Wheel Noises – Chirping or Squealing Sounds

Chirping or squealing sounds from the wheel area may be a sign of bad wheel bearings or an axle bearing that is deteriorating. The cyclic noise will most often change with the rate of speed or may come and go at different speeds. This is a noise that you should not ignore. If a bearing fails, it can cause the wheel to seize or even come completely off of the car.

Wheel Noises – Creaking, Moaning or Scraping

Take care not to confuse wheel bearing noises with the noises that could be coming from your auto’s brakes. Brake sounds emitted may sound like scraping, moaning, creaking or squealing.  If the noises occur only in damp weather, it may be because moisture makes the brake pads swell just slightly. This can create a slight drag in the pads that can lead to the unsettling noises.  Wait until your brake pads have had time to heat up and dry out.  If the sounds persist, consult an auto repair facility or a trusted mechanic.  Metallic grinding noises when you brake often indicates that your brake pads are too worn and need to be replaced.  Brake issues can turn very serious, and even be a life-threatening danger if not repaired.  In addition to the dangers of the brakes failing completely, you also run the risk of causing further damage to the car by creating metal-on-metal contact that will damage the rotors.

Engine Noises – Hissing Sound During or After Driving

When you hear hissing noises emitted from your engine compartment, your engine is overheating.  It is also possible that you may be leaking coolant from within the system. If you hear hissing, take care to notice the temperature gauge and check for warning lights on the dash.  If the alerts are on or the engine is actually producing visible steam, you should pull over immediately to avoid much worse damage to the engine.  When the engine has cooled sufficiently, lift the hood. You should inspect for any indication of coolant leaking from the engine.  You should also inspect your radiator or heater hoses for leaks.  Steam or a sickly sweet smell is usually caused by an antifreeze leak in the cooling system.

Engine Noises – Clicking or Tapping Sounds

Engines can be noisy on a good day, but clicking or metallic tapping noises can mean that your engine is either low on oil or not maintaining a normal oil pressure. The clicking sound often comes from your valvetrain.  If you have low oil pressure because of low oil levels or a problematic oil pump, the hydraulic lifters that are responsible for opening and closing the valves can collapse.  This creates increased valve lash, which makes the noise you are hearing.  This noise will be centered in the area of your valve covers found on top of the engine.  When the car is stopped and the engine has cooled some, check your oil level and inspect for oil leaks in the engine.  If oil levels are good and you cannot find a source of a leak, you may want to bring your car or truck in to a auto repair shop to have the problem checked.  When you continue to operate an auto with insufficient oil pressure you will likely cause much more extensive damage to the motor. The result will be auto repairs that cost much more than if you had fixed the issue early on.