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troubleshooting new car noises


Continuous noise gets higher pitched and louder as you go faster

occurs even when stationary and rev engine in neutral gear

  • could be issue with any of the moving parts in the engine bay or gear box/transmission
    • if rhythmic, tapping, could be valves, connecting rods or pistons
    • if squealing at start up or when accelerating, could be worn or loose accessory belts that drive things like your power steering pump, air conditioner compressor and alternator.

occurs only when car moving

  • comes from all wheels:
    • probably road surface noise
  • only comes from one wheel:
    • if very loud, high pitched and started after being on gravel road:
      • probably a stone is lodged in brake pads
    • if low pitched:
      • may be damaged mud flap contacting tire
      • may be due to worn tire especially if uneven wear
      • may be due to wheel alignment issue
      • may be wheel bearings are worn - these should be fixed as they may result the wheel falling off

Occurs only on braking

  • most likely an issue with the brake pads

Intermittent noise / clicking gets more frequent as you go faster

  • most likely an issue with tires:
    • stone jammed in tire tread
    • damaged tire
    • stone caught in wheel and moving
    • loose lug nut inside a hub cap
  • a cyclic noise may also occur with worn wheel bearings
  • a squeak may be worn universal joint (U-joint), which are found in pairs and are components of the driveshaft

Knocking noise when turning

  • worn constant velocity (CV) joints
  • worn bushings (rubber parts which reduce the rubbing of metal parts) - knocking occurs when not accelerating or braking and especially turning corners
  • worn ball joints - cause knocking when turning the steering wheel and get worse the more you turn the steering wheel

Knocking noise on bumpy roads

  • this is usually a damaged suspension component
  • damaged strut or strut mount
  • broken sway bars - this may cause you to lose vehicle control when rounding corners at speed
  • loose wheel nuts (lug nuts) - especially noticeable at faster speeds - needs addressing to prevent uneven tire wear, damage to suspension or worse, the wheel falling off!
  • shattered wheel bearings may cause knocking noise when driving straight and eventually the wheel may fall off
  • worn control arms on front wheels will cause some knocking noise when driving slowly and also a rough driving experience
  • bent axle from driving over a pothole or a large rock - knocking sounds when driving over bumps, shaking that gets worse the faster you go, uneven outside tire wear, and turning issues
  • exhaust system issues

diagnosis of front end noise

  • bounce front of car up and down and try to ascertain either:
    • excessive movement of strut mount, or,
    • using a screwdriver as a stethoscope, ascertain which part is making the noise
  • have assistant turn the steering wheel while you observe under the car
    • check tie rods and steering knuckles as well as suspension components for excessive movement
  • have two assistants shake the front roof with force
    • lie under the vehicle with your underhood work light and check all the components mentioned above that should be causing knocking noise. These include the ball joints, control arms.
  • check the exhaust systems – the muffler, catalyst converter, tailpipe, and head pipes.
    • check the connections and hanger that holds them in place. 
    • once exhaust is cold, wiggle the pipes and see if it’ll replicate the knocking sounds
australia/car_noises.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/05 00:10 by gary1

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