It can be worrying when your car starts making an unusual noise, especially as it could mean a potential repair bill on the horizon.
The good news is that while a squeaking noise could indicate a number of different issues, most of these problems in reality are quick, easy and, most importantly, affordable fixes.
To help you identify some of the possible causes for squeaking, as well as some of the most common solutions, we’ve put together this handy guide so you can be more informed when taking your car to be looked at by a garage.
If your car squeaks when you turn it, the most likely cause is low power steering fluid. This means that your power steering system is not lubricated enough, causing parts to rub together and make a squeaking sound. There’s no need for a mechanic to diagnose this problem - you can check the fluid level yourself.
Your owner’s manual will contain all the information you need about your car’s power steering system. This will allow you to locate the power steering reservoir and check your car’s fluid level.
Checking your car’s fluid levels regularly is an important part of car ownership. Don’t forget, you can compare engine oil and filter change prices, as well as full service prices, with WhoCanFixMyCar.
Brake pads and discs that have been fitted poorly or are worn down will often cause a squeaking noise when you drive slowly.
When you press the brake pedal, the brake caliper clamps around the pad, applying pressure to slow down the movement. Your brake pads will get thinner the more they are used, so over the course of a vehicle’s life they will probably need replacing at least once. The squeaking sound comes from metal moving against metal.
If you suspect your brakes have been fitted badly or need to be replaced, you can compare quotes by manufacturer with WhoCanFixMyCar.
A loud or high pitched squeak when you accelerate might be a sign of a loose or worn fan belt.
Different vehicles are fitted with different belt systems - some might have a serpentine belt while others will have multiple smaller accessory belts. These belts play an important role in transferring the rotational energy created by the engine to its different parts. Basically, it keeps your fan, air conditioning, power steering pump, water pump and alternator working.
If your fan belt is squeaking, this is probably because the rubber belt is slipping on the metal pulley. It’s worth carrying out a number of visual tests yourself to check the condition of your fan belt system to see, for instance, if there are any cracks or any ribs missing.
In the event that there are signs of damage, the best course of action is to take your car to a garage to have the fan belt replaced before it breaks completely (and causes considerably more damage). You can compare prices for fan belt repairs on WhoCanFixMyCar.