What’s that noise?

It can be slightly disconcerting if you suddenly hear a rattle coming from your car, especially while driving on the open road! But take a deep breath – it could be something small and insignificant. It’s always a good idea to get a strange rattle investigated, in case it’s something bigger. Regular services should keep you at bay for sudden or unexpected car trouble.


Common rattles or noises and what they could mean


Whirring noise

-          Usually a vibrating or buzzing noise that may change with engine speed. This type of noise is most likely caused by belt driven accessories or the belts themselves. Other causes could be associated with the bearings in the alternator, drive belt idler and tensioner or the water pump.

Hissing or gurgling

-          Hissing or gurgling noises are common with cooling system problems. Air escaping from a hose or gurgling noises that sound like water boiling in a kettle can be caused by faulty temperature gauges, coolant leaks or other liquid leaks. Its best to pull over as soon as possible and have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic.


-          These noises sound like gunshots and can be quite loud. Most likely caused by an issue with your fuel system or with your engine timing.


-          Any vibrating, jerking or sudden loss of power under acceleration could indicate that the vehicle is misfiring. Check the ignition and fuel system for issues to identify what is causing the vibration or noise.


It’s always a good idea to get a mechanic to properly check out any sudden noises – depending on what type of noise it is, your mechanic will be able to narrow down the cause and carry out a diagnostic check.