Has your vehicle been making odd noises lately? Did you notice the issue when it began to get cold outside? Freezing temperatures can quickly exacerbate vehicle issues that you may not have been aware of during the warmer months. And without prompt attention, our Twin Cities weather will surely make those problems worse (usually in a hurry).


To help you determine what those strange sounds might mean, the experts at AA Auto Tech share a few of the most common unusual vehicle noises below.


Scraping Noises Just After You Start Driving

Can you hear odd scraping sounds as you leave your driveway or parking lot? Do you park your vehicle outdoors? This particular sound may be nothing to worry about. Often, when ice accumulates inside a vehicle’s wheel wells, it can cause a scraping sound as the vehicle begins moving.


This issue is especially common in vehicles that are parked outside for long periods of time, so if your car or truck remains outside most of the time, scraping is likely due to ice accumulation. Keep in mind, though, that if the scraping sounds don’t lessen as you continue driving, you may have a more serious problem on your hands. To stay on the safe side, have an auto mechanic check out the issue if it persists.


Unusual Engine Noise During Acceleration

When you step on the gas, does your engine make weird sounds all of a sudden? Listen closely for any of the following sounds:


●        Knocking or pinging. Usually, pinging or knocking sounds are most pronounced when the engine is at operating temperature, so you may not notice these noises immediately after you start your vehicle. If you do hear either of these sounds while driving, they typically indicate poor fuel usage, abnormally high combustion temperatures, or improper ignition timing. In some cases, brief pinging noises are normal, but in others, they can signal a serious engine problem.


●        Roaring. Low roaring noises can indicate an issue with the exhaust or transmission system, both of which deserve prompt attention if you want your vehicle to continue running.


●        Chirping. Squeaking or chirping noises usually indicate loose or slipping belts. It could be your serpentine or timing belt, which are both critical to your vehicle’s operation.


Any time you hear odd engine noises, even if you don’t think the problem is severe, you should take your vehicle to an auto mechanic. Unless you’re well-versed in engine diagnostics and understand what’s going on, any assumption you might make could cost you. Better safe than sorry, right?


Squealing Under the Hood

Loud squealing noises from underneath your vehicle’s hood almost always indicate a worn or loose serpentine belt. This is an issue you definitely need to worry about.


The serpentine belt is responsible for controlling all of your vehicle’s major systems, so it must be fully intact and functional to keep your car or truck running. If the belt snaps while you’re operating the vehicle, you’ll have no option but to call a tow truck to haul your vehicle to the nearest auto mechanic.


If you hear persistent squealing when your vehicle is running, take it to an auto repair shop as soon as you can. Or, you can always run the risk of getting stranded in the cold. It’s your call.


Does your vehicle make other weird sounds that aren’t listed here? Check out our article on other strange noises vehicles make to learn what they might mean. 


Need an Auto Mechanic in the Twin Cities? Bring Your Vehicle to AA Auto Tech

If your vehicle is making unusual sounds out of nowhere, bring it to our team at AA Auto Tech. We specialize in comprehensive auto repair and maintenance for all makes and models of vehicles and serve Hastings, MN and the surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 651-437-2218 or contact us online.