Car noises analysis secrets…your automotive troubleshooting guide for fixing car noises

Different car noises should be analyzed properly because it will help you fix the source of any automotive problems

Car noise occurs normally on used cars which a lot of times are a tale tells sign that tells you if something is going to break or stop working. However, caution must be used when listening for car noises because sometimes they are normal. Car noises actually begin to show themselves when a part is worn but the following recommendation should help you when confronted with car noises.

Engine noise

This occurs especially in high mileage vehicle and if the engine is worn; the hydraulic lifters at the top will not get much lubrication from the oil pump which will result in worn lifters that will be noisy. A lot of these can be repaired by replacing the engine because if you consider the labor it takes to replace both the oil pump and lifters, changing the engine is more of a permanent solution.

If the engine bearing and pistons are worn, chances are, you will have a lower end noise which is pronounced when you rev up the engine speed. Problem like this is also fixed by changing the engine. Take note though that if might be economical to junk the whole vehicle if it has too many miles which can make other power train susceptible to failure like the transmission and rear end axle.

Belt noise

Water pump and belt noise is very similar and most of the test involves taking out the belt and running the engine to run without the belt. If the noise is gone, replace the belt otherwise, you might have a failed bearing on the alternator or water pump which can be checked by manually spinning their drive pulleys.

When worn, these bearings are usually loose and can be noisy when spun. On some models, water pump can be checked if you run your fingers around its housing and as soon as your fingers get oily or wet, you will know that you need a new water pump. In other models, the water pump could be incased inside the front timing cover which will require a different approach of testing.

Front end noise

This is the noise made by the vehicle itself especially when the vehicle is on the move. If the noise comes when the vehicle is turning, this means the u joint or CV joint is failing. However if the noise occurs in a straight ahead direction, most of the noise comes from the front wheel bearings.

Testing these types of noise involves physically checking the suspected origin by either raising the front end so the defective components can be accessed. In some extreme cases, the front brake system might be dis- assembled to check the rotors in case the noise occur whenever the brakes are applied.

Drive axle noise

This occurs mostly on trucks with a rear wheel drive system that has a drive shaft connected to the front transmission. On some cases, the drive shaft bearing holder could be worn and it could make a vibrating noise. This is an easy problem to repair once you verified that the bearings are defective.

However, if the noise itself comes from a mis-aligned shaft, the noise will show as a low pitch one which simulates a plane taking off. If you have that, the only solution is to remove the whole driveshaft and checked it for balance. If the noise is coming from the rear axle housing itself, the best way to check it is to put a listening device to the housing so you can hear the source of the noise.

There are a lot of car noises being made which sometimes is only attributed to a particular vehicle but as long as you can test the origin, most of the time it can be fixed. As an ATS member, car noises database can be supplied for your particular vehicle.

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