If you have driven an older car for a long time, driving a new car often feels like a totally new experience. It’s not because the steering is better or the brakes are on the right sensitivity. It’s because for some reason, you don’t hear anything else but the engine running. Nothing but the purr of the engine in idle or the roar when you accelerate. No clickety clanks or hard, metal-on-metal noise that makes you feel like your car will get disassembled anytime soon.
No engine is truly silent. However, some noises truly don’t belong under the hood. But what’s normal and when should you worry?
Let’s find out.
Engine Noise – What’s Normal
Normal engine noise is pretty simple to detect. It’s unmistakable. However, you might still be able to hear a number of other noises under the hood.
For example, soft ticking sounds may be given off by electrical components on your car. While this noise usually is very soft and silent that you don’t normally hear them, you might notice them by chance.
Also, some amount of ticking/knocking can be hear from some cars when starting. This can get worse when the weather is cold. However, this is pretty normal as long as it is within an acceptable level. One thing to note is that such “cold-start noises” can be reduced by using synthetic oil on your engine.
Engine Noise – What’s Not Normal
Alright, now that we have established how engines normally sound, let’s try to find out what sounds you should be wary about. Note that while this is a general guideline on diagnosing problems with your car, it will always be better to have an expert take a look at it.
Whenever you hear a whistling sound or something like air passing through a narrow exit, you automatically check if the windows are partly open or if the weather stripping has problems. However, if the whistling sound originates from under the hood, it can mean bigger problems.
If you hear the whistling sound while the car is running, it might be a hose that has a crack. One common culprit is the hose on your engine’s cooling system. It is one of the weakest parts of your engine and it’s not unheard of to have hoses suddenly cracking and breaking the vacuum seal. The whistling sound you hear might be due to air escaping the small crack. To find out if a hose is the real issue, find a safe place to park and turn the car off. If you can still hear whistling, it might be the radiator’s pressure cap. The pressure cap is designed to keep coolant from escaping but when the rubber gasket breaks, some coolant and air can escape resulting in a whistling sound.
If you hear a whirring sound coming from the front of your vehicle, like that of a giant fan running at max speed, then you might have issues with your engine belts. Engine belts work around a system of pulleys inside your car and they run at high speeds. As they age, they crack or stretch. As a result, they give off a whirring sound.
If your engine belts are not the culprit, it might be a bad bearing on your front wheel. Whatever the case, the replacement for a belt or bad bearing is very cheap.
Depending on your car, there should be a certain amount of noise given off when it is idling. For some, it can be a gentle purr but others can be a loud roar. However, if you feel like your car is idling much louder than usual then you might have an issue at hand.
Loud idling is usually caused by issues with cylinder compression. When there are problems with cylinder compression, you get an uneven fuel-air ratio. As a result, combustion becomes unusual. Having higher pressure inside the cylinder will result in loud idling noise. At times it can even result in some knocking sounds. Get a mechanic right away to check your engine as prolonged exposure to such issue can result in engine damage.
T3 Atlanta: Engine Noise Specialists
If you feel like your car’s engine sounds funny then you should bring your car to T3 Atlanta. Our team of experts can take a look at your car and take it for a short test drive to see the issue you are facing. They will then recommend options for you to choose from. After all, it’s your safety that we are after.