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Feel, Hear, See, Smell 2d

When you have a problem with your car you detect it with one of your senses. Either you feel something wrong, hear something, see something or smell something wrong. This is one of a series of articles that will help you interpret what you are sensing and come up with some possible cause of the problem.
» Part 1: Thump & Clunk
» Part 2: Brakes Squeal
» Part 3: Windshield Wipers
» Part 4: Pop & Knock
» Part 5: Popping Noise
» Part 6: Whirring & Buzzing
» Part 7: Too Loud
» Part 8: Transmission Noise
» Part 9: Rattling Noise

Popping, Clicking and Knocking

  • Engine hesitates and a popping is heard from the engine:
    Whenever you step on the gas pedal, the car may hesitate and have general lack of power. The popping noise confirms that something is not right. The noise only happens when you press on the gas pedal. This problem may appear suddenly or get worse over time. You may notice the problem when the engine is hot or cold or when you are low on fuel.

    Possible causes:
    1. You may have a dirty air filter: Replace the air filter.

    2. The spark plugs may be dirty or worn: Clean and regap spark plugs. Replace spark plugs.

    3. The ignition wires may be bad: Replace ignition wires.

    4. There may be some other type of ignition problem: Check distributor cap or rotor. Ignition module may be bad.

    5. The engine may have mechanical problems: Check compression to determine engine condition.


  • Clicking from the front while turning a corner:
    Everything seems fine while you are driving your car except when you go around a corner, and then you hear a clicking noise from one side of the car. Pay attention to when the sound occurs, as it is very helpful when trying to identify what is causing the problem. Normally the problem begins gradually, but the noise may go unnoticed. As the problem gets worse, the noise gets louder.

    Possible causes:
    1. Brake pads/shoes are loose or broken: Replace the brake pads/shoes as required.

    2. Loose or bad front wheel bearings: Replace bad wheel bearings. Repack and retighten loose wheel bearings.

    3. Worn CV-joints (normally the outer joints): Replace CV-joints.

    4. Loose wheel covers (hub caps): Tighten or replace wheel covers.

    5. There is a large stone, a nail, or some other hard object caught in a tire: Remove foreign object(s) from tires.


  • Clicking noise during braking or turning:
    A distinct click that increases in speed as you increase the speed of the car. The clicking seems to occur whenever you apply the brakes and/or make a turn. If the clicking disappears when you release the brake, the cause is undoubtedly related to the brakes. This problem gradually becomes noticeable and can develop into a major problem.

    Possible causes:
    1. Loose or bad front wheel bearings: Replace bad wheel bearings. Repack and retighten loose wheel bearings.

    2. The brake pads are loose in their mounting: Tighten or replace brake pads as required.

    3. CV-joints are worn: Replace CV-joints.

    4. There is a hard object caught between the brake pads and the rotor: Remove foreign object(s) from brakes.


  • Knocking sound under hood:
    You hear a knocking sound under the hood, especially when accelerating.

    Possible causes:
    1. Engine knock due to gas octane rating too low: Use a fuel with a higher octane rating.

    2. Air filter clogged: Replace the air filter.

    3. Tune-up issue, such as timing set improperly: Check and reset timing as required.


  • Engine makes a clicking noise when idling:
    When the engine is idling you hear a clicking noise. Most times it gets louder as engine rpm increases. The problem may become more noticeable as the engine warms up. The noise may or may not get worse over time.

    Possible causes:
    1. Your valves need adjusting: Adjust valves or replace hydraulic lifters as required.

    2. The engine is low on oil: Fill engine oil to specified level.

    3. The engine's oil pressure is low: Determine cause of low oil pressure and repair as required.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Part 5       » Part 6       » Part 7       » Part 8
Part 9
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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