If you try to ignore it (and turn up the radio) then Wessex Fleet are warning it could be costly - totting up to around £1,700.
With the cost of driving on the rise, it’s important drivers listen out for these noises to avoid paying out more than needed.
1. Squeaking under the bonnet could cost you upwards of £280
A water pump fault causes a high-pitched squeaking noise. The water pump circulates engine coolant around the cooling system, helping to stop your vehicle from overheating. A water pump can set you back more than £280 on average. But putting off a repair can lead to more serious engine faults.
Another sign of a faulty water pump is fluid leaking from your car onto the road while parked. To prolong the lifetime and efficiency of your car’s pump, make sure to use only manufacturer-approved sealants and coolants.
2. Screeching wheels could cost you an average of £250
One of the easiest and most common sounds of a car in need of repair is a squeaking noise when you brake. The noise comes from your brake pads thanks to the indicators fitted by most manufacturers – alerting drivers that their pads are wearing down.
New brake pads and discs will set you back around £250 on average. Brake pads usually last around 50,000 on most cars but bad driving habits can affect their lifespan.
3. Clunking when driving over bumps could set you back £210
A clunking by your wheels, especially when driving over speed bumps and on rough roads, could likely mean an issue with your anti-roll bar. Anti-roll bars connect your suspension and help to reduce body movement when going around corners.
Anti-roll bars and installation costs around £210. If you can replace just the links, you will save around £20 but it’s usually easier to do a full replacement.
4. A tyre rumbling or grinding noise can set you back £200
If you hear a rumbling coming from the bottom of the car, particularly when travelling at speed on a long straight road, this signifies an issue with your tyre or wheel bearing. Usually, a visual inspection will show if anything’s wrong with the tyre - just look for excessive wear, bulging or a puncture. If these aren’t visible, chances are it’ll be the wheel bearing and need to visit a mechanic.
Wheel bearing replacements cost around £200 per bearing. If it is the tyre, you’ll save yourself some money. To help cut down on the chance of your wheel bearings being faulty, try to avoid curbing your car as impact affects their lifespan.
5. Clicking when turning could set you back around £200
A clear sign of an issue with a CV (constant velocity) joint is a clicking sound when turning. Typically, this will be around the front wheels but on some cars, it can be in the back. CV joints connect the front axle with the wheels for turning. When these are damaged, dirt and moisture can get in and affect the joint.
If you discover this issue early, it could be repaired, but the cost of a full replacement can be around £200. A broken CV joint may also cause shaking when going round corners so watch out for this too.
6. Squealing from near your engine could cost £150
Squealing from under your bonnet likely means an issue with your alternator belt, or drive belt. The belt transfers power from the engine to other parts of your vehicle including the alternator, air con, steering and others. The belt will wear down from friction and heat from the engine, causing visible damage.
Even with a snapped belt, you can still drive the car, but some components won’t work. Replacing the alternator belt costs on average £150, depending on your car make and model.
7. A rattling exhaust could cost you £125
If you hear a rattling or buzzing from underneath your car while driving, it will likely be an issue with the exhaust bracket.
In some cases, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself. Look under your vehicle and try shaking the exhaust when it hasn’t been running for a while – make sure it’s cool avoid burns. If there’s a particular area that rattles, see if you can tighten any fittings to help resolve the issue. For more serious issues, you’ll likely need a mechanic to change your exhaust, which can cost around £125
8. Groaning when turning your steering wheel could cost you £300
If you hear a loud groaning noise when turning your steering wheel from under the bonnet, you’ll likely be low on power steering fluid. Power steering fluid makes it easier to turn your wheel thanks to pressure building up around the rack-mounted piston. Other signs are that it could be hard to turn the steering wheel.
Topping up the power steering fluid by yourself will only cost you between £10 and £15 but if you need a flush and replacement, the average UK cost is around £115. Ignoring the issue could result in damage to the power steering pump itself, which could set you back as much as £300.
Wessex Fleet Director Simon Naylor, recommends becoming aware of how your car usually operates, meaning unusual noises can be recognised straight away,
He said: “The upkeep of any car can be expensive, whether you are leasing or it’s yours. It’s important you listen out for any concerning noises your vehicle may start to make. Getting any issue fixed sooner could save causing extra damage to the vehicle and keep the repair bill lower.”
Mobile Technician Simon Brooker added: “Noises from your car can be a tell-tale sign something isn’t right. Anything to do with your engine requires immediate attention, your engine warning light should also warn you of this.
"If left undiagnosed, there is a real risk of a domino effect where you can end up with multiple engine part failures.
"The difference being spending a couple of hundred pounds now vs. thousands of pounds if left! Any noise coming from your brakes indicates there is a potential issue and will greatly reduce your braking distance, we recommend getting your brakes checked ASAP.”