Our vehicles make all sorts of noises and not all unusual noises necessarily mean you are headed for auto repairs. But the sounds an auto makes can often help in diagnosing what the problem may be. Let us have a look at some of the most common automobile sounds that can help troubleshoot auto problems.

Do you hear a tick, tick, tick sound?

If you are hearing a sharp tick, ticking under the hood that continues to make the ticking all the time, you may want to have a look at your oil level.  When the oil level is too low it sometimes causes a ticking noise within the engine.  Make sure your oil is full and see if the problem stops.  If it does not, or if the ticking should get louder, make an appointment with your mechanic or auto repair shop to have your valves checked.

If the ticking you hear is only when you first start the car, but subsides shortly after, it is likely the oil just taking some time to circulate well enough through the whole engine.

Another culprit of a tick, tick or clacking sound in the engine can be faulty lifters.  If you suspect this is your issue, check with a local auto repair shop to see what can be done.

Do you hear a rattle and tick sound?

There are a couple of probable issues to take a look at when you are hearing rattling and ticking or clacking sounds.  First you need to see what area of the engine the noises are coming from.  First check to see if the sounds are coming from the front of the engine or the side of the engine where belts are located.  If the sounds are coming from this region and they become faster or louder as you rev your engine, your likely culprit is a loose timing belt.  While not all cars have these anymore, many of them do.  When found early enough, a loose timing chain can be fixed before it causes major problems.  If you believe you are having a problem with your timing chain I strongly recommend getting to an auto repair shop to have it looked at by a mechanic.

Do you hear a grinding sound?

If you hear a grinding noise as you press the breaks it needs to be addressed right away.  This is indicative of needing brake repair and you do not want to put it off.  Holding off may cause extensive damages and disc brake repair can become very costly.

If the grinding sound is being heard as you are coming to a stop, your need is immediate.  By the time you’re hearing this, you are already likely looking at replacing your brake discs.

If you are in the Columbia, SC area and need to schedule an auto repair appointment contact Sanford’s Automotive Service now.  We have proudly served Columbia, SC and the surrounding communities since 1989.