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Why is my car making a thumping noise?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 years ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • Maintenance
  • why
  • warning
Car Repair

WhoCanFixMyCar explains why your could be making a thumping noise and what you can do to resolve the problem

Thumping noises can be a pretty big source of concern for drivers since many assume that a hefty repair bill is on the horizon. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Using this guide, you’ll be able to work out what’s likely to be causing the thumping noise in your car and what you can do about it. 

Guide Contents:

Thumping noise while driving

Thumping noise while accelerating

Thumping noise while slowing down

My car makes a thumping noise while driving

Worn tyres

A thumping noise while you are driving could be the result of tyres that have been worn unevenly. Keeping your tyres at the correct pressure and tread levels is important both in terms of fuel economy and safety. 

To test your tyre treads, place a twenty pence piece into the main tread grooves, and if the outer band of the coin is obscured, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band is visible, your tyres are too worn and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Suspension system problem

If the thumping comes from the front end of the vehicle, this could indicate a suspension issue. The best way to check whether this is the case is to have your car checked by a professional.

My car makes a thumping noise while accelerating

Starter motor or transmission mount

If you hear a thump towards the front of your car whenever you accelerate, it’s probably a problem with either your starter motor mount or transmission mount

Though small, transmission mounts have a huge impact on performance and the overall quality of your drive. Many things can affect the condition of transition mounts, including oxidation, vibrations and damage from collisions.

If you think your starter motor or transmission mount may be damaged, take your car to a mechanic who will be able to advise you about the repairs that are required.

My car makes a thumping sound when slowing down

Warped brake rotors

A thumping sound coming from your car’s front wheels when you brake is likely due to warped brake rotors. These are metal discs that are visible behind the car wheel. They work with calipers and brake pads to slow down the movement of the vehicle. 

Braking generates a lot of friction, and this causes the rotor surface to become uneven over time. Warped brake rotors are considerably less effective at allowing you to brake quickly. 

There are a few other signs to look out for that indicate your brake rotors need to be replaced:

  • Increased stopping distances.

  • Grooves or score marks.

  • Pulsating steering wheel.

  • Screeching or squeaking noises when brakes are used.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms in your car, it would be advisable to take your car to your nearest garage to have the brakes checked. This is important not only for your car’s long term health but also for your safety.

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