How to Diagnose Car Problems by Noise

Written by justin obrien
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How to Diagnose Car Problems by Noise
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Your vehicle can make a variety of noises, some meaning that the car is damaged in some way or that a part in your car is malfunctioning. Car maintenance can get expensive, so you should be able to determine, check and fix simple problems yourself before taking your car to a mechanic. Learn to recognise the noises your car makes and then find and check that the car part is functioning properly.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Wrench set
  • Pliers
  • Oil
  • Steering fluid
  • Duct tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Listen for chatter and knocking from the engine. Check the oil and add any as needed. Either the valves or the cam shaft may be worn out, and you will have to have them checked by a mechanic.

  2. 2

    Listen for backfiring. The ignition timing is off or your valves are leaking. Have them checked by a mechanic.

  3. 3

    Feel your car shake when accelerating. Put a higher-grade fuel in your vehicle. The engine also could be overheating or the choke sticking; if so, have it checked out by a mechanic.

  4. 4

    Hear a screech when you turn the steering wheel. Adjust the power steering belt until it is snug on the pulleys (loosen the centre nut on each pulley adjust bar and spread the pulleys until they are tight). To find where your power steering belt is, refer to your car owner's manual.

  5. 5

    Hear a screech when you accelerate. Adjust the fan belt so it is snug on the pulleys (loosen the centre nut on each pulley adjust bar and spread the pulleys until they are tight). To find where your fan belt is, refer to your car owner's manual. Fan belts usually need replacing once they start screeching. You can purchase a belt at your local auto repair store.

  6. 6

    Listen for moaning from your engine when you turn the steering wheel. Fill your power steering fluid tank full.

  7. 7

    Hear hissing from your engine. A hose is leaking in your engine. Immediately get it checked by your mechanic. If you can identify where the leak is, you can duct tape it as a temporary fix.

  8. 8

    Listen for squeaks when using your brakes. Your brake pads and drums are wearing out; have them checked and replaced by a mechanic.

Tips and warnings

  • When purchasing auto parts, always have your car model, make and year ready before going to the auto repair store.

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