Car Ownership 101: The Sounds And Signs You Should Never Ignore

If you own a car, you’re probably aware that keeping it on the road can be a costly affair. You have to pay for insurance, tax, and servicing before you even consider the financial impact of things going wrong. In some cases, unexpected, abnormal noises aren’t anything to worry about, but there are certain symptoms you should never ignore. If you spot or hear any of these issues, it’s always best to give the garage a call.

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Your handbrake isn’t sticking

If you’ve put the handbrake or parking brake on, you should notice that it sticks, and the car feels secure. If your handbrake feels loose, or the car is still moving slightly, this may indicate that the brake has become weak or worn. This problem is most common in older vehicles, which have clocked up a lot of miles. You may not use your handbrake much on your daily commute, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need it in proper working order. You’ll need to use the brake when you’re parking, you’re stuck in traffic for long periods of time, or you’re driving uphill. If you think there may be a problem with your parking brake, it’s best to get it checked out as a priority.

Crunching gears

If you’ve noticed a crunching sound when you change gear, this may indicate a number of problems. Firstly, the brake or clutch fluid may need topping up. Secondly, if the car jumps when you eventually get it into the gear you want, or you change gear, there may be an issue with the clutch. If your car needs clutch repairs, it’s best to arrange a trip to the garage as quickly as possible. Delaying repairs will increase the likelihood of serious damage, which is likely to cost more, as well as putting your safety at risk.

Clicking noises when you turn

If you can hear a clicking noise when you turn into or out of a junction, this may indicate that the CV joint is damaged or worn. The longer you leave it, the louder the noise will become.

A squealing noise when you speed up

Are you greeted with a shrill squeal every time you try and accelerate? If so, this is a sign that the engine belt may need replacing. It’s normal for the belt to make a noise when you first start the car up on a cold winter’s morning, but if you notice persistent noise as you continue driving or the sound gets louder as you go faster, it’s wise to contact a mechanic for advice. Squealing noises can also be symptomatic of worn brake pads. If this is the case, you should have the pads replaced without delay.


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As a car owner, you probably dread the day when your car starts making funny noises or threatening to give up the ghost. Cars don’t last forever, but if you take the right maintenance steps, you can prolong their life expectancy, and save yourself money along the way.