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5 Engine Noises You Should Never Ignore

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The last thing you want to hear is while driving down the road is a strange noise coming from your engine. And while you may hold on to the hope that it will just go away, engine noises seldom just disappear. If your car’s engine is making odd sounds and you don’t have any idea what it could be, then this article can help you figure out the reasons. However, if your engine is making any of the following noises, then it needs repair service.

car engine

Engine Hissing

A hissing noise coming from the engine can signal a vacuum leak, an overheating engine or even a plugged exhaust system/catalytic converter. Likewise, a sizzling or hissing sound coming from the engine compartment after you turn the car off could indicate a fluid leak. Whatever the case, make an appointment for repair immediately, as a blown engine is a major safety concern, not to mention it can cost you thousands of dollars to repair.


Perhaps one of the most annoying engine noises and one of the most common is squealing. A high-pitched squealing or chirping noise is most often the result of one of the belts slipping on the pulley. This is caused by a belt either slipping or being worn out. Since the belts are an important part of how the engine operates,  you’ll want to have it looked at before they break.

Clicking or Ticking Noises

Certain parts of a car’s engine will make a slight clicking or ticking noise as they work. This is completely normal. What isn’t normal is when the noise begins getting louder and louder. In addition, if the clicking, tapping or ticking noise comes and goes, you need to get it checked out immediately.

The most common reasons for engine ticking are low oil, worn fuel injectors, worn struts, or bad pushrods, worn-out springs or even the cams. Whatever the cause, this isn’t something you want to put off getting repaired. Make sure that the car has enough oil by checking the oil level using the dipstick, and if the noise does not stop, take it in for repairs as soon as you can.

Knocking or pinging noises

Knocking or pinging noises are another cause for concern. In many cases, this indicates an ignition problem. This can be caused by several different things including the timing being off, a bad fuel filter, bad fuel injector, damaged spark plugs, or a bad distributor cap.

A low, deep knocking sound can indicate problems deep within your engine. These sounds can also present themselves as something that sounds similar to a pinging noise. You may notice that this sounds gets worse with acceleration. Park your vehicle as soon as you can, and get someone to come to help you.

Popping sound

A popping sound could indicate several different issues. Some of the most common include a dirty air filter, worn-out spark plugs or spark wires, internal ignition malfunctions, or even clogged fuel filter.

Strange engine noises can mean anything from a simple fix to a complete engine repair. Regardless, you should never ignore a noise coming from your car’s engine. Be sure to take your car to a reputable mechanic for service.

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