Every car produces its own set of noises. As the driver of the vehicle it can be easy to get use to these sounds and think that they aren’t a sign of something wrong. However, if those sounds begin to change, then these noises are likely a sign that is something is shifting in the way the car operates. Now these noises could just be something completely harmless, like all of these other sounds, but if those noises are coming from your engine, then you will want to get them checked out.

If you are experiencing any of these five noises, they shouldn’t be ignored:

Rattling and Whining:

A slipping, damaged or poorly aligned camshaft belt can cause a rattling and whining noise. This noise will be more audible when you accelerate. However, if this happens on a cold start, then it might be from the timing chain. The more you hear the rattling on cold starts, the more likely it is you have a worn timing chain. Keep in mind that not all cars have timing chains.

While both timing chains and camshaft belts synchronize the motion of the valves and pistons, there are some differences between them, namely the materials used and their placement in the vehicle. This is determined by the make and model of your car. If you start to hear any rattling and whining then definitely call us to check it out.

Clicking and Tapping:

If you start to hear a clicking or tapping noise when driving, then you will want to open your window and listen closely. If it starts to get louder or more noticeable when you accelerate and/or speeds up when you go faster, then the noise is most likely caused by an issue with your tappet. The tappet, also called an upper valve train, controls the air intake movement and your exhaust valves. This can be caused if the parts are worn, but also if there is low oil pressure. You should check your oil levels, and if all is well, then it could also be that your springs or camshafts are worn. Schedule an appointment with Foreign Affairs to have it checked.


Squealing also tends to happen on acceleration or when starting the engine cold. There is no denying when your engine is squealing. This sound is very loud and a clear sign you have fan belt issues. Because they tend to loosen over time when you start your engine your fan belt, or “serpentine” belt, starts to squeal when its old rubber teeth drag, and it can’t keep up with the pulleys controlling it. It can either be tightened or replaced by your auto mechanic. However, there is the possibility that the squealing is being caused by low fluids. You can always check the engine oil level to see if it is low. Your best bet is probably to still have a professional at Foreign Affairs give an opinion on what is causing the noise.


Grinding when you shift gears usually indicates a problem with your manual transmission. This happens when you have a faulty gearbox with gears grinding against each other. This can be caused when the clutch can’t completely separate the gearbox from the engine. However, it is also common if you don’t push the clutch down properly when trying to change gears. The second reason is more common for newer drivers or those not used to using a gearshift lever.

However, if you’ve had the car for a while and have been driving a clutch for years, it’s more likely the clutch system needs replacing. There is a chance it could actually be your brakes which can make this sound if the pads are worn. Both issues should be checked by an experienced auto mechanic as soon as possible.

Deep Knocking:

If you begin to hear deep knocking then you might want to start worrying. This can indicate that something deeper in the engine is worn. This is typically becomes more noticeable when you change gears or speed up. This is often related to the rod bearings, as they could be either worn or loose. Sooner or later they will fail if you are hearing this noise. It could also be caused if you have an issue with the timing of the air-fuel mixture. Both of these problems call for an immediate call to Foreign Affairs. You also shouldn’t be driving the car until a diagnostic is run to determine what is causing the noise. Undergoing proper engine tuning or a replacement or repair to the rods will keep your car safe on the road.

Your car has its own way of telling you when something is wrong. Recognizing the cues in these tell-tale noises will ensure your car gets the attention it needs.


If your European vehicle requires service, schedule an appointment with our technicians today and let us address your issues immediately! Foreign Affairs is located at 1681 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33409.