4 Engine Sounds That Warrant a Trip to the Dealership

October 11th, 2018 by

Hearing some noise from beneath your vehicle’s hood is normal, but certain sounds are always a cause for concern. If you’re cruising along and hear any of these worrisome engine noises, schedule an appointment at the dealership for a full check-up. Continuing to drive a car with a potentially damaged engine is risky and could cause you to end up broken down on the side of the road.

Clunking or Banging

Hearing banging or clunking noises is startling, especially when they seem to come out of nowhere. If the clunking sound starts when you apply the brakes, the culprit is usually one of the brake calipers. It could be damaged or missing, but you need to get your brakes checked right away. The brakes of your vehicle are the most critical safety component, so don’t wait to get this sound inspected. If the bang happens any other time, your vehicle might be backfiring or you could have an issue with the catalytic converter.

A knocking sound coming from the engine might happen if you used a lower octane of fuel than what the manufacturer recommends. Always follow the guidelines found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual when it comes to gasoline, oil, and air pressure in the tires.

Humming or Squealing

A low-pitched humming coming from the underside of the car can be caused by a number of issues. Low lubricant levels could be the issue if you hear it when you accelerate, but the transmission could be to blame for the humming, as well. A squealing sound when you hit the gas pedal often means that one of the belts has come loose and is sliding out of its proper position. The drive pulleys for certain accessories may also come loose and cause a squealing noise.


If your engine sounds like it’s making a batch of popcorn, stop driving and get it checked right away. Popping sounds accompanied by hesitation from the engine can indicate ignition trouble, dirty or worn out spark plugs, or a clogged fuel filter. At worst, you may have a damaged catalytic converter. Regardless of the cause, an engine popping sound is definitely concerning and should be checked by a technician immediately.


When you hear a sound that resembles the noise of leaving coins in your pants pocket and putting the pants in the dryer, you may have a loose lug nut in one of your hubcaps. If you recently had your tires replaced or rotated and balanced, the technician may not have tightened the lug nut enough, causing it to fall out as you drove away. Loose lug nuts are certainly a cause for concern as they’re the components that hold your wheels and tires in place. Get this sound checked out as soon as you can.

If your Toyota is making any of these sounds when you’re driving, schedule an appointment for service at Performance Toyota. Our experienced and certified technicians will diagnose the problem and get your vehicle up and running again.

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