Five Car Noises That Indicate Severe Problems with Your Vehicle

Do you notice strange sounds coming from your car? If so, you should not ignore these noises because they could mean something is seriously wrong with your vehicle or could go wrong shortly.

First, you must identify the cause and location of these sounds to understand the severity of the problem. Not all car sounds mean something terrible is happening, but some do. That is why you need to understand which car noises indicate severe problems with your vehicle.

Below are the top five car noises that signify severe vehicle issues.

1) Wheel Bearing Sounds

Car wheels have a hub with wheel bearings housed in them. The wheel bearings help enable the rotation of your wheels and tyres. If your wheel bearings start to wear out or loosen unexpectedly, you may begin hearing grinding or squeaking noises coming directly from your wheels and tyres.

Replace your wheel bearings as soon as you hear grinding or squeaking noises from your wheels and tyres. Failure to replace the wheel bearings could make driving your vehicle more dangerous because your wheels won’t rotate sufficiently. In addition, bad wheel bearings could cause significant damage to your rims and tyres.

It is much cheaper to replace wheel bearings than rims and tyres. So do the right thing by taking action the first time you hear grinding and squeaking from your wheels and tyres.

2) Squealing Noises in the Power Steering System

Turning the steering wheel in your vehicle should be a smooth and sound-free process. However, if you hear squealing noises as you turn the steering wheel, it usually means your power steering pump is low on power steering fluid.

Your vehicle must have sufficient power steering fluid levels to turn the steering wheel quickly and smoothly. Otherwise, you might not be able to turn your wheel fast enough to avoid obstructions and dangers on the road. So make sure you check your power steering fluid as soon as you hear squealing noises from your steering wheel.

Do you have adequate power steering fluid levels but still hear squealing noises? In this case, have a mechanic replace the steering system bushings and securely tighten the bolts. All the vehicle motion and steering movements can sometimes loosen the bolts in the system.

3) A Noticeable Ticking Sound in the Engine Area

Do you hear strange ticking noises from the engine area of your vehicle? Whenever you hear loud and unusual noises from this area, it should immediately raise alarm bells in your head.

For instance, the engine bay region may have a loud ticking sound if you don’t have enough oil inside your engine. This is because oil lubricates the engine and prevents too much friction between its internal components, which could cause ticking sounds.

Some cars have electronic warning systems to indicate whether the engine is low on oil. But just in case, use a dipstick to check the oil levels of your engine if you hear ticking noises. If you’re low on oil, add more of the right oil to the engine. Make sure you use the manufacturer’s recommended oil type.

Not all ticking sounds are due to low engine oil. If you still hear ticking sounds after checking or adding oil, check some of the other vital components of the engine bay area. These components might include your water pumps, timing belts, timing chains, or head gaskets. If any of these components wear down or suffer damage, you may hear ticking sounds coming from them too.

Of course, you should take your vehicle to a professional auto mechanic and have them investigate the cause of the ticking sounds. Unless you’re a professional mechanic, it is too risky to attempt to replace any engine bay component without professional assistance. Any mistakes could make the pending problem much worse.

4) Clicking or Popping Sounds While Turning

All-wheel drive and front-wheel drive cars can develop clicking or popping sounds when their front axles have worn-out constant velocity joints. You’ll hear these sounds each time you turn your steering wheel to turn a corner. But when you steer straight, you won’t hear the clicking or popping sounds anymore.

Replace your constant velocity joints under these circumstances. Failure to replace them promptly could result in more intense sounds, vibrations, and damage to the transmission.

5) Strange Grinding Sounds While Driving

Do you hear strange grinding sounds while driving your vehicle? Perhaps your car has an old or worn-out component causing these sounds.

Usually, grinding sounds can be attributed to worn-out wheel bearings, suspension parts, or braking system components. Pay attention to when and how often the sounds occur to try and identify the cause of the problem.

For instance, if the grinding sounds only occur when you step on the brake pedal, you can assume the grinding sounds are due to worn-out brake components. But if you only hear the grinding sounds while driving at reduced speeds without stepping on the accelerator or brake pedals, check to see if you have a loose nut or bolt somewhere in your suspension system.

No one expects you to be an auto repair professional who can diagnose a car problem yourself. So whether you can identify the cause of these noises or not, you should take your vehicle to a professional auto mechanic for additional assistance. They can verify the cause of the grinding noises and offer you immediate solutions to resolve them, such as repairing or replacing faulty components.


Don’t procrastinate on seeking professional assistance after hearing grinding or ticking noises for the first time. Strange car noises should always concern you because they could signify a more severe problem in the present or near future. But the sooner you diagnose and fix the cause, the less likely a severe and costly car problem will arise. So take your vehicle to the nearest auto shop and seek a diagnosis from a professional car mechanic today.

In addition to this, if you have had your vehicle break down due to one of the issues mentioned above and you need a professional towing service to tow your vehicle to a mechanic or repairer to fix the problem then call Executive Towing Services on 0410 471 056 for assistance. We operate in all areas of Perth and offer a friendly and reliable service.