Car Noises: Squeaky Brakes, Engine Noises & More | ACDelco

What’s your vehicle trying to tell you when it clicks, clunks or grinds? Translating these car noises is key for automotive technicians who are trained to identify problems via sound. The important thing to remember is to be specific. Narrow that rattle down and then document when it happens – details such as when the car is hot, cold, at idle, moving at 90 km/h, etc. can go a long way in helping to diagnose the problem.

Below are some possible explanations for these car noises. These can be further diagnosed by your service advisor or technician the next time you take your vehicle for a service.



Squeaky brakes
Dirt in the lining of the pads or hardening of the pads and shoes
Grinding brakes
Worn pads and shoes
Metal on metal when braking
Worn-out pads
Metal on metal when encountering bumps
Worn-out shocks
Growling from air conditioner
Worn compressor
Squealing windshield wipers
Worn wiper blades
Whining from tires when turning a corner
Dry or worn-out wheel bearings
Squealing from tires when turning a corner
Tires low on air or worn
Grinding while shifting gears
Worn clutch or clutch that needs adjustment
Screeching under the hood
Loose or worn belt
Popping from engine
Dirty air filter or bad spark plugs, wires or ignition components
Scraping or buzzing from transmission
Transmission needs new fluid
Squeaking noise when shifting
Manual transmission needs lubrication
Clunking under hood when gears change
Worn joints or engine’s idle speed may be set too high
Knocking under hood
Clogged air filter, timing off or needs higher gas octane rating
Clicking when idling
Needs oil
Clunking that worsens as speed increases
Broken or worn engine parts