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Listening to Your Vehicle: What’s it Trying to Tell You?

Listening to Your Vehicle: What’s it Trying to Tell You?

Your vehicle will normally have something to tell you, it is just a matter of listening to what it says so that you can do the right thing for it. Often, squeaks and bumps can be perfectly harmless but it is always wise to get them checked out as soon as you can as if they are a precursor to something more serious, delaying getting an opinion could be potentially expensive.

The drone

Does your vehicle sound a little bit like a helicopter in the distance? If it makes a steady droning noise that only gets louder as you accelerate, then it is most likely something to do with your tyres. This could be the result of feathering – uneven tyre wear, which can be caused by uneven suspension or poor quality tyres. If you notice the helicopter-like drone, take a look at your tyres. If they look worn, pop to your local tyre centre to get them checked out.

The squeal

A high pitched squeal can be one of the least bearable noises that a car can make, and it could also be telling you about a potentially serious problem. A squeal is usually a sign that a belt is worn or cracked and, depending on when you hear it, it could be the serpentine belt, which controls a host of devices, including the power steering pump, alternator and water pump or, in some cases, the belt that controls the air conditioning. Not all vehicles have a separate belt to control the air con, but if the squeal only sounds when your air con is on, then it is likely that yours does. If you notice a squeal, don’t delay getting it checked out by your local mechanic; if it breaks while you are on the road, you will be in trouble.

The clunk

If your suspension clunks or knocks when you go over bumps, it is most likely to be a sign that a steering or suspension joint has lost lubrication or gained some give. Either way, this is a warning sign of something more serious, so it is a very good idea to get it checked out as soon as you can. You never know, your mechanic may be able to save you money by preventing more serious damage.

The squeak

If you notice a squeak that rises and falls as you go over bumps, along uneven surfaces or around corners, 90% of the time it is a sign that your bushings are wearing. Worn bushings aren’t a problem as long as they squeak; if the squeak turns to a clunk, however, you may have a problem. Although not urgent, squeaky bushings are very annoying; pop to your local garage and ask them to apply some lubricant (they will use silicone-based lubricant as oil-based ones will erode the rubber), and get it booked in for repair as soon as you can.

Want to know more about your vehicle and what it is trying to tell you? Usually, prevention is far better than cure; follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter for more hints and tips.

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