Car Engine Sounds can mean a lot of things. After some time, you’ll get used to the particular sound of your car engine. You will know precisely what is normal and what is not. Sudden and unusual sound in the engine is sometimes a big red light and sometimes it isn’t a big reason for concern. This won’t be the most precise guide but it will cover the most common causes of strange noises.

1. Squealing

Shrieking and screaming are really bad signs when coming out of any part of your car. In case it comes from under the hood, it could mean a serpentine belt being loose or worn.

Since this belt controls engine accessories like water pump, alternator and other functions that are vital for the engine, it will require immediate attention. Squealing can also mean that your steering system needs attention or your brake pedals need replacement.

2. Grinding

There are many things that can be connected with grinding noise. While you hear it both when driving and idling, it could be worn-out bearings. If the grinding noise shows up when shifting gears, then it could be due to a worn clutch.

Grinding when turning a corner could mean that your CV joint needs replacement or some other suspension issue. If you notice grinding when braking, then your brake pads need to be replaced. None of these sounds is good and it means you should visit your mechanic immediately.

3. Tapping and Clicking

If you hear tapping or clicking in the engine, it could mean that your car is low on oil. This is very easy to verify by checking the oil level. If it’s too low or even too high, it’s indicating a problem. In case there is less oil, then you can fix a problem in short term by adding more oil.

If there is more than it should be, it could be your coolant fluid mixing with the oil. Don’t drive like that as it can completely ruin your engine. If none of that is a problem, then it might be something wrong with the valvetrain. It’s also a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

4. Sudden loud bang

The sound of fireworks can happen when fuel didn’t burn in the combustion chamber, instead, it escaped and combusted in the exhaust. The fuel-to-air ratio might be either too low or too rich. Since this can cause serious damage to the car, better call for a tow.

5. Knocking

If you hear metallic knocking when driving, it could be a detonation knock. This means that fuel and air mixture in one or more cylinders are detonating at the same time. You might have put the gas with the wrong octane in your engine.

However, it could also be a wrong timing, knock sensor or lean air/fuel mixture. There are some other causes to it and all of it needs to be fixed immediately.