Vehicle noises come from different sources such as tires rolling on the road, escaping exhaust gases or rumbling from the engine. Some of these noises are normal, and you are probably used to them. However, there are some noises that you should never ignore, because they point to serious underlying problems. Here are two examples:
Roaring Exhaust under the Car
A roaring noise under the car usually originates from a leak in the exhaust system. The diagnosis is even more reliable if the noise gets louder while accelerating. Other signs that may point to an exhaust leak include reduced gas mileage and vibration in the gas pedal.
The decrease in gas mileage occurs because the leakage interferes with the operation of the oxygen sensors, which results in an increase in the amount of fuel in the air/fuel mixture. As for the vibrations, they occur because the part of the exhaust pipe connected to the engine runs beneath your feet (while in the driver's seat). The leak increases the strain on the system, and the result is the vibration.
Apart from the decreased gas mileage, an exhaust leak is not good for your car because:
- The dangerous gases can get into the passenger compartment and poison you
- The added strain on the engine wears it down faster
- The leaking gases, which are hot, can damage other parts of your car (such as the exhaust valve)
Hissing Sound from the Engine
A hissing sound that starts when driving, or after the car has been driven for some time, should not be ignored. In many cases, it means that the engine is leaking coolant or is getting overheated. By this time, the engine temperature gauge or warning light should be on.
Both of these are dangerous, and you should not continue driving if you don't want to ruin your car's engine. Instead, you should pull off the road, park the car, and pop up the hood. Depending on the size of the leak, you may notice coolant leaking from part of the cooling system such as hoses or radiator.
Do not open the coolant cap when the engine is still hot, and don't think that you can solve the problem by pouring more coolant (it will just leak). Instead, you should have your car towed to the nearest mechanic. If the leak is small, for example, and it is not easily noticeable, then you can pour a can of cooling system sealer into the radiator, add some coolant, and drive to your destination. Don't forget to have the leak repaired, because the sealer is only a temporary measure.
Visit a repair shop like Slipstream Autocare to have these problems addressed.