So That’s What That Noise Was…

10. January, 2017



When you first hear “that noise” is the best time to find out what it is.  You drive you car all the time, you know what it feels like and what it sounds like.  When you hear a noise or feel a vibration or handling condition that you haven’t felt before, it is a good idea to find out what it is before further damage occurs. 

Ignoring the warning can often create a much higher repair bill.  For example a scenario might play out like this: You hear a squeal at random times and it seems to be coming from under the hood.  You hear it again and perhaps say to yourself, “there’s that weird noise again, I wonder what that is?”  Then you start getting used to it, it comes on randomly so you think maybe it will get more consistent before you worry about it.  In this little story, the failing item is the electric cooling fan bearing is going out.  On many cars the cooling fan will only operate when the engine is at around 220 degrees Fahrenheit.  So the noise keeps coming on randomly, never at high speed, and only when the car is running hot enough for the computer to engage the fan. Until, one day the cooling fan comes apart and hits the fan shroud, breaking the shroud before the fan blades proceed through the radiator and possibly into the A/C condenser. 

 Now what could have been a fairly minor repair has turned into several hundred dollars.  Many components of a car can fail and cause damage to other components if not addressed in the early stages of the failure. 

 Expense is one concern, another is safety, for example a wheel bearing failing to the point that the wheel comes off.  A loose suspension component that is making a rattle or knocking noise when hitting bumps can fail and cause an accident. 

 When you hear noises in your vehicle, it is a good idea to find out what it is. Is it something that needs immediate attention? Can that ‘noise’ cause further damage?  Is it something that is unsafe?  Of course not every noise we hear is a ticking time bomb, but if you don’t know what it is, you don’t know if it has the potential to escalate into an uncomfortable situation. 

 Spending money on repair bills is never fun, but the alternative can be much less fun.  Pay attention to what your car is telling you, it could save you hundreds in unnecessary expense, or worse, unsafe conditions.