Our Japanese Auto Repair Blog

Did You Hear That? 10 Noises Your Car Shouldn’t Be Making

After driving your car for only a few weeks, you should be familiar with all of the little peculiarities that make it special. You know the sound it makes when you first ignite the engine and how it should sound when you accelerate (if it makes any sound at all). To keep your vehicle in excellent working condition, you need to recognize and diagnose issues immediately. Strange sounds often indicate car problems, and you do not want an expensive mechanic’s bill because you failed to act sooner. These are the most common car problems and what they most likely are.

Roaring Sound When Accelerating

A common explanation for why your car roars is because there is an issue with the exhaust system. You should see whether the Check Engine light has turned on. If it has, then the problem is most likely an exhaust leak. This leak may be located anywhere within the exhaust system, but you will need to test the car to locate the source. You will need to replace the leaking section promptly. In the event the Check Engine light is still turned on a week after the replacement, then you should look for other complications that could be present.

Grinding Sounds Under the Hood

Grinding noises from the engine could be a result of a litany of problems. You could have an issue with the engine itself, or the problem could be with one of the pulleys or the alternator. For this, you will need to conduct a step-by-step diagnosis. You will need to check whether the grinding begins as soon as you turn on the engine. In the event you do not hear anything, you should take it for a drive and test out the brakes. When there is still no sound, you should pay attention to how you turn. Conducting these tests on your own will save you a lot of hassles when you go to the mechanic.

Sounds When Turning

The ability to turn in your vehicle is a result of the steering system. Therefore, if you hear anything unusual when you turn left or right, then you need to inspect that component. The culprit may be a damaged joint. They can rub up against the connecting points to create a distressing noise. However, it is also possible the cause involves damage to the power steering pump. The only way to be sure is to get an inspection from a professional. Without a proper diagnosis, you could end up breaking the part in question. This makes it incredibly dangerous to drive and turn while in traffic.

Noises When Shifting or Changing Gears

Weird sounds when shifting gears is almost certainly an issue with the transmission system. You should be particularly vigilant of clunking sounds any time you go into drive, neutral or reverse. This is a sign of torque converter issues. The first thing you should inspect is the transmission fluid levels. If they seem particularly low, then you will need to refill. When the problem persists, it could be a sign you leak into the system. You should bring your vehicle to a transmission specialist to diagnose the issue.

Scraping Sounds When Braking

This sound is an easy problem to identify. It means you have a problem with your brake system. Brake pads and rotors do not last an eternity, and you need to replace them at regular intervals. When you replace your brake pads, you should make sure to invest in high-quality ones. They will wear out sooner, and you will spend more money, in the long run, replacing them more often.

Knocking Noises From the Engine Bay

When you hear something that sounds like knocking from under the hood, it is almost always a problem with the engine. It may be a simple matter of having an insufficient amount of engine lubrication. It could also be an indicator that something inside the engine is broken and requires repair. Ultimately, there are a few thousand reasons why a knocking sound will come from the engine bay. You should take your car into the shop right away so that you do not risk total engine failure.

Rattling Sounds From Under the Vehicle

Several explanations exist for why you will hear rattling noises coming from under your car. The first thing you should check is the exhaust system. In this instance, the sound will be most apparent when your engine idles at a red light or stop sign. If that does not appear to be the issue, then you should next check to see if you have a damaged muffler or corroded pipe. Your exhaust system needs to work properly to renew your car’s registration, so fix this sooner rather than later.

Squealing Sounds During Acceleration

You cannot miss this issue. As soon as you accelerate, you will hear a high-pitched squeal. This is an indicator you have a loose or worn-out serpentine belt. This component is essential to the proper functionality of the alternator, AC compressor, and power steering pump. The remedy may be as simple as having a mechanic tightened the belt. However, if it is too worn out, then you will be better off replacing the entire component.

Loud Banging When Driving

There are two possible explanations for why you would hear loud banging while driving. It could be a result of an issue with the catalytic converter, or it could occur due to your engine backfiring. You will want to have a faulty catalytic converter inspected by a professional to ensure it is still doing its job. However, you should first check to see whether backfiring is the culprit. You may have a clogged air filter. Other potential issues to check to include a cracked distributor cap or whether you have delayed engine timing.

Hissing Noises

If it sounds like there is a snake under the hood, then you know you have a problem. You have numerous hoses by the engine that are responsible for everything from transporting engine coolant to moving hydraulic fluid. These hoses are made out of rubber, and as a result, they will not last a lifetime. Over time, they will grow brittle and crack. When this occurs, the hoses will emit a loud hissing noise due to highly pressurized steam. You can pop open the hood to see if you can locate the damaged hoses on your own. Otherwise, you will need to take it to a mechanic.

It is paramount you diagnose car problems as soon as possible. Delaying will only make the sounds and the underlying issues worse. If you live around Seattle, Washington, then you have no excuse not to take your vehicle to a nearby Greg’s Japanese Auto shop. We have helped drivers stay on the road for over 30 years now, and we can help you next. Call us at a location near you so that you do not have to listen to awful noises while driving.


Man driving safely on a rainy day in Downtown Seattle

Driving Tips for Getting Around Downtown Seattle Safely and Efficiently

Seattle is a beautiful, vibrant city with a lot to offer locals and visitors alike. From craft breweries to museums, there is something for everybody. The process of getting to and driving through Seattle can be tricky, due to the usual challenges associated with big city driving, along with some uniquely local difficulties and terrain such as Lake Washington. Use these safe driving tips to help prepare you for your next trip to the city.

Beautiful scene of Seattle's skyline with Moun Rainier in the background

Must-See Spots in Springtime in Seattle

While Seattle retains its Pacific Northwest charms even through the dulled, gray winter months, the warming springtime sun illuminates what makes this coastal city one of the most beautiful in the country. Whether you’re looking to spend time watching salmon slingers downtown, plop down on a sandy beach, or traverse gorgeous odes to the natural world, you’ll be wowed by the best views in Seattle.

Plaes to teach teens to drive near Seattle

Good Places to Help Your Teen Learn How to Drive Around Seattle

If you have an upcoming driver at your house, you might be wondering how to teach your child to drive. While you could head out on I-5, that might not be the best solution for someone who hasn’t been behind the wheel before. It’ll probably take some time to warm up to that kind of traffic. Try some of the following suggestions for starters.

Best Drives With a View Around Seattle

Thanks to its famous rain, the Pacific Northwest is chock-full of natural beauty. Even the busiest cities in the region have ample access to nature. A simple drive across the floating I-90 bridge from Seattle to Mercer Island or Bellevue is a treat of stunning lake and mountain views. If you’re looking for scenic drives near Seattle that really show off our state’s gorgeous landscape, check out some of these routes.

give back

Join Greg’s Japanese Auto and Vine Maple Place in Helping Homeless Families this Holiday Season

The Greg’s Japanese Auto family is excited to announce that we’ll be celebrating the season of giving by partnering with Vine Maple Place, a charitable organization that provides support to single parents and their children who are facing homelessness. As part of the Puget Sound community, it’s always been important to our team that we give back to those in need – especially during the holiday months. This year, we’re excited to provide the opportunity for our customers to join us in making a difference in the lives of families right here in the Puget Sound. Together, we can ensure that these families have everything they need to not only enjoy the peace and joy of the season but also be ready to begin 2019 on a hopeful note.

Best Stops Between Seattle & Portland

Road trips make for amazing adventures whether you go with a group of friends or that one special someone. Although you likely have an ultimate destination you want to reach, the best parts of any road trip are sometimes the stops you make along the way. One of the most famous road trips people make in Seattle is to Portland as it is not too far, with many wonderful sights to visit along the way.

How to Winterize Your Car – Winter Car Safety Tips Every Driver in Washington Should Know

With the fall season gradually approaching, winter will blow in before you know it. Just as preparing your wardrobe to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold months is essential, it is just as important to prepare your car with specific winter car safety tips.

The experts of Greg’s Japanese Auto are here to teach you how to winterize your car with these winter car safety tips to keep it up and running safely this―and every other―winter driving season.

Greg’s Japanese Auto

Tired of auto repair shops that don't understand your car? Want a car mechanic who does? Come to Greg's Japanese Auto.

We only work on Japanese makes and models, and we have the experience and knowhow to give your car the service it deserves. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

Call Us Today

For quality service of your Japanese car model, rely on Greg's Japanese Auto Parts and Service. Call to schedule your appointment today at 1-800-794-7347.