Regularly maintaining your car reduces the probability of a costly car breakdown, it goes without saying. Simon Naylor, Director at Wessex Fleet, highlights the importance of getting familiar with the normal working of your car and identifying unusual sounds. He adds that getting such noises sorted sooner rather than later could save rising repair bills caused by subsequent faults. Here, I look at eight car noises that Simon’s highlighted, which could cost you over £1,700!
Grinding or tyre rumbling car noises
If you notice a grinding or rumbling noise coming from your tyre as you pick up speed, the chances are high that there could be a bearing issue. Visit a mechanic as soon as possible to have the bearing replaced. You might notice that even if the sound was on one side, your mechanic might recommend changing the bearing on the other side. The replacement could cost you about £200 per bearing.
Clicking car noises when turning
The culprit, in this case, is usually the CV (constant velocity) joint. This joint connects the front axle with the wheels to help with turning. If there’s damage, moisture and dirt can get inside and affect this joint, causing the clicking sound. Additionally, if the joint is broken, your car could feel shaky as you make a turn.
If caught early, a CV joint problem can be repaired. However, in most cases, the problem is detected late, and this requires a full replacement that could cost £200+.
Groaning sound when turning
Power steering fluid helps make it easier to steer your car by creating pressure around the rack-mounted piston. If the power steering fluid level falls, steering becomes more challenging, and you might hear a groaning sound coming from under the bonnet. You could top up the fluid yourself for between £10 and £15, but it’s wise to visit a mechanic – just in case flushing and replacement are required. This could cost you about £115.
More so, failing to top up or replace the power steering can damage the power steering pump, which could cost you around £300.
Clunking car noises when driving over speed bumps
Clunking noises around your wheels, especially when driving on rough roads or speed bumps, could mean an anti-roll bar problem. The bar connects opposite wheels and reduces car body movement when driving around corners. The clunking car noises may mean you may need to replace the anti-roll bars, which could take you back around £210.
Screeching wheels when braking
Car manufacturers usually fit cars with indicators to help you know when there’s a problem. One of these indicators is located on the wheels. A screeching sound means that your brake pads are wearing down and need a change. They could set you back around £250.
Failure to change the brake pads could result in brake failure, leading to an accident. And this might be a good time to remind you of the importance of car insurance!
Squeaking car noises under the bonnet
In most cases, a high-pitched squeaking sound under the bonnet means you have a water pump problem. You could also see fluid leaking from your car when parked. The work of the water pump is to circulate the engine coolant around the car’s cooling system to prevent overheating.
Repairs could set you back around £280 or more, but ignoring such car noises could lead to engine faults that cost way more. Simon Naylor adds that using manufacturer-approved coolants and sealants helps prolong the lifetime and efficiency of your car’s water pump.
Squealing noises from under the bonnet
In most cases, a squealing sound from your bonnet indicates a faulty drive or alternator belt. It is located near your engine, and its role is to transfer power from the engine to other parts of your car.
Over time, the drive belt wears due to friction and heat and may need to be replaced. It may set you back around £150, but this will depend on your car’s make and model.
A rattling exhaust
Are you hearing rattling noises under your car while driving? Check the exhaust pipe and bracket first, but wait for it to cool down before shaking it – it could have come loose.
Sometimes, you can easily tighten loose fittings, but if the problem looks complex, it’s wise to visit a mechanic before you make things worse. If you need an exhaust pipe replacement, you can expect to spend about £125.