Skip to content

8 Common Auto Engine Sounds and What They Mean

As a car owner, perhaps one of the most frustrating and frightening things that can happen is experiencing car failure. We rely on our vehicles to take us safely to our desire destinations, and more often than not seeing that “check engine” light pop up on your dash means your trouble requires auto repair. At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we want to take some of the mystery out of engine sounds.

engine repair

So, next time something knocks, screeches, or squeals, check out these eight common causes:

  1. Gentle Knocking or Tapping: This may start out fairly gentle and can be easy to ignore with music on or if you often keep the windows rolled down. However, if the sound gets faster and louder as you accelerate, you could be having issues with your oil pressure or the upper valve train. Bringing your vehicle in for an oil change can catch a small problem before it becomes a much bigger one!
  2. Loud Banging or Violent Knocking: If you’re hearing a banging from your engine that’s loud enough to be heard over surrounding ambient noise, you should stop driving the car immediately. There’s a chance that the bearings have become loose or are in danger of failing. Having a full tune up from our auto repair experts in Vancouver, can save you from engine failure at a critical time and prevent possible danger to you and your vehicle.
  3. A Rattle Combined with Whining: The engine has plenty of belts and moving parts, and all it takes is one bad part to stop everything from working. A rattle with a whine can indicate a damaged or misaligned shaft belt. If you aren’t a practiced mechanic, you’ll require professional help to ensure that both you and your vehicle are in safe working order.
  4. High-Pitched Squealing: This is a sound that often worsens if ignored, so it is best to get this looked at as soon as you can. The high-pitched screaming coming from your engine is most likely a torn or loose serpentine belt. A good mechanic can tighten or replace this in no time, but it is crucial to bring your car in right away.
  5. Inconsistent Idling: When your car is idling, you should hear a steady purr from the engine. When this purr starts to come in waves and your car sounds like its engine might die, it’s time to have your vehicle diagnosed.
  6. Grinding and Groaning: This can be a tough one to diagnose. It can mean that parts of the engine aren’t properly lubricated or are possibly worn out. But, it can also be coming from your brakes. Either source requires professional diagnosis.
  7. Pressured Whistling: Your car requires a myriad of hoses and seals in order to run correctly. When one of these has a leak or has worn out, you’ll hear a sound similar to a kettle whistling. The timing of the sound and the location will help your mechanic figure out its source.
  8. Roaring Idle: When your car should be resting, it shouldn’t sound like its gearing up for a drag race. A loud idle can indicate a problem with internal engine pressures. Call your mechanic at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres to schedule a diagnostic appointment.

If you require Auto Repair, Our Auto Repair Experts are here to Help

No matter what sound your engine makes, Minit- Tune & Brake Auto Centres are here to help. We have the best mechanics and auto repair experts in Vancouver and its surrounding cities. Contact us using our convenient online form or visit one of our 18 locations today!


Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres Address Common Issues

Here at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres in British Columbia, we’re always pleased to help our customers get the most out of their cars and trucks. To that end, we’ll add a relevant blog topic from time to time to keep you up to date and getting the most out of your vehicle.