Everybody’s got friends like this. You know, the kind who, the minute they get in their vehicle and turn the key, the sound system is deafening. They just love to hear that music, sports, news… anything but the sound of the vehicle itself.
And maybe you’re that person, too. Here’s something to consider: your sound system might be drowning out some valuable clues that could help you diagnose problems with your vehicle, problems that need to be dealt with. So, turn down the volume and listen for these things:
- A clicking sound when you’re braking or turning—You could be missing some parts in your braking system, or it could be damaged. That sound could also signal that components are just plain worn out.
- Rattling under the hood—If it sounds like metal clanking against metal, you could have something serious going on, maybe an overheating engine or your timing needs adjusting. That knocking sound could also be as simple as you’ve been using lower octane gasoline than is recommended for your engine. Time to get that checked out.
- A squealing or high-pitched sound coming from the engine compartment. Could be a belt is loose, wearing out, dried out or cracked. A pulley might be failing or a bearing might be on its last legs. Better to have that fixed now than be stranded somewhere later.
Here’s our Advanced Auto Pros suggestion – set a regular weekly alarm in your smartphone alerting you to listen to your vehicle once a week for five minutes. Just five minutes without the music or the sports show or public radio… whatever your taste is. You can even use your smartphone to record any noise you might be hearing. Between that and your description to your service advisor, a Advanced Auto Pros technician should be able to diagnose the source of the noise and get your vehicle sounding healthy again. Do it before that noise turns into the sound of a serious problem.
Who knew a little quiet time could be so useful?