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9 Noises a Hybrid Car Makes and What They Mean


  • Clicking Noise
  • Knocking or Clattering Noise
  • Whining Noise
  • Sputtering Noise
  • Squealing or Squeaking Noise
  • Clunking and Growling Noise
  • Any Odd Noise When Making a Turn
  • Brake-Related Noises
  • A Hybrid Engine Has an Issue
  • Contact a Reliable Hybrid Brake Repair Shop Near Me

Summary: If you are driving a hybrid car and hear some weird noises, it will surely leave you anxious thinking about what might happen during your trip. Like in conventional vehicles, these could mean something is wrong. It could either be with the internal combustion engine, conventional suspension system, cooling system, or braking system. Hence, it is imperative to find out the issue.

In this blog post, we’ll reveal some of the most common sounds a hybrid car makes and what they really mean.

Clicking Noise

A clicking noise that occurs now and then must not be taken for granted, as it can mean a lot of things. First, the hybrid car might have low oil pressure. Second, the engine might have a low oil level. And third, there could be an issue with the adjustment valves. To determine the main reason behind the clicking noise, it is advisable to call a reliable hybrid car specialist near you.

Knocking or Clattering Noise

An intermittent or continuous clatter is the sound made by a clogged or blocked air filter. This problem is easy to fix. However, the same type of noise can also be produced by improper engine timing. Don’t play mechanic even if you have some know-how with hybrid cars. Nothing beats the expertise of an ASE-certified mechanic. So, take your car to a reputable professional for a checkup.

Whining Noise

In typical operation, an automatic transmission must be remarkably smooth and quiet. Continuous whining noise from your car’s transmission and slipping gears could be due to low transmission fluid. It could also be caused by a broken or malfunctioning transmission pump or pump shaft. A faulty torque converter might also be a culprit.

If your hybrid car has been producing a whining noise, try checking the transmission fluid level first. Top it up and see if the issue persists before you visit a car repair workshop. However, if that doesn’t fix anything, then consulting a hybrid car expert is a must.

Sputtering Noise

Does your car’s engine spin up voluntarily and settle into a smooth idle, or do you notice sputtering, coughing, or other odd sounds? These could signal an issue with the ignition system. Other probable causes could also include failing spark plugs, a dirty air filter, a blocked fuel filter or catalytic converter, or the presence of water in the gas.

Squealing or Squeaking Noise

Squealing and squeaking sounds, particularly at idle, could be indicative of worn, loose, or slipping drive belts. Another reason could be loose or badly aligned drive belt pulleys. One component you do not need to worry about is the alternator, as a hybrid car usually doesn’t have it.

Clunking and Growling Noise

A loud clunking sound when shifting the transmission from the park usually indicates an issue with the torque converter mount. Meanwhile, a heavy clunking noise when turning from neutral to reverse might indicate an issue with the transmission cross-member mount, specifically if it is accompanied by vibration. If you hear growling, rumbling, or metal-upon-metal noises, that generally signifies an issue with the gears in the transmission. The moment you notice any of these strange sounds, don’t delay your visit to a trusted car repair workshop.

Any Odd Noise When Making a Turn

Clicking, banging, or screeching sounds each time you turn can be alarming. These usually mean an issue with the steering system, which is a risky type of malfunction that can result in a fatal accident. Take your vehicle to a repair shop as soon as you notice noises when you’re taking a turn.

Brake-Related Noises

Enough braking force is required to make a car slow down or completely stop. Eventually, the brake system ends up showing signs of wear and tear. Noise when braking is one of the most apparent signs, and the reason can be any of the following:

Damaged Brake Pads:  When brake pads are used often, the rear metal surface gradually wears down. This causes the metals to crash into each other, producing a strange noise.

Torn Pads:  These cause the brake system components be exposed to each other as in the case of rotors.

Bad Brake Rotors:  Damaged brake discs, especially those that are no longer flat, can be the reason behind the strange noises from the brake system.

It’s important to contact a reliable company specializing in hybrid brake repair to address these issues.

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An Issue with the Hybrid Engine

As you know, unlike petrol and diesel engines, hybrid motors make less sound. An HEV engine is made of gas and power from a hybrid battery. Even if it is much quieter, sometimes drivers will hear strange sounds, such as knocking, clicking, tapping, or grinding from the engine. The common culprits behind these include a broken spark plug, a dirty air filter, a damaged plug wire, a blocked fuel filter, and a catalyst converter.

Contact a Reliable Hybrid Brake Repair Shop Near Me

Does all noise produced by a hybrid vehicle mean that your car has an issue? The answer is no. Sometimes, those sounds are inherent to HEVs, yet they can also be caused by certain issues. To accurately determine if your hybrid car has a problem, bring it to the nearest repair shop or contact a car repair specialist.

If you live in Ventura, California, there is one company you can rely on—Dependable Car Care. We have been in business for several years, and our ASE-certified mechanics know the ins and outs of hybrid cars regardless of the model and brand. Whether it is an engine light that comes on and off, the brakes are squeaking, or you hear strange noises, we’ve got you covered.

Book an appointment today to know how we can help you!