Two Ominous Engine Sounds And What They Could Mean

Posted on: 3 August 2016

Unusual sounds coming from underneath a car's hood are among the most stressful symptoms of automotive trouble. Luckily, those mysterious sounds may be telling you more than you realize. If you would like to improve your knowledge of basic automotive diagnosis, read on. This article will teach you the likely cause of two common sounds.

Squeals or Whining When You Turn

If the odd sound that you're hearing only happens while making turns, you've got a strong indication that the problem is tied to your power steering system. Often such noises will be coupled with an increased difficulty in the physical act of turning your steering wheel. That's because your power steering is not providing the extra assistance that it should. This is often the result of low fluid levels in the system.

Left unattended, this problem will tend to grow worse and worse. Before you may even be hearing that whining or squealing sound even when the car is idling in neutral. Fortunately, all you have to do to correct this problem is pop the hood, check the level of your power steering fluid, and add more fluid as needed. If the problem soon comes back, there's a good chance you're dealing with a leak. This problem will need to be assessed by a trained mechanic.

Strange sounds when turning can also be the result of air bubbles that have become trapped in the power steering system. This shouldn't have any direct affect on the way your car handles. That said, if the sound becomes too annoying, you should consider taking the car in and having your mechanic flush the power steering system.

Accelerating Clicking Sound

If you've been noticing a metallic click, one that seems to speed up in concert with your car, the most likely culprit is your radiator fan. Chances are that one of its fan blades has become bent or worked loose. Thus, as the fan turns, the blade will tend to vibrate noisily against the fan shroud. Likewise, this unwanted contact may also be the result of the shroud itself having become bent out of shape.

As alarming as this sound can be, it's not too hard to correct. Let your engine cool completely and then pop the hood. Take a look at the radiator fan and see if you notice any obvious problems with the fan blades. To access the blades, you may need to remove the fan shroud by unbolting it with a socket wrench of the appropriate size. Make gentle bends to the fan blades and/or shroud in order to restore full clearance. Contact a diesel mechanic for more help.