Car Noises and What They Mean

Car Noises and What They Mean

When you are thinking about buying a used vehicle, one of the things that you should do is listen to the car carefully when you are taking it for a test drive. Different car noises could indicate other problems with the vehicle. These problems may be severe enough to reconsider purchasing the car.

Car Noises And What They Could Mean

  • Clicking when you try to start the car. This could indicate that the battery is not strong enough to start the car. This may also indicate that the alternator is not charging the battery enough if the battery is new.
  • Tapping under the hood. If you hear a tapping sound under the hood when you start it or while you are driving, this could indicate low oil in the vehicle. This may also be a problem with the engine from allowing the oil to get too low. You will need a mechanic to check out this noise.
  • Squealing from under the hood or a high-pitched whining sound when you first start the vehicle. This could indicate that the serpentine belt is wearing out on the vehicle. This belt runs several different functions on a vehicle. If this breaks, you cannot operate the vehicle until it is fixed.
  • Squeak from under the vehicle when you accelerate. This squeak may indicate that the u-joints are going out on the vehicle. If you hear the sound when you are turning, this may be your wheel bearings. Any rhythmic nose can indicate problems with the axels or tires of the vehicle.
  • Backfiring. If the car continues to backfire when you start the vehicle or when you are driving it, then there is most likely something wrong with the fuel system.
  • Grinding sound when the gears change. If you are hearing any type of noise when the car changes gears, this may indicate transmission problems. This is something that you should never overlook.
  • Gurgling sound when you turn the vehicle off. This can indicate water or coolant entering the overflow bucket in the vehicle. This is something to be aware of because it could indicate that the engine is running hotter than it should. There are many reasons that this could happen.
  • Thumping noise from the tires. A thumping noise could indicate that the tire has a bubble in it or that the steel walls are getting ready to split. This may indicate that the tires are old or that the car has been sitting for a long period of time without being driven.

Always Take A Used Vehicle To A Mechanic For Review

If you are not purchasing a certified used vehicle, it will always be in your best interest to take the vehicle to a mechanic and have it checked out.

Car noises can indicate a lot of different problems with a vehicle. And if you are not familiar with what you are supposed to be listening to when you are test driving the car, you may end up purchasing a car with a serious mechanical issue.

Car Noises and What They Mean

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

Leave a Comment