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What’s That Squeak?

What’s That Squeak?

September 11, 2023

Posted on September 11, 2023

Different noises coming from your vehicle can mean different things. It is important to pay attention to these noises to determine if something is wrong and get it checked out. A common noise that vehicles make is squeaking or squealing. Let’s dive in to what a squeaky car might be telling you.

Serpentine belt – If you hear squeaking noises from under the hood in the engine compartment, it’s probably a worn or misaligned serpentine belt. As you drive your vehicle, the belt will naturally loosen and shift. Over time, it will start to squeak. Faulty serpentine belts make it difficult to operate the air conditioning and steering wheel, and it will affect the charge of the vehicle’s battery. Eventually, these portions of the vehicle will stop operating effectively. Sometimes the belt can be tightened, but if the belt is worn out, it is likely time for a replacement.

Power steering – Power steering fluid keeps the steering system lubricated. If there is a problem with the steering system, such as a reduction in fluid or some debris has gotten in the fluid, the wheel will start to squeak as you turn it. If you continue to drive with this issue, the steering system will eventually fail, which is highly unsafe. You can remedy steering fluid issues simply by topping off the fluid or changing out the fluid. If the problem continues, you may need to address the pump or other components with an expert to see which parts need to be replaced.

Brake pads – When you press your brakes and you hear a squeak, that is a clear indication the brake pads need to be replaced. You may also feel a shaking sensation during slowing. Brake pads press against the vehicle’s brake discs, which creates friction and slows the vehicle down. Brake pads do naturally wear down over time and must be replaced to prevent brake failure. When you start to hear squeaking as you press the brakes, don’t delay getting it checked out.

Suspension – If the squeak you hear is coming from underneath your vehicle, don’t worry, it’s not the boogey man. But it’s probably an issue with your vehicle’s suspension. The suspension system contains a few parts—springs, shocks, ball joints, and bushings. These are all prone to wear and tear over time, and they occasionally need lubrication. You’ll also begin to feel a rougher ride if your suspension starts to struggle. In addition to an uncomfortable ride, this added vibration will lead to other expensive repairs, so do not delay getting this repaired.

Of course, there can be some minor reasons for squeaks, such as latches or doors shifting while driving or seats making noise. Keeping grime and debris out of cracks and openings can help, and performing regular car maintenance should get rid of some of these squeaks. But if you have a squeak that is not going away and you’re not sure what the problem is, you’ll want a professional to check it out. For any vehicle issues and maintenance needs, trust the care of your car to Transmission City & Automotive Specialists.

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