Friday, May 10, 2024

Rattling Sound In Car When Driving

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Cause #4 Transmission Problems

What’s that Rattle Under My Car?

A lot goes on inside a transmission, and as with most engine components, if its not receiving enough lubrication, it wont be able to operate correctly.

Transmission fluid forms a thin layer between the moving parts so that they dont rub directly against each other. Without enough of it, they will, which can cause your car to rattle while accelerating.

Ignoring a transmission thats low on fluid will eventually lead to a costly repair bill. As metal grinds on metal, it will cause the gears to wear down, and when they become unusable, youll have rebuild or replace the transmission.

How To Fix

Thankfully, if you routinely change your transmission fluid every 30,000-60,000 miles, you should never have an issue with it. Regardless, if it is your tranny, the first thing you should do is check the fluid levels. If its low, then you will need to add more.

For more information on tranny fluid, as well as the costs associated with having it replaced, check out our previous article here.

Common Car Noises And Their Likely Causes


Starts faint, gradually becomes more noticeable until very loud

Failed outer CV joint due to torn boot or old age

Replace either the whole axle assembly or the outer CV joint

Water pump noises

Difficult to diagnose because of water pump’s location

Noise usually caused by damage to the bearings in failed water pump

Only cure is replacing it. If possible do it at the same time as a timing belt replacement to cut down on labor costs

Squeak or squeal from an engine belt

Loud, high-pitched squeak or squeal

Belts either need adjustment or replacing

If belts only squeak when damp, they probably just need adjustment. If they squeak constantly, they probably need to be replaced

Exhaust heat shield noises

Rattle that you hear when car is idling

Damaged heat shield

Low knock at idle, noise gets louder as RPM’s increase under a load

Piston wrist pin or worn crankshaft bearing. Lack of lubrication/ low engine oil

Tear down engine/diagnose or replace engine

How To Fix It

The only way to fix this condition is to replace either the whole axle assembly or the outer CV joint. My professional opinion is that its better to replace the entire axle assembly its usually cheaper, even if you can even find the outer joint sold by itself, and it doesn’t make much sense to mix old parts with new parts.

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What Can Causes A Clunking Sound In Front End

Common reasons for this to happen:

Bad Ball Joints: Ball joints connect the vehicles wheel hubs to the rest of the suspension components. If a ball joint is beginning to fail, you may notice a clunking noise coming from the front wheels. This clunking noise will become louder and more frequent over time.

Rattling Sound When Accelerating At Low Speed

Rattling noise under car, only when accelerating, if I rev ...

So whats about car makes noise when accelerating at low speed on the road? The rattling noise appears when you start speeding up from 0 to maybe 30 or 40 mph and then disappear after car speed surpasses 40 mph. In another circumstance, when your automobile is running at low speed the noise keeping coming out of car engine. Moreover, you have the feeling that your car is holding back by something indefinable.

What have you done in that situation? The culprit of rattling sound when accelerating mainly derives from car engine. So first things you should do is checking transmission fluid level, torque converter, motor mount, heat shields and pulleys respectively until you could find the reason.

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Broken Or Cracked Timing Belt

The timing belt has a function to connect the engine crankshaft to the camshaft which allows the valves to open and close at a correct timing with the position of the pistons. The timing belt has to be under certain tension which is allowed by a timing belt tensioner.

If the timing belt or the timing belt tensioner gets damaged, it will get loose and will start to vibrate and make a rattling noise. You must always change your timing belt if you notice any cracks to avoid any additional damage to the engine.

Grinding Noise Right Under The Hood

Hearing a grinding noise in the engine bay can mean a lot of things. It could very well be your engine, the alternator, the different pulleys, and a host of other things. Some have even noted the grinding noise to be coming from the power steering pump. It could also be the compressor or perhaps other mechanical problems especially if the car has seen better days.

You can perform a step-by-step diagnosis, nonetheless. Check if the grinding immediately starts right after starting the engine. If it does, you can check the power steering pump, the alternator, and even the water pump. Listen to these parts with an automotive stethoscope or improvise with a rubber hose.

If theres no grinding while the engine is running and with the vehicle parked, take it for a drive and test the brakes. If theres grinding, then your most likely problem are the brake pads. Try to turn left and right and see if there are grinding noises, too. If there are, then a possible issue is the wheel bearings. Listen to your transmission as it shifts or changes in gear. Grinding can potentially be caused by a worn-out clutch or even transmission problems.

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The Transmission Fluid Level

Its not a major issue, but you would want to check it to rule out the obvious cause. The fluid should exactly be at the level instructed in the owners manual. Low level of fluid is one of the reasons for causing rattling noise when accelerating. Its a simple issue with a simple fix, but the consequence could be outright scary.

Low transmission fluid level could the source of the rattling sound when accelerating.

Why Does My Car Rattle When I Stop

My Car Has a Rattling Noise Coming from The Wheels

Throughout the many years you drive your vehicle, youll likely hear a variety of noises coming from a variety of places in your vehicle. Sometimes these noises are normal, but other times that can be a cause for concern. One of the more common car noises people wonder about is rattling, especially when at a stop. Thats why were here to help you tackle the question, why does my car rattle when I stop?

If youve been asking this question, the best thing you can do is to get it checked out by a qualified automotive technician, such as those here at Mazda of Lodi. Just schedule an appointment online. That being said, we understand many drivers prefer to fix up their vehicles on their own, so here are a few possible causes of rattling sounds coming from your car.

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What Does A Bad Catalytic Converter Sound Like

Rattling Noises. Your catalytic converter consists of small, honeycomb-shaped components that can cause a rattling sound when broken. If your catalytic converter is broken, this rattling should be loudest when the car starts, and should get worse over time.

Why Your Car Is Making A Rattling Noise And What To Do

it’s unnerving. you start your car and hear a rattling noise youve never heard before. your mind starts racing, trying to figure out what the noise is and how bad a problem it will be.

is your car going to break down? does it need a repair maybe an expensive one? lets slow down and take a look at what might be causing the noise. figuring this out will help your mechanic pin down the repair assuming its not a simple fix you can take care of.

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Metal Scraping Sound When Driving

Driving a car is fun. But at times, cars are faced with some issues that are annoying even to the driver. You may be driving your car and suddenly hear a loud metal scraping sound. Such a sound is hard to detect and you need to visit the mechanic to figure it out. A metal scraping sound might be caused by a number of things such as a worn-out brake pad, a bent brake splash shield, a loose wheel bearing, or also a peculiar item or debris getting stuck in the brakes. When you hear such a sound, you should tackle it quickly so that it doesnt put your life in jeopardy. Sometimes you may find squealing noise while driving, but metal scraping sounds happen for different reasons.

Exterior Car Rattling Noise

Car Door Rattles When Driving? Heres How to Stop the ...

Car rattling noises heard outside of the vehicle may be more unnerving, as these could point to a more serious problem. Indeed, squealing or screeching noises when applying the brake pedal suggest that you need new brake pads or that the rotors require resurfacing. If the brakes grind, youre looking at more extensive repairs with new pads, calipers and rotors.

Humming or roaring while driving suggests a bad wheel bearing. If you ignore this problem, the affected wheel may seize up while driving. If youre traveling at a high speed, the consequences can prove disastrous.

If a rattling sound is coming from directly underneath your car, thats a strong sign that something is wrong with your exhaust system. Its most alarming when the sound resembles a box of rocks shaking underneath your car when youre idling at a traffic light or a stop sign. Most likely, your catalytic converter needs replacement. Other sounds usually arent as serious and may involve replacing the muffler or a corroded pipe section.

Under the hood, rattling noises suggest the water pump is ready to fail. Usually, the noise is most pronounced when the car is idle. In some cases, the timing belt pulley bearing may be causing the noise.

When the timing belt or serpentine belt is ready to go, you probably wont hear a rattle. Instead, youll hear a chirp or a squeal these sounds become louder when you rev the engine. When replacing the belt, its a good idea to swap out the water pump, too.

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Cause Four: The Transmission

Rattling noises on acceleration can be due to an unhappy transmission. For example, low levels of transmission fluid can lead to rattling and thats something that needs swift attention.

If your cars an auto, a rattle that appears with low speed acceleration can mean the torque convertor is grumbling and might be nearing the end of its life. In some manual cars, it could be the DMF . If thats the case, the rattle should disappear when the clutch is depressed.

A Rattling Noise And Roar That Gets Louder When Accelerating

A roar could be a frightening thing. Thats the thing with sounds and a car the louder they are, the more expensive they sound.

When the rattle is combined with a roar, you could be really lucky here. It could be your exhaust system.

It could either be damaged or it could be loose . Either way, this should not be a high-ticket fix.

If its not the exhaust, it could be your transmission and thats no fun. If youre driving an automatic, your transmission could be experiencing problems engaging the next gear.

On a stick shift, the clutch could be slipping.

Also, please listen to the sound carefully. If it starts as a roar and then becomes a hum, possibly even a whine, it could be your wheel bearings.

A quick way to tell is to keep an eye on your RPM. When accelerating, your RPM will rise. Cruise at a steady speed for a while, and then lift your foot off the gas. Keep your eye on the RPM and watch it drop.

If the noise is still there, even though the RPM has dropped substantially, the sound is not coming from the engine.

In any of these cases, head over to a mechanic for a proper diagnosis. Go straight there! If left unchecked, it could quickly go from a few dollars to a pricey excursion!

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Cause #3 Valve Train Issues

If your car makes a rattling noise that sounds like glass bottles clinking together, its likely a valve train issue.

This system is in charge of the operation of the intake and exhaust valves. If any of these are stuck or worn , it can cause premature ignition inside the combustion chambers.

This is often referred to as carbon rap, and its usually caused by dirty oil or filling your car with gas that is not the correct octane level.

How To Fix

If it is the valve train , the first thing you should do is check what shape your oil is in. If its dirty, an oil change may be all thats needed.

It may also be that your engine requires a higher-octane fuel, which will show in your owner manual. If its designed for 95 and youre putting in 89, engine performance will suffer and possibly create a rattling sound.

Roaring Noise Upon Acceleration

How to Fix Rattling Engine Noise in Your Car

One of the possible reasons why you may hear roaring noise as you accelerate is a potential issue with your exhaust system. If the Check Engine light on your instrument panel also comes on, the most likely problem is an exhaust leak. The leak can occur anywhere along the entire length of the exhaust system. This should be thoroughly inspected and tested to localize the source of the leak. The leaking section should then be replaced. However, if the Check Engine light is still on after about a week, then other diagnoses should be considered.

There is another potential, more serious cause of roaring noise when accelerating. It is best described as thumping or rumbling emanating from deep within the engine itself. This could potentially indicate a problem with the crankshaft bearings. These need to be inspected and the bearings replaced if they are already damaged.

Unusual noises are a way for cars to tell us that something is wrong. Dont ignore these noises, unless you dont mind paying for expensive repairs later on or, worse, increasing your risk of an accident.

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Rattling Noises Underneath Your Vehicle

rattling noises that come from the bottom of your vehicle may be noticeable upon starting, while driving at certain speeds, when you hit a bump in the road, or even all the time. here are some possible sources:

loose exhaust system

your exhaust system runs from your engine to the rear of your vehicle. its made up of several components including the catalytic converter, the muffler and sections of exhaust pipe. over time, these components can wear and the joints holding them together can loosen. this can cause a rattling noise under the vehicle. the exhaust noise may also be louder than normal, and appear to be coming from under the car instead of the tailpipe at the rear. if the exhaust system is loose, it can also bang against the underside of your vehicle when you hit a bump.

solution: have your exhaust system checked by your mechanic or a muffler shop. the fix could be as easy as tightening a loose clamp or replacing a damaged rubber hanger. its also possible you might need to replace a section of rusted-out exhaust pipe or even the muffler. either way, its a quick and easy fix. dont delay if you suspect the exhaust system is the problem the consequences could be deadly if exhaust leaks into the interior while you are driving.

bad catalytic converter

loose or rusted heat shielding

An Item Stuck In The Brakes

Finally, another metal scraping noise may be heard and it may not be necessarily caused by the brakes but the rotors. If a metal or debris is stuck and is drug across a small plate, you will hear a scraping noise. This is an indication that the item is stuck between the backing plate and rotor. This usually happens when you drive on a road with a lot of pebbles or other items. Get the mechanic to look at the car and remove the debris or metal for a smooth driving of your car.For you to drive safely at all times, you need to take good care if your car. Every time you hear a strange noise such as the one weve discussed above, you should see a mechanic to identify the problem before you find yourself in big trouble. As discussed in detail above, a metal scraping sound may be as a result of worn out brake pads, loose wheel bearings, a bent brake splash shield and a metal or item stuck in the brakes. All of these issues can be handled by seeing a mechanic who will inspect and make the necessary repairs to your car.

Summary of Contents

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Diagnosing Common Engine Noises

Posted by:James Dunst

Through the Contact Us forms on the Bell web site, we get all kinds of inquiries about fuel problems and engines from the general public. Some of them describe mechanical problems that people are having problems that, while common across the industry, require some further investigation before the right advice can be given.

In this series, Bells resident master mechanic James Dunst discusses the most common mechanical problems that he gets asked about. He discusses the causes, what can be done about them, and any further questions that a mechanic would probably ask in seeking to properly diagnose a fix such a problem. In this post James addresses common engine noises.

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