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When you hear your car making a funny noise what do you do? Do you ignore it or try to pretend that it's coming from the car next to you instead? Or do you turn up your stereo and hope that it goes away? Actually, what you should do is take the time to listen and find out what's going on. When your car makes a strange sound it's letting you know that something is wrong and you need to get it checked. Here are five car noises you shouldn't ignore:
Drivers often hear squealing sounds when they tap on their brakes. Most often this sound means you probably need to have a new set of brakes installed on your vehicle. However, you may hear these sounds even when you don't use your brakes. According to Lauren Fix, the "Car Coach" and the national automotive correspondent for Time Warner, waiting too long to have this noise inspected can lead to dangerous conditions and costly repairs particularly if you have to have your brake rotors replaced.
If you hear your windshield wipers scraping across the glass that's not a normal sound, it means your blades are wearing thin from use. Waiting to have them replaced can cause the wipers to scratch the glass and that could cost you hundreds in repair bills. Driving with worn wipers also makes it hard for you to see while driving which is particularly dangerous since visibility affects 80 percent of your driving skills.
This sound typically accompanies a bad shock absorber. If so, you'll have to get it checked out right away because a shock absorber that needs repair can affect your vehicle's braking, steering and handling capabilities.
Watch out for this sound when you're making a turn, because it likely means that your CV joint needs attention. Ms. Fix says that when this joint wears out it loses the grease that keeps the axles lubricated. Leaving this sound unattended can cause serious damage to the axles which can cost a pretty penny in repairs.
If you stop your car and hear a ticking sound it probably means that you're low on oil. Get the oil changed as quickly as you can to avoid damaging your engine. According to Ms. Fix, low oil levels can cause severe engine damage and may require an engine replacement.