Cars speak to their drivers in different ways. Often when a car speaks, it means that the car is either performing at its best or it is presenting problems in the drive.
Often, we hear different sounds coming from the car components while driving. One such noise is the grinding noise and this noise, like the others, is not a good signal.
Grinding noises coming from the car most probably indicate issues in the rotating parts. And it is proven by experience that ignoring these strange sounds for the fear of the repair costs is never a good choice.
Grinding sounds from the car can be heard in three scenarios i.e. from the engine while driving, the application of brakes, or while turning.
When the sounds are coming from the engine, the most major engine components which might be causing the issue may be the alternator, the power steering, or the water pump.
The alternator functions in combination with a battery & supplies power to the driving car. But, when an alternator becomes aged, the internal components like bearings get wear and tear.
Replacing the entire alternators is an expensive option since alternators cost more than 1000 Dollars based on the car model.
This is the foremost thing to check in case of grinding noises from the engine and can be done by oneself. For checking the alternator for grinding noises, the engine must be turned off, and the fan belt must be removed.
After this, the alternator is checked by turning it manually. In case of a feeling of roughness in the bearings or any noises arising, the bearing needs to be replaced.
Another simple solution for the problem can be using a rubber tube for listening to the noises. This can be done by just placing one end of this tube close to the alternator and the other end close to either of the ears.
Water Pump Faults
If the alternator does not seem to be causing the problem, the second thing to check is the water pump. The water pump controls the coolant circulation through the radiator & engine block ensuring the operational temperature of the car to be controlled and prevent car overheating.
Pulleys are mostly used in these water pumps although in most cases, the wear & tear in the internal bearings of the car is the most common reason for noises.
But, in the case of the water pump, the noises are a little hard to listen to easily during driving. But, the noises can be checked more conveniently when the car is stopped and the bonnet is opened. In cases of severe noises from the pump, replacement of the pump is the only suitable option.
Power Steering Faults
In the case that neither of the pump or the alternator is having any faults, and there are still grinding noises from the engine, the most probable fault can be in the power steering assembly.
The basic function of power steering is the reduction of the turning force required for turning the steering wheel utilizing hydraulic pressure.
Thus, a rotary vane pump is utilized for powering the power steering assembly by forcing high-pressure fluid through the steering system. The most common noise-causing issues in this aspect can be related to the fluid of power steering.
The presence of small air bubbles in the steering fluid might be responsible for the vibration and whining of the pump. Moreover, due to the aging of the fluid, its physical properties might get altered and pumping might be inefficient because of this.
Furthermore, somehow the fluid might have leaked out of the system. The simple solution is taking the fluid out once, checking its physical condition, and then refilling it or replacing it as the condition demands.
5. Grinding Noise when Car Brake is Applied
The above cases discussed the scenario when the engine was responsible for the grinding noises. But sometimes, the grinding noises arise only when the brakes are applied.
This can be caused majorly if the brake pads are worn out. As the wear advances in the brake pads, the brake disc starts coming in contact with the backing metal plates.
This can be detected by the squeal which can be heard right before the contact between the metal backing plates and the brake discs. In this case, a very loud grinding noise is produced as the foot touches the brake pedal.
This is also an indication that the brake pads are not in useable condition and the car mechanic must be immediately contacted for a thorough inspection.
6. Grinding Noise when turning Car
Another scenario is the arising of grinding noises as the car turns at slow speeds. If this is the case, the constant-velocity joint which transfers power from the car transmission mechanism to the driving wheels is not in the right state.
Two CV joints are present in a car. One is the internal CV joint and it connects the transmission to the driveshaft whereas the other is the External CV joint and this one joins the wheels to the driveshaft. Road debris and bearing more pressure are the factors that make the external CV joint more prone to damage.
The presence of grease on the inside of the rim or leaking of grease from cracks indicates failure of CV joint-boot. The internal CV joint is commonly less damaged but when it is, noises arise while turning.
These noises become louder during acceleration while making a turn. The internal joint failure happens less commonly but when it happens, makes the vehicles unable to drive.
7. Car Grinding Noises Due to worn-out wheel bearings
The last reason for grinding sounds might be worn-out wheel bearings. The CV Joints and the bearings are commonly not repairable and have to be replaced immediately.
All of these issues look trivial but affect the health of the car badly and also worsen the driving experience. Hence, any type and intensity of grinding noises is a clear indication that the car needs to be inspected thoroughly.
Whatever repair or replacements are needed must be efficiently done timely to avoid unwanted accidents.