You're driving along just fine, come to a stop, and hear a terrible noise. What could it mean? Most of us aren't qualified to diagnose our car problems just by hearing alone, but there are some things that are fairly common. Here's how to determine whether you might need a mechanic:
1. What are you Doing When you Hear the Noise?
Before you head over to the mechanic, you need to assess exactly what sound you're hearing and when you're hearing it. The mechanic is going to need to know this information. Is it a grinding sound? A squealing sound? Does it occur when you take some form of action, such as braking? Or does it occur when the environment is different, such as when it is colder? All of these elements could be important.
If you hear the noise when performing a specific action, such as pulling into a very tight corner, it's possible that it's simply the natural squeal of your wheels. But just because a sound goes away, doesn't mean that there's not a problem, or that it should be ignored. That leads us to...
2. Is it All the Time or Just Sometimes?
Most issues with a car are fairly straightforward. If you're hearing squealing or screeching when you brake, it's very likely that you need new brake pads. If you're hearing a rattling or sputtering sound, then you probably have issues with your exhaust system. And if you're hearing a clicking or knocking sound from your engine, it's probably a belt. But one of the hardest issues to diagnose is an issue that happens intermittently, so if you don't hear the sound always, it's time to drill down exactly what set of circumstances is causing the problem.
Cars can be very quirky. Some cars may make a sound only if you're at above 40 MPH and also running the air conditioning. Other sounds are fairly obvious, such as a grating sound the entire time that you drive. But the more information you can give your mechanic, the better. On the other hand, if you are only hearing sounds while your car is warming up, you might not need a mechanic immediately -- it could just be a quirk of your engine.
3. What can you Expect From the Mechanic?
Your mechanic is going to first try to replicate the problem -- that's why you got all that information in steps one and two. But for the most part, your mechanic is going to check the systems that are making the sounds and (probably) replace the items related to them. If you have strange sounds emanating from your tires, for instance, it's very likely that you are going to need new wheel bearings or new tires. But before your mechanic does any work, they should explain the repairs, how much it will cost and why it will cost that much.
In general, sounds coming from your vehicle are your vehicle's way of saying that those parts need to be replaced. For things such as brakes, engines and tires, it's important to get them checked as fast as possible because they could be dangerous! Auto Tek Inc. has the professional service that you need to ensure you that your vehicle is operating as it should. Contact us today to find out more.