Reasons for Squealing Noise From a Car
Cars making squealing noise creates an uncomfortable scenario as it also draws public attention towards the driver. The high pitch noise indicates a vehicle in need of a maintenance check.
You might leave such a task to the expert technicians, but knowing what’s wrong under the hood will aid you in diagnosing the problem yourself. This helps you decide whether the car is in need of an urgent repair and enables you to prioritise a maintenance check accordingly.
Squealing Noise When Driving a Car
The high pitch squealing noise from a car generally means a worn-out part under the hood. In other cases, it could also be related to vehicle brakes and steering wheels. Let’s look at some common reasons that may contribute to the sharp noise:
Worn Out Belt
The car belt is used to power and operate engine accessories in the vehicle including steering pump, alternator, water pump and air conditioner. There are two common belt names you might have heard of, timing belt and drive belt.
The timing belt connects the crankshaft and camshaft of the engine. The word timing dictates the belt capability to synchronize the movement of engine valves and piston. The drive belt powers engine accessories. It is often referred to as a serpentine belt or V-belt based on its design and shape.
Since these belts are made of rubber, with time they can go brittle. The constant stretching can harden the material and will cause cracks. The worn-out belt will lead to squealing noise when starting or driving a car. Additionally, in case there is an oil leak, the oil on the belt will allow it to slip and create squeaking noise.
Worn Out Belt Pulleys
Belt pulleys tend to rapidly spin when the engine is running and are integral to car drive belts. If the belt is not the culprit for the squeaking sound, it might probably be the belt pulleys. A damaged or worn out pulley bearing will usually require a replacement to function quietly.
Faulty Belt Tensioners
In the old cars, you could manually adjust the belt tension to compensate for stretching, while keeping the engine running smoothly. In modern cars, belt tensioning is automatic and can wear out over a period of time of constant adjustments.
If you hear a squealing sound, it could either be an overstretched belt that can no longer be adjusted or a problem with the tensioners themselves. If the belt and pulleys are working fine, you will probably need to replace the tensioners.
Most modern cars have belt-driven alternators. The purpose of alternator in cars is to convert engine power into electricity for various electronic components and recharging of the battery. A failing alternator means its inside bearings have gone old and worn out. This can lead to loud squeaking noise.
Getting the alternator should become a priority as a completely failed alternator can make your car powerless with a dead battery.
Problems With Steering System
Squealing sound from a car during road turns means one thing, the problem lies with the steering system. However, there could be various reasons for the high pitch sound in the steering wheel. Some common reasons include:
- Lack of power steering fluid
- Contaminated steering fluid
- Lack of lubrication or dried out steering components
Worn Out Brakes
Squealing noise during braking is a sign your brakes need a maintenance check. The noise may come when braking at a certain speed. In time, the constant grinding and squealing sound may go away, indicating faulty brake pads.
Hence, getting it checked beforehand will save you from total replacement as the rotors might also get damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my car make a high pitch squeal when accelerating?
Hearing a high pitch squealing sound on acceleration means the problem is with the drive belt. The constant spinning of belt can stretch it and make it brittle over time. To solve this problem, you will either need to tighten the loose belt or get it replaced accordingly.
Why does my car make a squealing noise when turning?
Squealing noise on turning means a problem with the steering wheel system. Lack of steering fluid or lubrication are the common culprits in addition to lubrication issues in suspension.
Why does my car make a loud squealing noise on braking?
When your brake pads start to wear out, you will hear high pitch squealing noise on braking. Another reason could be rusted rotors, which can easily be rectified by filing down the corroded area. However, a visit to a professional is necessary so you can avoid damage to brake rotors altogether.
If your car makes a squealing noise when driving, any of the above-listed causes can be the problem. Some issues like worn-out brake pads are not as urgent, whereas issues related to driving belts should be dealt with on a priority basis. You can also check out used auto accessories & parts for sale to find good deals on other replacement parts.
Older cars might require frequent maintenance runs. You can explore your options with used cars for sale in the UAE for reliable and affordable options. Stay tuned to the UAE’s top auto blogs for more information on car trends, repairs and more.