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3 Noises From Under Your Hood, and What They Could Mean

Posted by: Brookside Admin

There are plenty of noises your vehicle makes normally, but after driving it for awhile, you should be able to recognize when a noise is out of place, and could mean something is wrong. Here, we'll specifically focus on a whirring type noise that commonly occurs when something under the hood is amiss. This whirring usually increases as your engine's RPM increases. The issues related to this sound range from a simple fix, to costly repairs, so it's important to have it checked out as soon as possible. Here are three whirring noises your car can emit, and what each could mean. 

Turning the steering wheel

You may notice that when you turn the steering wheel, your car makes a low, growling type noise. This might be an easy fix. Your first move is to test and see if the noise occurs even when your car isn't moving. If that's the case, it's likely just an indication that you're low on power steering fluid. Before adding more fluid, however, check the ground under your car for signs of leaks. This noise could also indicate more complex problems including a bad power steering pump, or steering rack. These repairs will require a professional. 

Engine pulleys

There are multiple belt driven parts under your hood and, when something goes wrong with these parts, there's usually a familiar noise that comes with it. The noise you hear will be cyclical since connected to a belt or pulley that's actively rotating. In some cases, it may sound similar to the usual sounds coming from under your hood, only louder. This will be coming from the front of your engine and could indicate a bad bearing or pulley on an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, AC compressor, or a few other parts. In order to narrow down the culprit, it's important to try to pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from. But, be cautious around the engine compartment when the car is on. Moving belts and pulleys can cause injury if they catch hair, loose clothing or fingers. 

Radiator fan

In some cases, you'll notice a loud whirring or clicking noise that is dictated and changes with the speed of your engine. The radiator fan is usually to blame in these cases. The fan blades can be extremely sensitive and if one is just a little out of place, it can vibrate or come in contact with other components to produce a loud and annoying noise. Usually, you'll need to replace the bent fan blade, but you may even be able to simply bend it back into place. A similar noise that stays consistent while you rev your engine is likely an electric fan, rather than a radiator fan. Typically, you can check this by popping your hood while the car is running and locating the fan. If that's where the noise stems from, there's an adjustment needed. Before doing the work yourself, however, be sure you disconnect the battery. 

If your BMW, Mercedes, or Hummer H1 begins making a strange noise, head straight to see the experts at Benzin Motor Works. Our technicians have extensive training and experience with these makes of vehicles and offer top quality service. Call us at 918-728-6081.