Strange Engine Sounds

There are so many sounds that come from the engine of your car, it’s difficult to be an expert on all of these noises. Between squealing, grinding and so many other sounds, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them. That said, it’s important you do understand some of the noises that can lead to serious car engine problems.

Below you will find a list of various sounds that you should be familiar with in order to protect your engine from serious damage.


Engine Grinding Sound

If you hear a squealing sound coming from the bonnet of your car, you should be concerned. In many cases, this sound could be caused by a loose or worn-out serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt controls the engine’s accessories including the alternator and water pump. You should not ignore this sound but contact your mechanic and get it replaced as quickly as possible.

There are other reasons for that squealing sound such as when you make a turn which is probably caused by the steering wheel system or when you hit your brakes which means it’s an issue with your brake pads. Either issue must be checked as quickly as possible.


There are different systems that can be responsible for a grinding sound but if you concentrate on the engine, it could be worn-out bearings. If that’s the reason, you will hear grinding when driving or idling.

On the other hand, if you hear grinding dwhen changing gears you probably have a worn-out clutch. This grinding sound can also be caused by a bad CV joint or a different suspension-related issue.

The most common grinding sound means your brake pads are worn down. If this is the case, get your vehicle to your mechanic as quickly as possible.


If the engine is making a distinctive pinging or metallic knocking while driving it’s known as a detonation knock.

This happens when the fuel and air mixture in one of the cylinders is exploding in different locations at the same time. You might have put the wrong octane fuel in the system which will cause this reaction.

It can also be caused by a mixture of lean air and fuel, poor timing, or a damaged knock sensor. All knocking sounds are serious and should be dealt with immediately to prevent further damage to your engine.

Loud Banging

This is a loud sound that reminds you of fireworks and is called backfiring. It happens when the fuel/air ratio is too rich or lean so backfiring happens. Letting your car continually backfire will cause further risk of damage to your car.

Sizzling Or Hissing

Smoking Car Engine

If you hear one of these sounds directly after shutting down your engine, you could have an oil or coolant leak onto the hot engine component.

It could be leaking on the exhaust manifold or something else that is harder to find. It might be a vacuum line, but either way, it must be addressed immediately, especially if your engine is starting to overheat.

Engine Popping

There are various reasons why you are experiencing engine popping including a clogged fuel filter, ignition issues, dirty spark plugs, damaged plug wires, or a faulty catalytic convert. Some of these issues are easy fixes and cost very little to address while others, including the catalytic converter, will be quite expensive. It’s important to take care of the problem in a timely manner so you do not face expensive repairs.

Repair Costs

When you start hearing any of these noises, it’s important to analyze what’s causing the sound and get it addressed as quickly as possible before causing irreversible engine damage. In many cases, it can lead to small repairs while others are more expensive.

The last thing you need is having the engine damaged beyond repair and having to replace it.

Buying a new engine will be very expensive so many car owners will opt for a refurbished engine instead. If you have a new car, you need to ensure your warranty is in place in order to replace the engine.

We hope the reasons for some noises or sounds you are hearing from your engine will help you diagnose and take care of these issues in order to keep your vehicle running perfectly! If you are not able to find the issue, contact your mechanic so they can run a complete test and weed out the issue.

If you believe your vehicle may be experiencing any of the car engine problems and you are not sure why you can get it checked by booking online today and receive a free vehicle service check. For further information on our services you can browse the site or get in touch with us by calling 019253 30468 or alternatively, you can email us at

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