It’s okay! There’s no need to be spooked by scary sounds lurking under your hood. At Hong Kong Auto Service, we can drive away the most frightening or annoying groaning, grinding, clunking and high-pitched screeches.
Take our Halloween quiz to find out what the source of noise in your car might be:
1) SCREECH! You hear high-pitched screeching from the front or back wheels or every time you brake. Is it?
A) A build up of brake dust.
B) The brake pad indicators indicating the pads are worn.
C) Your kids’ iPod pumping sounds from a new music scene into your speakers.
D) Both A and B.
The answer is D. This screeching or even squealing can be caused by the brake-wear indicators or by brake dust or corrosion on the rotors.
Best thing to do: Schedule an appointment with Hong Kong Auto Service. While you’re not likely to suddenly lose your braking capabilities, also you’re probably not getting optimum stopping performance, either. It’s best to have the system inspected so you know exactly what’s going on and why. If you are in need of new brake pads, you’ll want to address that before they wear out and begin digging into the rotors, which can quickly mean they’ll need to be replaced, too.
2) AH, THAT’S SO SHRILLLLL! There’s a shrill piercing sound coming from the engine when the vehicle is first started. Is it?
A) The shrieking of a varmint that’s moving in under the hood for the winter.
B) The idle control valve trying to warm up in the cooler mornings.
C) A serpentine or drive belt.
D) None of the above.
The answer is C. It could be the belts, the tensioners that help hold the belts in place, or the bearings on the idler pulley, which helps keep the belts in position.
Best thing to do: Make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected. It could be something as simple as tightening the belt, or it could help you prevent something more serious. For example, if the serpentine belt is severely worn and breaks or slips off the tensioner and pulleys, the car accessories will run on battery power only and can only last as long as the battery. Then your car will stall, and you’ll be stuck roadside.
3) EEE ER EEE ER! When you sound this out, it sounds eerily similar to creaking bed springs. Is it?
C) Coil or leaf springs.
D) Complaints from the hydraulic suspension your kids had installed for your birthday.
The answer is B. This is most likely a strut issue.
Best thing to do: Have Hong Kong Auto Service inspect your car so we know for sure. While a strut issue isn’t likely to leave you stranded, worn struts almost always mean wheel alignment issues and premature tire wear. In severe cases, the front end will nose dive when the car stops. Struts dampen the force when your car hits a pothole or uneven road surface and when you stop rapidly. If they are worn or broken, they can’t dampen the oscillation, and the energy is absorbed somewhere else in the suspension system. This unwanted energy will start to take its toll on bushings, ball joints and other suspension components, causing them to wear out faster.
4) PING, PING, RATTLE. Although lighter and not menacing, this constant rattle can be very annoying. Is it?
A) Your kid’s Tin Man costume for Halloween rattling around in the trunk.
B) A loose heat shield.
C) A loose or missing exhaust clamp.
D) Both B and C.
The answer is D. It’s likely a loose heat shield or exhaust clamp.
Best thing to do: Breathe a sigh of relief! There’s little danger here, and it should be a low-cost repair. Stop by Hong Kong Auto Service at your convenience or schedule an appointment, and we can take care of this pesky rattle for you.
If you’re being haunted by any of these or other scary sounds, we’re here to help you ward them off before they result in costly repairs or an untimely breakdown. Call on Hong Kong Auto Service to help make sure your vehicle is running boo-tifully this Halloween season!