Why Is Your Car Making a Rattling Noise?

concerned man looking at car engine

If you hear a rattling noise while driving, the first step is to not ignore it. The sounds and vibrations coming from your vehicle could be signs of a serious mechanical issue. Seek help from a professional who can find the source of the noise before any further damage is done.

Narrow Down the Noise

We know you have somewhere to be. But the rattling noise you hear from your vehicle can’t wait. Don’t put your safety at risk by overlooking any strange sounds. If the noises you hear seem out of the ordinary, you could be put in a dangerous situation in little to no time. 

There are several questions to ask yourself that will help locate the root of your car shaking. Then, your local mechanic will have the background needed to diagnose the issue and get you back on the road quickly and safely.

  1. Does the vibration intensify when you accelerate?
  2. Do you notice the sounds and vibrations at specific speeds? If so, take note of the speeds.
  3. Where do you notice the vibration? Is it only found from the car seat? Or elsewhere like the steering wheel?
  4. Is there any unusual noise when the vehicle shakes?
  5. Does the car shake when it’s in park but still running?

The Most Common Culprits

Vehicle parts experience wear and tear the longer they are used. When your parts aren’t working right, your safety is at risk. At Big Chief Tire, we care about your well-being. That’s why we encourage you to bring your car in for maintenance checks, especially when you notice abnormal car shaking or rattling.

Engine Problems

A few different parts of the engine could explain the strange sounds you hear. The spark plugs and air filter are where you should start. Spark plugs generally last for anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 miles. But it largely depends on the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

If the connections of your spark plugs are clear, check your air filter. A dirty or clogged engine air filter can keep the engine from getting the air it needs to function properly.

Faulty Brakes

If you notice the vibrations occur when you come to a stop, your brakes may need some attention. The problem can probably be traced to your front brake mechanism since they take the most stress. Check the brake pads and rotor to assess the amount of wear and tear.

Overtime, if the rotor and the pads become worn down below a certain degree of thickness, the vehicle will begin to vibrate. But, there’s no standard timeline for this to occur.

Usually, brakes last for about 50,000 miles. However, many makes and models can last longer. The next time you bring your car in for an oil change, ask them to run an inspection on your pads and rotors. Your local mechanics will have a better idea for when replacements are needed.

Axle Issues

Your vehicle most likely has two axles. One connects the front wheels together and the other connects the back wheels. Shaking can occur if one of the axles is bent or dented. This could have occurred during a recent car accident.

If you have an axle problem, you will notice that vibrations increase as you accelerate.

You will also want to check on the CV joints and driveshaft. Worn out CV joints will allow excess dirt and dust to cause damage.

Wheel Problems

A wiggling or wobbling steering wheel may be the cause of vibration problems. This could also indicate a greater issue of bad wheel alignment. That means that one or more of your wheels may not be spinning properly.

Driving a car with bad alignment may put you at risk for losing control of your vehicle, putting your safety and that of your passengers at risk.

Otherwise, an unstable steering wheel could mean faulty wheel bearings, tie rod ends, or ball joints.

Worn Out Tires

When you notice vibrations or strange sounds only when you reach certain speeds, your tires may be to blame. They may need to be balanced or rotated. If this goes unaddressed, the constant wear and tear will force you to purchase a new set of tires sooner rather than later.

Regular vehicle maintenance can help avoid these problems and prevent more expensive repairs that may arise. Consider scheduling an appointment for a vehicle check-up.

Take Action

Don’t ignore your car shaking or unusual vibrations. Address the problems immediately with the top five causes in mind.

Ask questions like: Where is the vibration occurring? Have you had a tire rotation recently? Are your spark plugs new? How long have you had the same brakes, pads, rotors?

When the time is right, remember to seek professional guidance from a local mechanic near you. Big Chief Tire is your choice auto shop in Jacksonville, FL for honest and genuine service that you can count on. Our goal is always to get you back on the road quickly and safely.

Don’t wait until your vehicle experiences irreversible damage. Schedule an appointment with us to avoid any scary situations and to keep your vehicle in great shape. The professional mechanics at Big Chief Tire will get your car safely back on the road in no time.

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