Common Car Noises and What They Mean

There are tons of signs that something’s wrong with your vehicle, but some of the leading indicators are weird car noises. Generally speaking, you should bring your car to a mechanic as soon as you hear anything strange coming from your car.

Keep reading to learn a few common car noises to be aware of.


You won’t get too far without a good set of tires on your car. Watch out for any of these common car noises that are signs of bad tires:

  • Squealing: It’s actually pretty common for tires to squeal, especially when making a sharp turn. The most likely cause of this sound is an underinflated tire. If you constantly hear a squealing sound, stop by a gas station and inflate those tires.
  • Humming: You’ll always hear some road noise while you’re driving along, but if there’s a constant hum that seems to get louder as the speed increases, something’s wrong. That humming sound typically results from uneven tread wear, so it’s time to get new tires right away.


Your brakes are essential for your safety and the well-being of other drivers on the road. Bring your vehicle to a pro as soon as you hear any of these weird car noises:

  • Squeaking: Brake pad manufacturers install wear indicators in each pad to alert drivers when it’s time for new pads. These wear indicators are tiny pieces of metal that squeak when they make contact with the rotor disk. It simply means it’s time for new brake pads if you hear this sound.
  • Grinding: Hearing a grinding sound when applying the brake could be a costly problem if it’s not addressed soon. This sound means your brake pads are completely worn through and you’re soon going to damage the rotor disks. See a brake specialist right away about getting new brakes.


The steering system is also essential in safely getting from point A to B. Here are a few sounds that mean you could be in trouble:

  • Whining: A whining or squealing noise when you turn the steering wheel often indicates that your vehicle is low on power steering fluid. Topping off your power steering fluid can be enough to fix this issue, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your car to a mechanic to look for leaks.
  • Popping: A popping or clicking sound when you turn the wheel indicates an issue further down in your suspension or wheels. Popping often indicates worn suspension joints, while clicking points towards bad constant velocity (CV) joints. Your best bet is to see a mechanic to diagnose the issue.

Bring your car to our pros

It doesn’t matter which of these common car noises you hear—we’re the team to fix it. Pat Doll Automotive LLC has been servicing all sorts of makes and models for over 84 years, so you can trust that we know what we’re doing when we’re working on your car. Come in for emergency repairs or schedule routine vehicle maintenance to keep your car in tip-top shape.