Noises Your Car Should Not Make

At the AA, we have over the years heard it all, and by far the most common call we receive from our Members is “my car made a funny noise and then it died” or “it clicked and would not start”. 

We learned a long time ago not to ask what it “sounded” like simply because a diagnosis based purely on the noise quite often leads you in the wrong direction when looking to resuscitate a car. But, having said that, there are a couple of noises a car makes when in distress that are a sure giveaway to the problem.

1) Car Battery Trouble

You know the drill.  It’s the first really cold week of winter and you’re already late for work.  Into the car and turn the key – “click”… The battery has died, seemingly overnight. That’s the thing about car batteries, more than often, they don’t give any warning when they’re about to fail. That’s when you call the AA!

If your car battery is more than three years old, go and have it tested at a fitment centre before winter chills leave you stranded on the side of the road. 

2) Car Windscreen Trouble

Most of our cars have tiny nicks and chips on the windscreen - our road conditions see to that. If it’s not the early morning frost, it will be the freezing wind chill that will turn that chip into a crack as you drive - another noise you do not want to hear. Of course Murphy’s Law will decree that the crack grows directly into your driver’s view and makes your car unroadworthy. That’s when you call the AA!

3) CV Joints

Of all the noises to hear, the one that is probably dreaded the most is when turning sharply - typically when parking your car at the shopping mall.  It sounds like a rapid succession of clicks. This is your car’s way of telling you that a CV joint needs urgent attention. If you treat the symptom early on, the parting of cash could be restricted. Ignoring it until the drive shaft fails could result in substantial cost - not only to repair but it is a very serious personal safety issue too. That’s when you call the AA!

Noises You Want To Hear For Road Safety

From a safety point of view, winter means three things – smoke, dust, and if you’re in the Cape, rain.  So then, the noise you want to hear is quite simple: flick on the headlights.  Remember, as the driver, you need to be able to see perfectly at all times. Headlights not only light up the way but also enable other road users and pedestrians to see you – even in daytime! Put a spare set of globes in the cubby-hole, they don’t take up too much space.

And finally, remember the old advert? “We just want to hear ONE click?”  That’s right – the seat belt! They really do work. Please make sure that everyone buckles up.

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Safe driving this winter!
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