Common Car Noises & What They Mean

September 5th, 2018 by

Mechanic looking at a car engine

Everyone’s been there, your car makes a noise that you’ve never heard before. Maybe it’s a ca-chunk or a screeee, but either way, it doesn’t sound good. So, what does that mystery sound mean and is it serious? Today in the Thompson Sales blog, we’ll go over some common car noises and what they mean.


A squealing noise can mean a couple of different things, so it’s important to listen to where it’s coming from. Here are some things that could be wrong if you hear squealing:


If you hear squealing under the hood, you could be dealing with a loose or old serpentine belt. Your belt powers the systems in your car, so you don’t want this to break. If you hear squealing under your hood, you can temporarily remedy it with some WD-40, but make sure you get to a mechanic as soon as possible to get it replaced.


If you hear squealing every time you brake, it’s probably time to get new brake pads. It’s not extremely urgent if the squealing isn’t significant, but make sure to do it when you’re able. If you wait too long you could run into our next problem.

Metal Grinding

The sound of metal grinding against metal is pretty unmistakable and chances are it’s a serious issue. This is more than likely your brakes after they’ve worn through the pads. If your brakes are making a grinding noise, you need to get them fixed immediately. Your brakes won’t work properly without pads and you increase your risk of getting into an accident.

Tapping or Clicking

If you hear a clicking noise under the hood, the problem is probably low oil. When your pistons aren’t oiled properly, they may make that tapping or clicking noise you’re hearing. You can easily find out if this is the issue by checking your car’s dipstick to see the oil level. If the oil isn’t low, you may have a different issue and you’ll need to have a mechanic check it out.


If you’re hearing whistling under your hood, there’s a chance one of your hoses has a leak or hole in it. If you’re only hearing it in your car, it might just be that your weather-stripping needs to be replaced.

Your weather-stripping is what is used to seal your windows and doors and prevent wind, rain, and more from getting in. The hoses are definitely a serious issue, so make sure to go to a mechanic if you hear whistling. 

Choose Thompson Sales

If you need parts or service, Thompson Sales has you covered. We also have a wide variety of new and used vehicles to choose from. If you need to make a service appointment, contact us today or use our handy tool on our website to schedule one. If you’re interested in purchasing a vehicle, come visit us today!

Posted in Car Repair