What Are Those Odd Noises Coming from Your Car's Engine?

Posted on: 23 June 2016

Over the months and years, you develop a strange kind of relationship with your automobile. You become used to its strange nuances; how it behaves in certain circumstances, those vibrations and the noises. If, all of a sudden, a strange new noise appears, then you need to get to the bottom of it. Odd engine noises may mean trouble ahead, so it is a good idea to try and decipher what's going on so that you can have a word with your mechanic.

Is It a Tap?

If, when the engine is ticking over, you can hear an unusual tapping noise, this is likely an issue surrounding the camshaft. More often than not it shows that there is wear and tear in the area where the engine valves connect to the camshaft. These components are known as "tappets" and should ordinarily move up and down in sequence, very quickly and rhythmically. The operation should be silent, so if you can hear this, it means something is out of balance or the pressure to the engine is low. This is an urgent problem for your mechanic.

Is It a Screech?

If the type of noise you hear is a piercing screech whenever you move away from a standing position, then this is almost certainly an indication that your fan belt is slipping. For such a simple piece of equipment, the fan belt does a very important job, as it helps to drive your entire cooling system. As it operates at very high speed and is made of rubber, it can wear out, and will need replacing from time to time. This is a fairly easy job for the mechanic.

Is It a Knock?

A slightly louder sound that appears to be coming from lower down in the engine could be a phenomenon known as "knocking." This situation arises when the engine is not receiving the correct volume of or perhaps the wrong grade of fuel.

Is It a Bang?

An even louder noise, which you can most often hear as a backfire through the exhaust, may mean that the ignition timing system needs to be adjusted. This loud bang is caused when a flame is allowed to travel backwards from the engine through the exhaust. This could also be the result of wear and tear in the area where the valves open and close.

Try and use this information to consult with your qualified mechanic as soon as you can.