Pop! Snap! Car Noises That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

  • March 2, 2017
  • Steinger Greene & Feiner
  • Auto Accident

If you are like many people, you wait until the last possible minute to have repairs made to your car. Whether it is because you don’t have the extra cash laying around or dropping your car off at the mechanic is a hassle, having repairs made is rarely convenient. While there are some things that can be put off safely, there are others that need to be fixed as soon as possible. Here are just a few of the things that shouldn’t wait.

1. Ball Joints

You turn the steering wheel and hear a creaking noise. You turn another corner and hear a popping noise. As you come to a stop, your car elicits a strange thudding sound. These are all indicators that your ball joints may need to be replaced.

Ball joints are what let you steer your front wheels. They support the weight of your vehicle and they are what keep your wheels attached to your car. If your ball joints fail to work properly, your wheels can fall off your vehicle. It does without saying that this could make for a very bad trip to wherever you are going.

Ball joints are so important to your vehicle that a mechanic may not let you drive off of their property if they find them to be in need of replacement.  If it’s your ball joints that are on the fritz, repairing them can’t wait.

2. Wheel Bearings

Your wheels have bearings to thank for their ability to spin. When you are driving and hear a grinding noise or a howling that gets louder the faster you go, especially when you are navigating a curve, it could be the wheel bearing that is in need of some attention.

Normal wear-and-tear and debris from the road can dry up the grease. This makes the bearings hot and eventually burns them up. When a bearing stops functioning, the wheel will come to a sudden stop. This can be frightening if you are traveling at a slow rate of speed, and it can be catastrophic if you are traveling at high speeds down the highway.

3. CV Joints

If your vehicle is a front-wheel drive, there are continuous velocity (CV) joints that provide power to the wheels. These joints can dry out, just like wheel bearings. If you are turning in a tight radius and hear a clicking or popping sound, it could be an indicator that your CV joints are drying out.

When CV joints fail, again, like wheel bearings, your wheels can come to a sudden stop. Even worse, they can break apart and send their pieces into the engine compartment or brakes. If your CV joints break apart, you could be replacing parts or having some serious damage repaired.

4. Brakes

It should be obvious that any brake issues should be repaired quickly, but many drivers will wait for as long as possible before having brakes replaced. Any brake issue should be diagnosed, but there are a few issues that should be checked out immediately — namely any metal-on-metal sound that you hear.

Brakes shouldn’t make noise. If you hear a scraping sound when you apply the brakes, it is an indicator that your pads are worn or missing altogether. This can pose a very real hazard for you and other drivers. Brakes can be expensive, but the damage caused if you don’t have them fix when you need to can make the costs rise.

5. Oil

You won’t hear your oil running low,  but your dashboard should give you a warning by way of an indicator light. If your light comes on, it doesn’t simply mean that you’ve run a few thousand miles over your necessary oil change. It means that your car doesn’t have a sufficient amount of oil. The first step is to check the oil level and add some. If the light comes on again, it could indicate a leak or burn. If your oil light comes on and adding a bit more doesn’t do the trick, have the issue properly diagnosed by a certified mechanic.

Cars make noise from time to time. A pinging sound from your wheel could mean that a rock found it’s way inside and is bouncing around. A squealing under the hood could mean that a belt needs to be replaced. There are several issues that come up with cars that aren’t dire emergencies. There are things, however, that simply can’t wait to be repaired if your ultimate goal is keeping yourself and others on the road as safe as possible.

If you are involved in an accident in West Palm Beach or the surrounding area, call our team of experienced car accident attorneys. We will speak with you at no cost and help you determine the best course of action. You may have a legal right to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

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