Things that Cause Squealing Sound in Car's Engine - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

Whether it's a gentle hum or a triumphant roar, your engine has its own distinctive sound. Over time, you'll get used to that particular sound, so it can be unnerving when a new sound pops up. Squealing, grinding, and other sounds might be cause for concern. On this page, we'll take a look at a few commonly heard sounds and what they mean. Though this information is not comprehensive, it's a good look at some of the most common causes of odd noises, and can help you know what care your Toyota needs.

Brake pads and rotors

5. Squealing

Shrieking and screaming aren't often good signs when coming from people, and the same is true of cars. If the squeal is coming from under the hood, it's likely due to the serpentine belt being loose or worn. Since this belt controls engine accessories like the water pump, the alternator, and other vital functions, a worn belt will need immediate attention. However, there are other culprits to suspect if the squealing turns up at other times. Squealing during turns means that the steering system is likely to need attention, while squealing when you step on the brake pedal probably means that it's time to get your brake pads replaced.

Person adding oil to engine

4. Grinding

There are so many things that can cause your car to make a grinding noise. If you hear this grinding noise both while you're driving and idling, it's possible that worn-out bearings are to blame. If the grinding noise comes when you shift, it's likely due to a worn clutch. Grinding when you turn a corner could be due to a CV joint that needs to be replaced or another suspension issue. And if you notice a grinding noise when you brake, your brake pads may be completely worn down to the metal. None of these sounds are good, so be sure to have your car inspected immediately.

3. Tapping & Clicking

If you hear a sound that resembles tapping, ticking, or clicking, it may be that your car is low on oil. This is easy enough to verify by checking the oil. If the levels are too low, you can address the problem in the short term by adding more oil. However, this is a short-term solution only, and should only be used to keep your engine from becoming damaged while you drive to the service center. Low oil levels could have many causes, so an inspection to locate the root cause is necessary.

If you check the oil and the levels aren't low, the tapping noise could be caused by something like a valvetrain problem. This can also be serious, and should be addressed immediately.

Gas pump showing different octane ratings

2. Sudden Loud Bang

A loud explosion that sounds similar to a firework is almost certainly a backfire. This happens when fuel that hasn't been burned in the combustion chamber escapes and combusts in the exhaust. A fuel-to-air ratio that is either too lean or too rich can cause a backfire. Since a backfiring car can quickly become damaged, it's best to call for a tow.

1. Knocking

If you hear a metallic knock or ping sound when you're driving, it's likely detonation knock. This means that the fuel and air mixture in one or more of your engine's cylinders is detonating in more than one place simultaneously. Though this could be as simple as having put gas with the wrong octane rating in your engine, it could also be due to poor timing, a lean air/fuel mixture, or even a knock sensor that's been damaged. There are other causes of knocking, and they all need to be looked at immediately.