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What's That Noise?

Have you ever been driving your car, turned a corner and heard a horrible squealing sound? Immediately, it’s upsetting because you know you are going to have to bring your car into the shop. Well, here are a few diagnoses for some of the sounds you might hear from your car.

A high-pitched, piercing metallic screech:
A high-pitched, piercing metallic screech:

Is usually a sign that brake maintenance is required. Brake pads have wear indicators that alert the driver to problems.

A high-pitched, metallic tapping sound:
A high-pitched, metallic tapping sound:

Is often related to engine speed. This could be caused by fuel with a lower octane rating than recommended, so check your vehicle’s manual for octane rating. Engine ignition timing may be the problem if it doesn’t stop.

A shrill, sharp squeal:
A shrill, sharp squeal:

Is caused by either loose or worn power steering, fan, or air conditioning belt(s).

A clicking sound:
A clicking sound:

Can be related to a loose fan blade, a wheel cover or many time a rock (or nail) in the groove of a tire.

A low-pitched rhythmic rumble:
A low-pitched rhythmic rumble:

Could be the result of a few things: A defective exhaust pipe, converter or muffler, a worn universal joint or some other drive-line component.