Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Listen To Abnormal Noises From Your Car - Vol.80

Chances are pretty good that your car makes quite a few noises. Most are somewhat soothing, although there are a few that will grab your attention from time to time.

You will be used to your engine running, your tires spinning and maybe even the wind whistling but every once in awhile a new noise will appear. You know what I'm talking about, the one that makes you shut off the radio and expectantly wait for it to happen again.

Well do not ignore these new noises, at least not until you figure out what it is. Pretending you really don't hear it will likely end up being a very costly mistake.

Here are a few examples of sounds that are screaming for your attention and ones that really can be ignored.

Tick Tick
If you've got a tick tick sound driving you batty toward the back of your car near the middle, that happens while you car is in motion and varies with the speed you're going, it's likely your U-joint. Basically your U-joint is getting loose and needs some lube. In order to fix this you will need to replace each joint and ensure you lube them all up nicely.

Loud Thumping From the Tires
If this happens at slower speeds and increases with your acceleration, it's likely a flat-spotted tire. Essentially when the tire rotates, the flat part hits and makes a thumping sound. This is more annoying than anything else. In order to fix it you are best to buy steel-belted tires or just live with it!

Grumbling Sound From Front
If you have a grumbling sound from the front of your car while idle, it's likely the water pump bearings. This issue you need to take care of because if you leave it and your pump bearings quit completely, your fan will wreck your rad. Bottom line is you need a new pump.

Clunk Under the Front End
If this clunk starts when you park and then advances to clunking while going over bumps, it's likely your ball joint. The ball joint adheres the suspension arm to the upright and it's likely lost its lube. Hence the metal-on-metal is wearing it out. You ball joint needs replacing.

Clang Under Car Center
If you've got a clanging under your car when you are starting up at stop lights, you've likely got issues with your driveshaft. Basically the splines aren't allowing the driveshaft to change length and they are binding. This is really annoying but pretty normal. You can try putting lube in the spine area and this may or may not help you.

Yeeeeekkkkkk Under Hood
If this sound happens right after you start the vehicle until you've warmed the car up, it's probably a loose belt or misaligned pulley. Don't ignore this one as it won't go away. You're going to need to have your belt tension and pulley checked and likely will need your belt replaced.

Eeeeeeeee Inside Your Wheels
If this happen when you're slowing down, you've likely got issues with your brake pads. This may or many no be normal as sometimes they just do this. You may want to try new brake pads or you may want to have them secured. Or you can just try and ignore it!

Sss Under Your Hood
If this occurs whenever your engine is running, it's probably a vacuum leak. It's either fallen apart or split. This will often cause your engine light to go one and you'll need to replace the line.

These are a few of the abnormal noises from your car that may or may not be important. Most importantly, you need to investigate any new noises you notice, just to make sure you don't let a mole hill escalate into a mountain!