Hearing a vehicle noise is a scary situation when you can't pinpoint the cause. Before you worry too much, consider these common sources of car noises.
When you need a brake repair, the noises will be characteristically high pitched and occur mainly when you're braking. The high pitched sound comes from metal pieces grazing each other at a high speed. A common problem is brake pads that are worn down, so that two metal pieces are touching (rather than two brake pads creating friction with each other, as they would normally do). This is a serious problem, so take your car to a brake repair specialist as soon as you can, and go easy on your acceleration until then.
An exhaust problem is a noisy one. You might hear various sounds under the hood of your car that can sound like sputtering or clunking. Many exhaust issues can be a simple fix that involves locating a broken part or loose connection. Engine noises may be coupled with a decrease in performance (such as loss of fuel economy) that highlights the issue with your vehicle.
When you have a tire problem, it will probably be obvious in a few ways. Your car might roll back and forth when a tire on one side is underinflated. The car may also make a clunking noise with each rotation of the tire if the problem is more severe. Depending on how badly the tire is damaged, you may be looking at a tire inflation, tire replacement, or even a rim replacement. To avoid a more expensive issue that involves replacing a damaged rim, make sure to catch tire issues early on.
So, what should you do when you hear a car noise? Your first resource would be to look online. There are a few sound libraries set up so that you can listen to audio clips and match them to the sound your car is making. Those are great for getting a sense of what the problem might be and how much it will cost to fix it. But they should not be replaced by getting auto repair shops to look at the car if it continues to make noise. Only a skilled repair team can tell you for sure what the issue is, and you wouldn't want to misdiagnose the car and end up neglecting a serious problem that damages the car or yourself.
For more information, contact a business such as AutoMedics.Share