What’s that Noise? E3 Spark Plugs Helps You ID Common Clicks, Pops & Screeches

Oh, no - What's that noise?! E3 Spark Plugs can help you decipher the message your car is sending via those pops, screetches and clunks.

You know that sinking-in-your-stomach feeling when you first hear that weird clinking, popping or screeching sound emanating from somewhere in your vehicle while cruising down the highway? Yeah – we hate that feeling too. Some of those noises simply serve as maintenance reminders. Others are signs something is seriously wrong. Don’t cover your ears in denial. Find out what your car is trying to tell you fast, before the damage and the costs rack up.

E3 Spark Plugs shares a few tips on deciphering just what that weird noise might be:

  • Squealing brakes: This may just mean there is dirt on the brake rotors, drums pads or shoes. But it also can be a red flag that some component of your brakes is worn or defective.
  • Scraping rear brakes: Your brake shoes may be worn.
  • Clunking brakes: Could be as simple as the disc brake caliper being improperly mounted, but also could be an indication of damaged brake hardware or worn steering system components.
  • Hissing engine: Quick! Check your temperature gauge. Your engine may be overheating. If so, pull over immediately and call a tow truck. That hissing may also mean you’ve got a leak in your coolant or air/vacuum hoses.
  • Popping engine: A popping noise coming from your engine can be caused by a myriad of problems including a dirty air filter, clogged fuel filter, dirty or worn spark plugs, damaged spark plug wires, water in your gasoline or ignition trouble.
  • Popping from the exhaust: Your fuel injectors may be leaking or you might have a leak in your exhaust.
  • Ticking engine: Your valves may be stuck or simply need a little adjusting. But it also could be an indication that your engine oil level or pressure is low or that engine sludge is keeping the oil from circulating properly.
  • Squealing engine: If you hear a squeal while you’re accelerating, chances are you’ve got a loose belt or your engine’s drive pulleys are misaligned.
  • Screeching steering: Can your neighbor hear you coming from six blocks away when you turn the corner? That screech likely means that your power steering belt is slipping; your steering linkage is damaged, loose or dry; or that your suspension pieces are worn.
  • Clicking wheels: Check for a loose hubcap or a small object (such as a pebble) lodged in your hubcap or tire tread.

Whatever noise you’re hearing, E3 Spark Plugs highly recommends getting it checked out as early as possible. Some of these noises are indications of minor troubles that can be inexpensive to fix early on, but ultimately very costly if ignored.


A close-up view of a brand-new nickel electrode spark plug for an automotive internal combustion engine.
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