When you have owned a car for a period of time you become used to its idiosyncrasies, its behaviour and the noise it makes when you operate it. So if you suddenly hear something unusual, you may be wondering what is wrong. If you have some strange noises emanating from the engine, what could they mean?
Why You Should Decipher
You do not have to be an expert at deciphering different noises that may suddenly appear, but if you can identify what may be the likely cause this can prompt you to take action sooner than you might otherwise have. Also, you may be able to give the mechanic an idea of what you believe to be wrong, saving time and potentially money. Remember, that the modern engine is designed to be relatively quiet when everything is working okay. Consequently, when something begins to go wrong a different type of noise will emanate.
If you notice an ear piercing screech whenever you are accelerating from a standstill, this is very likely to be the sound of your fan belt slipping. The fan belt is a component that helps to drive power to your car's cooling system. It can wear out and this is why it will begin to "slip."
If you hear a rhythmic tapping noise whenever the engine is turning over, this is likely to be coming from within the camshaft housing. It can either indicate that you have low engine oil pressure (which is a very urgent problem), or can indicate wear and tear to the valves or connecting mechanisms. Specific components known as "tappets" are meant to move up and down rhythmically, but you should not be able to hear the operation.
If you notice a "knocking" sound from within the engine this could be an indication that carbon is building up within the combustion chambers, caused by the firing mechanism that drives the engine. It could also indicate that you are using the wrong grade of petrol, so that the engine is being starved of the correct fuel to operate efficiently.
If the engine's ignition timing has "slipped" or needs to be adjusted, or if you have some leakage in or around the valves within the crankcase then you will certainly hear the result. This is brought to your attention by a loud backfire through the exhaust or a sharp bang. This is the result of a flame travelling from the engine back toward the exhaust.
In every one of these cases you should bring the problem to the attention of a mechanic, such as Surefix Mechanical, as soon as possible, before any additional damage may be caused.