San Francisco Automotive Solutions

San Francisco Automotive Solutions

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What to Do if Your Car is Making Strange Noises

If your vehicle is making strange noises when you turn it on or as you are driving, it can be a sign of any number of different automotive problems. Some may be pretty minor while other noises can be symptoms of more significant issues that you will want to repair sooner rather than later. Let's take a look at some of the common culprits of odd noises in your car.


If you hear screeching or squealing noises—especially as you are driving—the brakes, wheels or suspension components are often to blame. There could be a bad wheel bearing, fluid leak or it may just be time to replace the brake pads and/or rotors. 

Exhaust System

If your car is running louder than normal or you hear rattling/vibrating noises, then you will probably want to get your exhaust system looked at. You may have an exhaust leak or one of the components may be damaged. An exhaust problem will significantly impact the performance of your vehicle and it can also be harmful to your health if carbon monoxide is leaking into the passenger cabin.

Fans and Fan Belts

Another source of squealing sounds or high-pitched vibrations can be one of the fans or timing belts from the cooling system, air conditioner or alternator. A belt could be worn out or slipping, and that will often lead to some unpleasant noises when you turn on the car or as you are driving.


Grinding or loud clunking noises are often a sign of transmission, clutch or drivetrain issues. These are problems you can also feel a lot of the time because the vehicle won't be shifting smoothly. It's best to get your transmission inspected by a professional technician.


Last but certainly not least, the engine itself could be the source of loud or strange noises. It has many intricate parts moving at extremely fast speeds. If there's not enough fresh oil running through the system or a part is damaged (sometimes something as simple as a bad spark plug), you will likely hear it the moment you turn the car on.

These are just a few of the most common sources of loud, strange or unpleasant noises that may come from your vehicle. Instead of just putting up with a weird sound, your best bet is to bring your car into an automotive repair expert like San Francisco Automotive Solutions (formerly All American Automotive) for a proper inspection and repairs. Sometimes one little sound can lead to big time internal damage if left unrepaired, so it's better to be safe than sorry when you hear unusual noises coming from your car.

Call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.


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