quieter driving experience.
  • Periodic Inspections of the Exhaust System: Since it helps direct and filter emissions, regular inspection of the exhaust system ensures that it can play a pivotal role in maintaining the vehicle’s efficiency. Regular inspections can help identify potential flaws that can escalate to more significant issues over time.

When to Seek Professional Help?

DIY inspections and repairs can be a valuable means to detect and fix any unusual noise that might emerge when the car is operating. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that sooner or later, professional intervention is already necessary, especially if there are complex issues in the automobile that drivers can’t see on their own.

Mechanics are trained and knowledgeable in conducting a thorough and accurate diagnosis of the vehicle to guarantee that potential problems are addressed effectively. Relying on qualified professionals promotes the long-term safety, reliability, and performance of the vehicle by ensuring that the root cause of the noise is fixed.


With road safety paramount for many car owners, addressing the unusual noises immediately ensures that they will get from point A to point B quietly and safely. Early identification enables quick resolution of the issue, ensuring the car’s optimal performance on the road. With the help of professionals, drivers can proactively maintain the structural integrity of their automobiles and foster a safe driving experience for themselves and others sharing the road.

If you are looking for the best auto shop in Lubbock and Amarillo, TX, that can help address the noises from your car, then Brothers Auto and Glass is for you. We have served residents of Lubbock and Amarillo for more than 15 years, delivering quality car repair and preventative maintenance services. Visit to get an estimate on your car’s needs today.

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