These cars aint loyal! One moment, everything is silent, the car is running as good as new, and then there is a squeak, well, at least that is what you think you heard.
Must be a pebble that hit the side. You conclude and drive on. Tomorrow, the squeak becomes louder, and now you are sure it isn’t a pebble. It is something more serious. And then you notice the strange vibrations whenever you steer the car in certain directions and you think… well, engines are supposed to vibrate, no? But this one starts somewhere under the dashboard and becomes more intense with time. Problem? Yes of course. Big one? Not necessarily.
What about those leaks of oil, water and other fluids? What could be wrong? And that squeal when you are negotiating a bend? Thankfully, you can do your own troubleshooting and save time and money. You will be surprised that some of these are minimal nuisances that you can treat on your own. Cars are just like the people you love you know, sometimes, they need a little attention from you and boy! Do they know how to get it.
Rattles and squeaks
Tell you what is happening here is that two parts are rubbing against each other. The rattling sounds will most likely come from under the dashboard, from the engine, the suspensions system and the brakes. Now that you know where to look for them, you can rule them out one by one, by listening manually. Listen to the engine when the car is stalled. Do you hear rattles? If no, try braking, and driving on a road that is not so smooth to ascertain whether the rattles and squeaks are coming from the suspension system. When you know, you will not be taken for a ride by a mechanic.
Something is loose, somewhere
But of course, that is the first, and the most likely correct assumption. Therefore, take time and check everything that is within reach. For example, look at the glove box, yes, right there next to you. If the door to that small compartment does not shut nicely, that could be where the rattles are coming from and then you feel as if they are right under your dashboard.
The hubcaps and wheel covers are also culprits, causing these rattles and squeaks most of the time. Are they tight? If yes, move on. Go to the door locks and the windows. These have a tendency of shaking and rattling especially when you are driving on a rough road. You can listen keenly when driving. Sometimes, it could be the sound of something that you have put in the trunk moving around. Check. Screws, bolts, dashboards trim and the knobs, the exterior trim … there could be many sources of the rattles.
For squeaks, would you please lubricate all the moving parts? That usually solves the problem and if it doesn’t, take your car to the garage for assessment and diagnosis. Check your shock absorbers. If they are worn out, then you have the problem right there in the open. If the stabilizers links are broken, if the suspension ball joints are broken, there will be annoying squeals.
Engine vibrations? This could be caused by dirty or worn out spark plugs, a timing belt that is faulty, broken or worn out motor mounts and loose hoses.
These are just the symptoms
Squeals, creaks, moans, groans, rattles … you name them … are just indications that some part of the car is rubbing against another part and that there could be a bigger underlying problem. The worst that you could do at this moment is keep driving thinking the sounds will go away. If they go away, be sure you have broken something bigger.
If you cannot troubleshoot, go to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair.