Why Is My Car Making Gurgling Noises?

Updated March 21, 2017

Many moving parts and components work together to power a car's forward motion. Knowing some of the warning noises -- whether it is a whirling, gurgling, squealing or squeaking -- can help to quickly diagnose the problem with the vehicle.

Water Pump

If the car is making a gurgling noise and you have been leaking water or coolant, you may have a failing water pump or leak in your coolant system. Check underneath your vehicle for puddles of coolant and check your coolant level to see if it needs to be refilled to prevent overheating.


Another potential problem that may arise with gurgling sounds is the thermostat, which helps to regulate the circulation of coolant as the engine heats up. If the thermostat is stuck in the closed position, the coolant may begin to heat more quickly and stay hot longer, leading a gurgling sound when you turn your car off.

Air in Cooling System

If there is excessive air in the cooling system, it may need to be bled to troubleshoot the gurgling sound. Check service bulletins and recalls for potential cooling system problems, such as the heating core, radiator, thermostat or water pump. The solution involves making sure that the coolant level is full in the radiator and then filling the heater core independently.

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About the Author

David McGuffin is a writer from Asheville, N.C. and began writing professionally in 2009. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and Montreat College in history and music, and a Bachelor of Science in outdoor education. McGuffin is recognized as an Undergraduate Research Scholar for publishing original research on postmodern music theory and analysis.