Common Car Sounds & What They Mean

September 1st, 2022 by

Diagnosing Your Car Sounds

So your car started making that funky grinding sound again and you want to know what it means. Luckily for you, Spokane Hyundai has you covered! If your car is making grinding, whining, hissing, or other unusual noises, use this guide to help understand what issues these common car noises indicate and what to do about them. After you’ve diagnosed your car, you can then take it to a manufacturer-certified service center where it can be fixed by service technicians.


Whining and Growling

As the steering wheel turns:

  • Low power steering fluid
  • Top off your power steering fluid
  • Investigate the leak

When accelerating: 

  • Bad alternator or power steering pump
  • See a mechanic

When reversing:

  • Bad transmission
  • Tow the vehicle to a shop. Transmission failure is extremely dangerous and may cause an accident.


When starting the vehicle:

  • Worn drive belt
  • See a mechanic or replace the drive belt


When turning or accelerating:

  • Bad CV joint
  • Confirm the problem by driving the car in a tight circle. If the noise gets louder, see a mechanic immediately.
  • If the noise is subtle, visit a repair shop at your earliest convenience

When trying to start the car

  • Dead battery
  • Jump the battery. If you left the lights on or there’s another probable cause, you can continue driving. 
  • If the problem is frequent, see a mechanic to make sure the battery is installed properly or to get a replacement.


When pressing or depressing the brake

  • Malfunctioning brake booster
  • Have your vehicle towed to a shop. Failing brakes are dangerous to drive with.


When braking

  • Worn brake pads or drum shoes
  • Have the brakes serviced as soon as possible

When Accelerating

  • Bad drive belt
  • Replace the drive belt or have a mechanic handle the job


When braking


When Accelerating

  • Worn engine and transmission mounts or worn driveshaft U-joint
  • Take your vehicle to a shop as soon as possible


When Driving – especially at higher speeds

  • Worn weather seals around the car doors 
  • Replace the seals at your convenience 

At any time, even while idling

  • Malfunctioning gasket on the radiator cap
  • Take your vehicle to a shop immediately


When driving:

  • Damaged muffler
  • Have the muffler replaced as soon as possible 

Hyundai Certified Serice In Spokane, WA

While these tips can help you narrow down the cause of the noise, it’s still best to have a professional check out your vehicle. Make an appointment at the Spokane Hyundai service center today, and our expert service technicians will get to the bottom of your problem as quickly as possible. Is your car making noises we didn’t mention? Drop us a line and you might see it on our next list!


Posted in Service