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Orinda Auto Repair

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Unusual Car Noises and what they Mean

Sometimes, our car is known to make an unusual sound every so often, and it can be stressful when we hear our beloved vehicle whining around a turn or grumbling every time we start it. But most of our vehicles are going to make an unusual noise from time to time. The auto mechanics at Orinda Motors are excellent at deciphering what those noises mean, how we can fix the problem, and have you back on your way in no time.

Here are some unusual car noises our technicians have experience troubleshooting and fixing:


  1. A humming or groaning noise originating from your tires: If you are hearing something along the lines of hum or groan coming from your tires, it could indicate premature wear along the inside of your tires. This wear could expose the steel belts on the tires, which puts your tire at greater risk of falling apart.

  2. Growling when turning: Do you hear a growling noise coming from your vehicle? This noise could be an indication that your front wheel bearing is defective, and the growling noise is heard specifically when your vehicle is shifting weight around a turn or swerve.

  3. Clunking or “looseness” in the steering or when applying brakes while backing up: This unusual sound may mean there is an issue with your ball joint or tie rod.

  4. Grinding: If you are hearing grinding at any point, it means two pieces of metal are touching when they shouldn’t be.

  5. Squeaking when you step on the brakes: This sound is a clear sign your brakes need to be inspected and possibly repaired or replaced. You can think of it as your brakes crying out for help.

Your vehicle should not be making any unusual noises. If you are hearing a strange noise, even if it is not one mentioned above, we encourage you to contact the team of technicians at Orinda Motors. We will get to the bottom of it, identifying the underlying cause and deciding on the appropriate course of auto repair. Schedule an appointment, or stop by at 22 Bryant Way, Orinda, CA 94563.


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