Your Car's Noises Can Tell You the Servicing It Needs

When your car needs servicing, often it will present a number of signs and symptoms of the damage that has been done or the maintenance it requires. Certain noises you hear are often part of those warning signs; if you notice any grinding, ticking, or other unusual noises, this can give you a clue as to the work your car needs. Note a few noises that are telling you that your car needs servicing and what those noises may indicate as to maintenance it requires.

Grinding from the brakes

Note if you notice grinding when you apply the brakes. This is not uncommon and it usually means that the brake pads or rotors have worn down so that the metal is grinding. Brake pads should squeeze the rotors but not grind them; if the rotors or pads are too thin, the metal may grind before you car comes to a stop. It's good to get this fixed right away as ignoring the problem will usually result in damage to the brakes and not being able to stop your car. You may also need to replace the rotors if you put off the problem, whereas a timely repair can mean salvaging them.

If you notice this grinding sound after you let your foot off the brake pedal, this can mean that the brake calipers are defective and need replacing. The calipers are little clips that squeeze the pads against the rotors to stop the car. If they don't let up properly, the brakes stay engaged as the wheel turns and they will grind. This too can result in damage to the rotors and overheating the engine as it needs to push the car along while the brakes are still engaged.

Ticking sound from the engine

A ticking sound when you first start your car can mean that you have low oil levels. The oil is not reaching the top of the pistons when the car starts, so it makes a ticking sound. As the oil circulates, the sound may go away. However, you don't want to ignore it even if it goes away, as low oil levels will mean that the engine is not being cooled properly, since oil is a coolant and not just a lubricant. If the sound gets louder or continues after your car starts, this often means that there is a valve leak that is allowing out oil. In both cases, have the oil pan and valves checked so you can ensure your car always has proper oil levels at all times.

For assistance, talk to a car service.