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Car Makes Squealing Noise When Driving: Possible Causes and Solutions

One of the most common issues that car owners in the United Kingdom may encounter is a squealing noise when driving. This noise can be both annoying and concerning, as it indicates potential problems with your vehicle. In this article, we will explore some of the possible causes of a car making a squealing noise while driving, as well as the solutions.

Possible Causes:

1. Worn Out or Loose Belt: A worn-out or loose belt, such as the serpentine belt or timing belt, can cause a squealing noise. Regular belt maintenance or replacement can resolve this issue.

2. Faulty Tensioner: The tensioner keeps the belt tight. If it malfunctions, it can cause the belt to slip, resulting in a squealing noise.

3. Worn Brake Pads or Rotors: If you notice the noise when applying the brakes, it could be due to worn brake pads or rotors. Replacing these components can eliminate the squealing noise.

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4. Low Power Steering Fluid: Insufficient power steering fluid can cause the power steering system to make a squealing noise. Topping up the fluid can often solve the problem.

5. Worn Out Wheel Bearings: Worn wheel bearings can create a squealing noise while driving. They need to be replaced promptly to prevent further damage.

6. Malfunctioning Water Pump: A faulty water pump can cause the engine to overheat and produce a squealing noise. Replacing the water pump is necessary to resolve this issue.

7. Misaligned or Worn Out Alternator: If the alternator is not aligned correctly or has worn-out bearings, it can cause a squealing noise. An inspection by a professional mechanic is recommended to fix this problem.


1. Can I continue driving my car if it squeals?
It is best to have your car inspected by a professional to determine the cause of the noise. Continuing to drive without addressing the issue may lead to further damage.

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2. How much does it cost to fix a squealing noise in a car?
The cost depends on the underlying cause. Simple fixes like replacing a belt can be relatively inexpensive, while more complex issues may require more extensive repairs.

3. How often should I check my belts?
Regularly inspect your belts for signs of wear and tear, and consider replacing them every 60,000 to 100,000 miles or as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

4. Is a squealing noise always a serious problem?
Not necessarily. Sometimes, it can be a minor issue that can be easily fixed. However, it is important to have it checked to prevent potential complications.

5. Can I fix a squealing noise myself?
Simple fixes, such as replacing a belt or topping up fluids, can be done by car owners with some mechanical knowledge. However, it is recommended to consult a professional for a proper diagnosis and repair.

6. Can a squealing noise be ignored?
Ignoring a squealing noise can lead to more severe damage and costly repairs. It is advisable to have it checked as soon as possible.

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7. Where can I find a reliable mechanic in the UK?
There are numerous reputable mechanics and garages in the UK. Asking for recommendations from friends, family, or checking online reviews can help you find a reliable professional.