10 Most Common Car Noises and Their Diagnosis

Unwanted Car Sounds

In this comprehensive blog guide, we discuss common unwanted car sounds and what they actually mean. We will help you decode those mysterious squeaks, clunks, hums, and rattles, empowering you to make an informed choice regarding your car’s condition. 

If you’re considering cash for cars Sydney, accurate information about car issues is the key. So, let’s learn about these freaky sounds and get you on the journey to a smoother, quieter ride.

10 Car Noises That Might Be Warning Signs Of Trouble

From the angry clang of the exhaust to the gentle purring of the engine, different car noises can give you a pretty good idea of its condition. Some sounds are just sounds and don’t need you to take any action. But some may need you to take your car to the mechanic immediately.

So, here are the most common unwanted car sounds and what you can do about them:

  • Knocking Sound Under the Hood

A knocking noise coming from under the hood or car engine can signal various issues, such as detonation due to low quality fuel, piston problems, or worn out bearings. 

Ignoring the knocking noise under the hood can lead to costly repairs and severe engine damage. So, it’s a good idea to consult your local mechanic to diagnose and resolve the underlying problem.

  • Screeching or Squealing Brakes

Are you hearing a high pitched screeching or squealing sound when you apply the car brakes? If so, don’t ignore it, as it is most likely a warning signal that your car brake pads are worn down. You will hear a squeaky noise when the metal indicator on the brake pad strikes against the rotor. 

It is not the best idea to ignore a squeaky sound because it can cause potentially unsafe driving conditions and bad braking performance. 

So, you should get a car’s brake pads replaced as soon as possible to avoid extensive and expensive repairs in the future.

  • Hissing Sound Under the Hood

A hissing sound from under the hood can be due to issues with your car’s cooling system. The reason might be a coolant leak, which can lead to engine overheating and substantial damage if you don’t address it.

It’s absolutely important to locate and repair the source of the hissing sound on time to prevent pricey engine repairs.

  • Grinding Noise When Applying Brakes

A grinding noise when you apply brakes usually indicates a more serious issue. It normally suggests that your brake pads are completely worn down. And the metal parts of your car’s brake system, like the rotors or calipers, are making contact. 

If you continue to drive your car with this problem, it can cause serious damage to your brake system and heighten the risk of a brake failure. So, get your brakes inspected and repaired on time.

  • A Squeaking Suspension

A squeaking sound while driving over uneven terrain or bumps may indicate worn out or dry suspension components like shock absorbers or bushings. 

While this sound may not affect the safety of your vehicle right away, it can still cause reduced ride comfort and handling. It’s better to schedule a suspension inspection with your mechanic and replace any worn suspension parts to maintain a better ride quality.

  • Popping Noise from the Car Exhaust

If you hear a backfiring or popping noise from the car exhaust, it could be due to an issue with the ignition system or a rich air fuel mixture. 

While it may not always point to a critical problem, it can definitely lead to reduced fuel efficiency and more emissions. So, get your ignition system and exhaust inspected to ensure you’ve proper combustion and engine performance.

  • A Rattling Sound from the Exhaust

A rattling noise coming from a car’s exhaust system can be caused by damaged or loose components like brackets, heat shields, or exhaust pipes. 

While the exhaust may not cause an instant threat to your car’s functionality, it can surely get worse with time, leading to severe damage in the future. 

So, get your exhaust system inspected and repaired, and it will prevent further issues and maintain good fuel efficiency.

  • Ticking Noise from the Engine

A ticking noise coming from the car engine can be because of a multitude of issues like damaged lifters, low oil levels, or valve problems. Inadequate lubrication can also cause potential engine damage and more engine wear. 

Regularly inspecting and changing the engine oil as recommended by the car manufacturer and addressing any unusual noises from the engine can help.

  • Whining Noise from the Transmission

If you hear a high pitched whining noise coming from the car transmission, the reason might be bad transmission components or low transmission fluid. 

Poor gear shifting and even transmission failure can occur due to insufficient transmission fluid. It is crucial to take care of this problem as soon as possible by inspecting and changing the transmission fluid. You may also find professional help if necessary.

  •  Clicking Noise While Turning

If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the car steering wheel, it can be due to problems with the CV (constant velocity) joints in a car’s front wheel drive axle. 

The CV joints allow the car wheels to maintain power and also help them to turn. 

Clicking sounds often means that the CV joint is damaged or worn. Ignoring it can lead to loss of control and costly repairs.


The truth is unusual car noises should never be ignored. They often act as early warning signs of underlying issues that can cause more expensive and extensive repairs if you don’t resolve them. 

Immediate attention and regular car maintenance for unwanted car sounds are crucial to keep it running smoothly and safely on the road. If in doubt about the source of an unwanted noise, consult a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

If you don’t want to keep it, we buy cars in Sydney. We offer quick cash transactions, obligation free quotes, and free unwanted car removal. Call us now to sell your oldie.


Daniel booked an appointment. 1 hour ago   verified Verified by Cash For Cars Sydney

Car For Cars Sydney