• Driving Line Auto Repair Blog

    Helping you make informed auto repair decisions.

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Is Your Vehicle Trying to Tell You Something?

Much like people, automobiles have symptoms when problems are on the horizon. If you listen closely, you might find your vehicle is trying to tell you something! Your vehicle has a whole vocabulary of sounds that can signal a need for a professional diagnosis.


Hissing noises usually come from a hose that is failing. Many problems can arise when your fluids aren't cycling correctly. For example: 

  • Leaking coolant could allow your engine to overheat, leaving you with an expensive fix. 
  • Running out of power steering fluid makes your steering wheel difficult to control causing a serious safety hazard.

Squealing or Screeching

This high pitched noise can come from a few different areas but it usually signals a need for maintenance. Here are some tips for distinguishing these sounds and their culprit.

  • Belts – When you accelerate, it puts extra pressure on certain belts in your engine. So if the squealing sound coincides with hitting the gas, it is likely a sign your belts are worn. 
  • Alternator – A loose/slipping alternator pulley or worn bearings will cause more of a screeching or grinding noise. 
  • Steering System – If the screeching happens every time you turn, it is the steering system that needs some attention. If you catch it early, it could be as simple as replacing contaminated power steering fluid or lubricating some components in your suspension.
  • Brakes – Your brakes are designed to make a squealing noise when you need to replace the brake pads. Be sure to get your brake pads replaced quickly - If you drive too long with low brake pads, this can etch grooves into your rotors which incurs a more expensive maintenance process. Not to mention, prolonging brake maintenance can be a dangerous move.


A ticking or tapping sound 

  • You may be low on oil and the moving parts inside your engine are not lubricated enough
  • It could signal your valves need adjusting 
  • Even more severely it could be worn out reciprocating components. 

The key here is to get it checked out quickly before potentially bad or damaged parts fail and cause further issues. 


There are a few different reasons for this sound but all of them are severe automotive issues that need to be looked at right away. If you leave a “ticking” or “tapping” sound unchecked, a hard, knocking sound can soon follow as part failure progresses.

A good guideline is to pay attention to what is “normal” for your vehicle. When you notice a sound that is new or a sound that increases in volume, you need to bring your vehicle in for a check-up. 

If you have any concerns about the way your automobile is running, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle in to the professionals at North Hills Auto for our 120+ Point Vehicle Inspection!

Call North Hills Auto today: Augusta St (864) 233-9002 or Butler Rd (864) 234-1002.

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