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Shake Rattle and Roll

There are many ways that you can begin to figure out what’s going wrong with a vehicle before you make that call for an appointment with your trusted mechanic.  You will often see things like smoke coming from the engine compartment or exhaust.  You can smell problems like burning electrical.  You’ll feel when your vehicle isn’t stopping or steering properly.

And your car may also give you a hint that you can hear.

Rattles and knocking that you detect coming from under your car may be a sign that you have loose mounts or parts.

Brakes will grind or squeal indicating that there may be anything from dirt or rust on the rotors to worn out brake pads.

Exhaust system problems can often be heard and these noises can be caused by anything from a faulty or failing catalytic converter, to corroded pipes or muffler issues.

Clicks and hums can occur when there are steering issues.

Flapping sounds could be something as minor as low tire pressure or be caused by a broken belt.

Paying attention to when you hear these warning noises is key.  Your repair technician will want to know things like:

Does it happen when you accelerate?

At what speed do you hear these noises start?

Does the sound continue when the car is idling?

Is the car “cold” or has it been driven awhile before the noise occurs?

Can you isolate where the sound is coming from?

When did you first notice this noise?

Does the sound get louder the faster you go?

“The more a customer can tell us about what  - and when – a noise is happening, the easier for us to diagnose the issue.  It’s much like going to the doctor…if you just walk in and expect them to tell you why your leg hurts, they are probably not going to be able to make you better.  You need to let them know which leg it is.  You need to tell them if it happens when climbing stairs, or while running, or when in bed.  Is it worse in the morning or at night. The same goes for your car.  If you can tell us what you’re hearing, seeing, smelling, we at least know where to start looking.  You need to help us help you!” says Brandon Pickering of Pickering’s Auto Service with two locations to serve you in Arvada and Lakewood, Colorado.

Wheel bearings or an axle may cause a clicking noise when you turn your steering wheel in one direction, but not the other.  

A wobbling sound like a washing machine on high spin could mean you have a loose wheel nut and need a very simple fix but left untended, a tire might fall off if not tightened up.

That high pitched squeal occurring when you start your engine may only happen when the air conditioning is on. This may mean that the belt needs adjusted or replaced. But as we said before, a screech coming from your brakes may mean it’s time for new brake pads.

People often have problems telling auto repair professionals what they are experiencing. Don’t be embarrassed to try and imitate what you’re hearing.   To put into words the most common noises a car may make try:

• Clicking

• Grinding

• Hissing

• Rattling

• Humming

• Knocking

• Screeching

• Rumbling

• Chirping

• Flapping

• Wobbling

• Squealing

“Diagnosing what a problem is can often be tougher than actually fixing the problem.  This is where the customer can save both of us frustration, time and money!”

For more information on what sound you have detected coming from your vehicle, call Pickering’s Auto Service at 720-636-8777 for their Arvada store located at 8070 Sheridan Blvd, or 720-636-9110 for the Lakewood shop, located at 90 S. Wadsworth Blvd.  Or you can make an appointment online!

Pickering's Auto Service is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Arvada/Westminster Service Center (303) 426-1545, Lakewood Service Center (303) 237-7717 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.