Winter weather may bring holiday delights, but it can also stir up trouble around your house, in your yard – and with your car.
Cold weather can exacerbate underlying car problems, so you may begin to hear squeaks, squeals and other funny noises you haven’t heard before. These noises may be caused by the engine belt, the serpentine belt, the air conditioning compressor or a power steering pump.
As you crank up and hit the road this winter, be sure to listen to your car – and give it the attention it needs so that you can get to your destinations safely. If you decide to see a mechanic, it always helps when you are prepared to describe what you hear so that the problem can be pinpointed more readily
Here are some common sounds and probable causes to consider:
- Ice accumulation on the wheel well can lead to some funny noises, especially if you park your car outside overnight or for an extended period of time. Ice that scrapes against wheels, tires and brake discs makes interesting noises, too. Peep beneath your hood and remove the ice carefully, particularly around the wheel well and brake system.
- Most squeals are cause by engine belts that need to be adjusted or replaced.
- Chirping sounds often mean you need new brakes, particularly if you hear these sounds when braking or turning.
- Bad or loose belts that need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear or a bad tensioner on cars with a serpentine drive belt.
- Bushings are designed to keep the metal parts in your car quiet, but when they are worn, they squeak. Bushings typically wear out in the suspension and brake systems first, although there are bushings throughout the vehicle.
- On a rare occasion, bad motor mounts and ball joints squeak because the brake pads are rubbing against the brake assembly or calipher.
- Worn brake pads are a common culprit, squeaking to let the driver know that the end of the brake pad is near.
Sometimes the noises you hear indicate a minor issue; other times, the issue may be major. In any case, listen closely, look under the hood and bring your car in to ER Auto Care for a professional review of any potential issues. Give us a call for a professional opinion.
The sooner the better – and better safe than sorry.