10 Reasons Your Car Engine Squeals

10 Reasons Your Car Engine Squeals

Hello, car lovers! If you’ve ever experienced the annoyance of a squealing engine, you’re not alone. About one in five drivers experience this problem at some point in their lifetime. And if you’re like most people, you must figure out how to fix it. This post will discuss ten reasons your engine might squeal and offer some solutions. So don’t be afraid to take your car in for a tune-up – it could save you a lot of money and aggravation down the road!

Faulty Spark Plugs

One of the most common reasons engines squeal is because of faulty spark plugs. When these tiny electrodes create an electric spark when you turn the key, they can become worn or damaged over time. In cases like this, the plug may not be able to produce a strong enough electric current to ignite the fuel mixture in your engine correctly. As a result, your car may start and run fine – but as soon as you put it into gear and engage the clutch, it will begin to squeal.

This problem is often easy to fix – replace all of your plugs! However, if you still find power or traction loss issues, take your vehicle to a mechanic for a detailed checkup.

Worn Engine Crowbar Hangers

Another common cause of engines squealing is because of improperly installed crowbar hangers. These metal brackets support the crank pulley to prevent it from turning – which can cause friction as the pulley rotates. In cases like this, the engine may start and run fine – but as soon as you put it into gear and engage the clutch, it will begin to squeal.

Again, this problem is often easy to fix – replace your crowbar hangers! However, if you don’t have time for a complete tune-up, you may temporarily fix the issue by replacing them with tension springs. However, we strongly advise you to consult a mechanic to resolve the issue.

Damaged Engine Timing Belt

A damaged timing belt is one of the most common causes of engine squealing. This metal band runs along the engine block and holds all the moving parts together – including your pistons, valves, and crankshaft. It can become stretched or cracked due to wear and tear as time goes on.

In cases like this, the belt may not be able to keep your engine running properly – leading to poor performance in everything from acceleration to fuel economy. If you notice any unusual sounds or sluggishness when driving, schedule an appointment with a mechanic as soon as possible.

Lack of Antifreeze 

A lack of antifreeze can also cause engines to squeal. This mixture of ethylene glycol and water helps to cool the engine – preventing it from overheating in the summer months. Over time, however, an insufficient level can lead to crystallization and corrosion – which will eventually cause your engine to squeal.

In cases like this, it’s vital to top up your antifreeze levels as soon as possible – otherwise, you may experience decreased performance and even related mechanical problems down the road.

Damaged Intake Manifold 

A damaged intake manifold is another common issue that may lead to engine squealing. This component helps direct air and gas into the engine, ensuring everything runs smoothly. The manifold will struggle to properly distribute fuel and air if it becomes clogged up with debris or dust. As a result, your engine may start to squeal as it struggles to turn over properly.

If you notice any unusual noise coming from your car’s engine, schedule an appointment with an auto specialist as soon as possible!

Clogged Catalytic Converter

A clogged catalytic converter may also result in car engine squeal noises. This component sits near the exhaust manifold and helps break down harmful chemicals before they are released into the atmosphere. This problem occurs when the carbon particles in the air combine with the oil and dirt on your catalytic converter, forming sludge – eventually leading to a squeal from your engine.

Worn Drive Belt

A worn drive belt can also cause your engine to squeal. This belt helps turn the pulley system in your engine, and if it’s not tight enough or is otherwise damaged, it may start to make noise as the pulley rubs against each other. Over time this friction can create a squealing sound that you may notice when driving.

To prevent this from happening, inspect and replace the belt if it’s visibly damaged or age-worn. If you don’t see any visible damage, but the engine still squeals when you turn it on, your belt may be too tight or warped. Additionally, check all screws and bolts that attach your drivetrain to the frame for tightness/warping. If any of these are in bad condition, it may be time to replace them.

Bad Belt Tensioners 

A squeal from under the hood can signal a bad belt tensioner, which can cause your car engine to squeal. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your belt tensioner in good condition and preventing bigger problems down the road. If you notice a squeal coming from under the hood, it’s time to take action! Keep an eye out for these problems and take care of them before they become bigger issues.


If your engine is overheating, it can create several problems, the most common of which is squealing noises. Overheating can damage seals and gaskets in your engine, causing them to leak or pop. This will cause more heat to be created and added pressure on other areas of the engine. In addition, over time, excess oil and coolant can build up in these areas making unbearable squeals and smells. If you notice signs that your car’s engine may be overheated – including excessive squealing – take action immediately!

The best way to prevent this is by keeping an eye on the temperature gauge and replacing coolant when necessary. If all these steps fail, take your car in for service! In the meantime, drive cautiously and avoid long trips in hot weather.

Ball Joints & Power Steering Issues

A failing power steering system can cause the car to wobble and squeal when you turn it on. This is usually a result of worn-out ball joints or bushings, which are small rubber pieces connecting the power steering pump to the steer axle. If either of these components fails, your car will be difficult to control – causing it to squeal.

In addition, a loss in power steering fluid can lead to a bumpy ride and, eventually, a squeal from under the hood. If you notice any unusual engine noises when turning it on, take your car in for service!

So, now you know the leading causes of this annoying sound. It is essential to take a few minutes and check the issue in detail if any of the signs we mentioned above show up on your dashboard. Learn more about auto body maintenance and ensure to service your car every recommended miles to keep dirt and dust from building up on your engine parts. With careful inspection, you can easily fix this problem in no time.

Did we miss anything? Tell us about other common issues with engines from our community below!