Car Is Loud When Accelerating: Possible Causes, Diagnosis, And Repairs

Car Is Loud When Accelerating: Possible Causes, Diagnosis, And Repairs

If your car is loud when accelerating, chances are, there is an issue with the belt, the oil level, bearings, or another component. As a rule of thumb, you should be mildly alarmed any time you experience any weird smells or noises coming from your car that might be indicative of a serious problem(s). Many of these problems will be minor while others will require immediate attention.

When engine noises are concerned, any car owner should know what noise is normal and what is not. For instance, you have owned a vehicle for a few years now; if the engine is making noises that it wouldn’t naturally, this may be a sign of a problem.

Many reasons can cause a scenario where your car is loud when accelerating. Almost all these reasons indicate a more severe issue cooking up under the hood. This is when you have to get your car inspected and fixed by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

This article discusses all the possible reasons that can be making your engine loud when accelerating. In addition, we will provide additional information on how to fix such a situation, possible costs, and more.

Engine Sounds

Much like everything else, vehicles are not made to last forever. Unfortunately, there will come a point where your vehicle is plagued with a problem that would warrant immediate attention. But before that, your car will show a handful of symptoms that are yours to catch and deal with.

The engine is the core of the vehicle and it comes with an expiration date. At some point, you will have to get it repaired or replaced – both of which are expensive changes.

Do not take weird noises coming from your car lightly. Any time you hear some loud, unnatural noise coming from your engine, it’s best to diagnose it. Even if there is no issue, it’s best to know what’s going on with your vehicle.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating

Identifying the actual issue depends on the kind of noise. Different noises can be heard in different situations.

Some noises can only be heard when you’re turning or accelerating. Here are a few possible explanations to why you can hear new noises from your car:

  • If you hear a squealing sound when accelerating, chances are high that the drive belt has deteriorated. This can be repaired by replacing the belt. However, the issue might run deeper than that.
  • If you hear a roaring noise while increasing with acceleration, it may be a problem with the transmission or exhaust system.
  • Your car can make a squealing, whining, or creaking sound when turning. This indicates there may be a problem with the suspension and steering. But there are some of the most complex parts of your car and a lot of other things could have gone wrong.

Car Makes Noise When Accelerating At Low Speed

Different noises can signal different things. What does this noise sound like? 2 of the more common sounds you may hear from your car are chirping and slapping. Both chirping and slapping can stand for different things but make sure you take them both seriously or they could do serious damage to your wheels in the long run.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #1: Chirping

Is your car producing a weird chirping sound when you accelerate at low speeds? This can mean there is an issue with an axle. Get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. When your car’s axles fail, the wheels can lock up, or loosen up too!

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #2: Slapping

Is there a slapping sound from under the hood when the car speeds up? Perhaps the culprit is a damaged tire. We don’t have to say twice that driving with a damaged tire is dangerous, particularly if the damage can eventually make the tire blow up. Moreover, you can get heavily penalized for driving with degraded tires. So, stop driving immediately if you hear slapping sounds and fix the tire situation.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #3: Loud Squealing Noise

A booming squealing or squeaking noise when accelerating can mean there is an issue with the engine belt – the belt is worn or loose. Alternatively, one of the pulleys of the belt has started failing.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating

On the other hand, a loud rumbling sound while accelerating may suggest an exhaust system failure. There can be a leak somewhere which forces the system to work extra hard to handle the additional exhaust fumes – thus, producing the rumbling. Aside from this, different sounds can indicate different things:

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #4: Rattling

Rattling is one of the most annoying noises to come out of a car since it might signify a variety of issues. So attempt to figure out where the sound is coming from. If it’s from under your car, it might indicate that something has come free, like the catalytic converter or exhaust system. If the noise is coming from behind your hood, it might be an issue with the oil levels or another component.

Last, if the noise is coming from within the vehicle, don’t worry – it’s fine. It’s probably a broken piece from something jumping around in the glove compartment or your boot.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #5: Grinding

When you speed up and change gears, do you notice an odd grinding sound? There might be an issue with the clutch or the powertrain as a whole. Once again, contact a mechanic immediately.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #6: Ticking

A weird ticking noise generally means there isn’t enough oil in your car. Once you hear this kind of noise, pull over when it’s safe to do so and examine the oil levels. In case there’s nothing wrong here, this can indicate a much bigger issue. It’s time for another trip to the mechanic.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #7: Screeching

This very likely means something is wrong with the brakes. Perhaps the wheel bearings are starting to give up. Or there is an issue with the brake discs or pads. If there is a squealing noise from your car every time you hit the brakes, it’s time to replace the brake pads.

However, squealing has been a design feature for many brake pads. It’s their way of telling the driver that they are worn down and need to be replaced quickly.

Certainly, if something is wrong with the brakes, you have to get the problem repaired immediately. A bit of lubrication can do the trick as well. It’s best to make sure nothing too serious is happening.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating, Sounds #8: Knocking

Does your car produce a knocking noise while it goes over bumps? If the noise is coming from within the car, it’s probably just some object crashing against something in your glove compartment. But if the noise is coming from under your car, some important component of your car could have come loose.

Why Is My Car So Loud

The list of reasons a car can be noisy when accelerating is rather long. Let’s start with the more obvious ones. First and foremost is the belt sound which often manifests as a squealing and squeaking noise. This noise generally starts when the vehicle is starting to accelerate, and occasionally during turns. Belt noises can also mean the belt has come loose or is worn.

Belt noises can also be the result of one of the belt pulleys failing. When the belt ceases to glide smoothly across the pulleys, odd noises are made by the car.

Another noise you may be used to is what comes from a loud exhaust system. This system comprises a resonator, muffler, down/header pipe, and catalytic converter. The exhaust system is tasked with carrying the exhaust gasses to the rear from the front of your vehicle. They are specifically designed in a way to protect your lungs from your exhaust fumes and ears from loud noises.

A leak in the system anywhere would produce a distinct thundering sound. The sound is more obvious when you accelerate because the engine works harder here. With a leak in the exhaust, the muffling stops short and you hear the sound more than usual.

Without getting into the jargon of mechanics, we have to point out some technical aspects. There are some components in your car that are usually called the “drivetrain.” A drivetrain includes the transfer case, driveshafts or axles, transmission, and differentials. The engine is often considered a part of the drivetrain – we’ll get to that in a bet.

Could The Drivetrain Be The Reason

Any part of the drivetrain can be worn and start making noise. Your car is essentially moved around by the drivetrain. With wear, the components come in contact in a way that’s not good for them. As a result, audible noises are made. Similar to exhaust noises, these sounds are much more noticeable when your car accelerates because your vehicle works harder to pump up the speed.

The engine can also be the root of all the problems. The engine is a complicated piece of equipment. Many moving parts are contributing at the right moment to make the engine operate properly. For now, we are going to be talking about three of the most important bits: the pistons, bearings, and valves.

The valves close and open to allow fuel and air to enter and release the exhaust. A clicking noise is made when the valves are worn which is more noticeable when you accelerate your car as the valves are operating relatively faster.

The bearings are in charge of allowing the crankshaft and camp to rotate for millions of revolutions and thousands of miles. If one of the bearings fails, it will cause a screeching or ticking sound. Whenever the engine spins faster, the sound is more prominent.

Like the other two, the pistons can produce a similar screeching sound when they are nearing the end of their service life. The pistons move up and down and allow the engine to spin. A knocking noise is made by worn pistons – sometimes when idle, and occasionally on accelerating.

1. Faulty Exhaust System

The exhaust system is designed to channel and reduce engine noise and safely expel exhaust gases. A compromised system can lead to heightened noise levels during acceleration.

Holes or Cracks: Over time, exhaust pipes can develop holes or cracks, often due to rust or wear. Even a small hole can significantly amplify noise, especially when the engine is under load.

Muffler Issues: The muffler’s primary function is to reduce engine noise. A loose or damaged muffler can lead to increased sounds during acceleration. Ensure all attachments are tight and free from corrosion.

2. Dirty or Old Engine Oil

Engine oil lubricates moving parts, reducing friction and noise. Overdue oil changes can lead to a thick, sludgy oil, which doesn’t lubricate as efficiently.

Recommendation: Regularly change the oil as per the vehicle’s manufacturer guidelines. This not only ensures quieter operations but also prolongs engine life.

3. Engine Compression Issues

A loud engine during acceleration might hint at a compression problem. Reduced compression in the engine can be due to a myriad of reasons, including worn-out piston rings or valves.

Quick Tip: Perform a compression test to ascertain if there’s a drop in compression in any of the cylinders. Addressing compression problems can restore power and efficiency.

4. Ignition System Malfunctions

A malfunctioning ignition system can cause louder engine sounds. Here are the components to inspect:

Spark Plugs: Worn-out or fouled spark plugs can result in incomplete combustion, causing knocking sounds.

Ignition Coils and Modules: Damaged ignition coils can lead to misfires. Regularly inspect coils for signs of wear or malfunction.

5. Suspension and Strut Issues

While it might seem unrelated, problems with the strut mount bearing can result in noises during acceleration. This bearing connects the strut to the car’s body. A worn-out bearing might produce unsettling sounds when the car is in motion.

Advice: If you suspect this is the cause, have a mechanic inspect the suspension system.

6. Engine Coolant Levels

Surprisingly, a low coolant level can indirectly cause engine noise. Overheating due to insufficient coolant might strain the engine.

Solution: Regularly check the coolant level. If the levels seem to drop frequently, inspect for potential leaks in the system.

A car that’s loud during acceleration might be signaling a problem. Regular maintenance and timely inspections can go a long way in ensuring a quieter, smoother ride. If you notice any unusual sounds, it’s always best to consult with a professional to pinpoint and address the issue.

Diagnosing Odd Car Sounds

If your car is loud when accelerating, calm down and have a look at the engine. You might have to call a mechanic.

Unexpected automobile sounds range from odd noises while turning to startling noises and noises when driving. Panicking at the first sight of a problem will not diagnose or fix the issue any faster. It’s best to remain calm and cool.

Being non-reactive in a scenario like this helps you to better examine the symptoms, allowing you to thoroughly explain the problems to the technician or investigate on your own.

What to do if you hear chirping or screeching while driving? When accelerating, screeching, or chirping noises usually indicate a loose or slipped belt. Less commonly, it might indicate an imbalance in the water pump’s driving pulley or another accessory.

Step 1: Ignite your car’s engine. If it has an automatic transmission, set your vehicle in Park. Alternatively, you can shift the vehicle into Neutral and activate the emergency brake if your car has a manual transmission.

Step 2: Get help from someone. Ask them to press and let go of the accelerator. This way, you can visually and audibly observe what goes on from outside your car.

Step 3: Raise the hood. Watch and listen for where the squealing or chirping sound comes from. Once you are done, make notes of what you saw and heard. Lower the hood, turn off the engine, and call a mechanic.

Step 4: Explain your observation. Try to be as precise and concise as you can because this will help them narrow down the potential reasons behind the squealing or chirping noises when accelerating.

Some Cars Are More Prone To Being Noisy

Some cars are more likely to produce noise than others. Every vehicle can struggle with a worn drive belt problem. These components are made of a rubber compound that wears out with time. Hondas are more prone to having holes in exhaust systems throughout their life than most cars we have come across. Keep in mind that this in no way implies that a Honda is a bad car.

All vehicles are equipped with unique engine and drivetrain configurations but, apart from electrical cars, the basic components are more or less the same. These components wear out and become noisy with acceleration. However, the degree to it depends on using more than the vehicle manufacturer. Subarus are more prone to knocking from deteriorated pistons due to their unique engine configuration.

Cost Of Diagnosing

RepairPal suggests that you have to pay between $88 to $144 to get a professional mechanic to check loud noises coming from your car.

How To Fix

The type of repairs required will be based on the cause(s) of the noise. Belt noises are typically easy to troubleshoot and repair, but there are exceptions, of course. After the new belt has been installed and the right tension is engaged, your car is ready to be driven again.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating

For leaks in the exhaust, a leak has to be identified first, and then fixed. Most leaks we deal with require the replacement of multiple or one exhaust component. Once they have been replaced, the system is re-checked to make sure there are no other leaks.

Drivetrain repairs can be quite complicated. The parts may need replacement in many cases. For bigger components such as the transmission or the engine, mechanics will often source second-hand parts to keep costs low.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Loud Engine

We would never recommend driving a car that is loud when accelerating. The problem might not seem like anything serious at first but leave it unattended for long enough and you can have a life-threatening situation at hand.

For instance, if the issue is associated with the muffled, internal rust can be a topic of examination here. It can be a doorway for carbon monoxide to your vehicle – a toxic element for humans.

The problem can also be with insufficient levels of oil. A vehicle without adequate oil can overheat quickly, slowly eating away at the engine. Having your vehicle inspected takes time and effort, but they are comparable to the costs of replacing an engine – you make the choice.

Cost Of Fixing

This mostly depends on the issue itself. If the engine noises are due to a muffler problem, for example, expect to spend between $400 to $500. You may have to add around $150 to $200, based on your car’s model, make, and year. If the issue is due to a shortage of oil, you can top up the oil, which should cost you between $65 to $120.

The problem can also be major if you are lucky. For example, low engine oil can also greatly damage the engine to the extent that you have to replace the entire thing. In that case, you cannot spend less than $2500. Worst case scenario, you have to pay $4000 in repairs for engine rebuild, including labor costs and parts.

Conversely, if you choose to install a new engine, that will be pricier – you will pay around $3000 to $7000, based on the type of the vehicle and where you get the job done.

Is Repairing My Engine Worth It

It all depends on the cause of the problems and your car’s condition. If the vehicle was in good condition before the loud noises from the engine got to your head, you start by checking on the severity of the issues. Any problem that isn’t major should be repaired without second thoughts.

If the issue is severe, on the other hand, you have to take a step and assess the situation. Compare the overall value of the vehicle to the estimated total cost of repair. If you see that the repair costs are 75% or more of the total value of the vehicle, repairing it isn’t worth it. Consider selling it and using the money to buy a better vehicle.

Another factor to keep in mind is mileage. A car that’s completely fine now can start showing problems once it hits the 100,000-mile mark. Expect that and prepare well in advance. Thus, fixing big engine problems might not be worth it at this point.

How To Sell A Car With A Bad Engine

If you’ve reached the point where repairing your vehicle’s engine isn’t worth it anymore, you should look for the best sites that buy automobiles with engine issues.

Despite the severe engine problem, you have a lot of alternatives. Many dealers may be keen to buy your vehicle even if there are some engine problems, particularly if you’re offering a popular model.

Remember that dealers will not give you the maximum price for this car, and they will typically pay less than the secondhand market value.

Another alternative is to contact individual purchasers who may be interested in purchasing your vehicle despite the engine difficulties. It is quite difficult to get private buyers who would be okay with an engine with such problems as most people are interested in buying a functioning vehicle they can put to good use immediately after purchase.

Another alternative is to donate the car. Although it will not offer you money right away, it may help you decrease your annual taxes, and you can also help your favorite charity in the process so it’s a win-win situation.

Facts about Noises When Accelerating in a Vehicle:

  1. Normal acceleration noises can be determined if you have heard them before, and excessive noise is an indication of a problem.
  2. Belt noise often occurs when first accelerating, and can indicate a worn or loose belt or a failing pulley.
  3. Exhaust system leaks make a rumbling noise that is more noticeable on acceleration, and louder due to the cut short muffling of the noise.
  4. Drivetrain components like transmission, axles or driveshafts, transfer case, and differentials can wear and cause noise when moving.
  5. The engine’s valves, bearings, and pistons can wear and cause clicking, screeching, or knocking noises when accelerating.
  6. Some vehicles like Hondas are more susceptible to exhaust leaks, while Subarus are more prone to knocking from worn pistons.
  7. Noise when accelerating can be an indication of a safety concern, and the car should be inspected as soon as possible.
  8. Repair services needed will depend on the cause of the noise, with belt noise being easy and inexpensive to fix, and drivetrain repairs being more complicated.
  9. Most exhaust leaks require replacing one or more exhaust components and re-inspecting for leaks.
  10. Used parts are sourced for large components like engines and transmissions to keep costs low.

Car Is Loud When Accelerating: In Conclusion…

We always say it and stand by this statement: Better to be safe than sorry. Your car is loud when accelerating and if you ignore it despite noticing the oddities, it can come back to harm you in the future. Take note of when the sound reaches your ears along with how it sounds. Make sure to contact a mechanic soon.

Unnatural sounds in the car are generally a symptom of a developing issue, so the sooner you handle it, the better. That does not rule out the possibility of your car breaking down without notice. Unless you have taken proper precautionary measures beforehand, you can be stranded on the road for hours, waiting for rescue to arrive.

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